The last quarter of the twentieth-century saw a renewed interest in the hammered dulcimer in the United States at the grassroots level as well as from elements of the Folk Revival. This book offers the reader a discussion of the medieval origins of the dulcimer and its subsequent spread under many different names to other parts of the world. Drawing on articles the author has written in English as well as articles by specialists in their own languages, Gifford explains the history and evolution of the instrument. Special attention is paid to the North American tradition from the early 18th-century to the 1970s revival. Drawing from local histories, news clippings, photographs, and interviews, the book examines the playing of the dulcimer and its associated social meanings.
No one knows as much about the dulcimer as Paul M. Gifford, and he has distilled decades of study of the instrument and its history into a fascinating and readable book of some 400 pages...an important addition to our understanding of the folk music revivals of the late 20th century.--Dirty Linen