While browsing in a used book store a few weeks ago I stumbled across a copy of “World Folk Songs” by Marais & Miranda. I remember listening to one of their records as a child and this song has stayed with me ever since:

Right on the cover the book stated it contained a “Complete Dulcimer Section.” Flipping through the book revealed there were instruction for both building and playing the dulcimer as well as a brief history of the instrument.

Marais & Miranda - World Folk SongsMany folk song collections from this era (1964) had basic instructions for playing guitar and this book does as well, but it is the earliest book I know of with this much information on playing the dulcimer, let alone how to build one. The authors knew it was not easy to find a dulcimer at the time so they included rudimentary information for cobbling together a dulcimer of your own.
Dulcimer body pattern

Dulcimer fret pattern and other partsThe section on playing the dulcimer cover finger picking, which as someone who primarily fingerpicks delighted me!

Notes on a dulcimer fingerboard

Dulcimer fingerpicking patternsAll in all this is an interesting relic from the days of The Great Folk Scare.

But Wait, There's More!