The Appalachian Dulcimer has its origin in Germany dating back at least two centuries.
It consists of a narrow fingerboard attached to a larger soundboard. The size and
shape of the instrument varies from a long narrow box to elaborate tear drops and
hour glass designs. The instrument length may vary from about 25 to 35 inches long
with the instrument width varying according to the sound box design. They are usually
made from locally available woods such as walnut, cherry, sycamore, etc. A dulcimer
usually has three or four strings. It is normally placed in a horizontal position across
the players lap. The strings are played by plucking with the fingers of the right hand
or strumned with a goose feather pick. The left hand plays the melody by pressing the
strings closest the body against the fretboard with the fingers or by using a wood rod
called a noter as a slide.