Smithsonian Collections

The Appalachian dulcimer sound recording : an instructional record / by Jean Ritchie

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Data Source
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
What better way to learn a musical instrument than from someone who is generally acknowledged to be the foremost performer and authority on that instrument? This recording provides just such an opportunity. Jean Ritchie, from the small town of Viper, in the Appalachians of Kentucky, has long been regarded as the master traditional Appalachian dulcimer player, as well as a superb traditional folksinger. (The Appalachian dulcimer, usually having three or four plucked strings, is not to be confused with the many-stringed hammered dulcimer, a completely different instrument.) During the first half of this recording, Jean provides easy-to-follow spoken instructions for the beginner, with many demonstrations. The second half of the recording provides examples from a variety of traditional dulcimer players, who often sing as well as play, and several of whom can be heard on Folkways recordings of their own. Liner notes provide a complete transcription of Jean's spoken instructions, along with a lengthy biography.
Accompanies: The dulcimer book / by Jean Ritchie (Oak, 1964). The book is laid in the container.
Notes in booklet (8 p.), including a written transcription of the record and song texts, laid in original container.
Related materials may be found in the Moses and Frances Asch Collection, also held by this repository. Related materials may include correspondence pertaining to the recording, original cover art designs, production materials, business records, and audiotapes from studio production.
Track information
101. How to Hold the Dulcimer
102. Tuning Up in the Major Key
103. How to Hold the Noter
104. Playing the Scale
105. Simple Thumb Strum
106. Use of a Pick
107. Singing with Counter-Melody
108. Strumming Variations
109. "Picking" with the Fingers
110. The Minor Key-Aeolian Mode
111. The Mixolydian Mode
112. The Dorian Mode
113. The Phrygian Mode
114. The Lydian Mode
201. Pleasant Ohio / Ann Grimes
202. Old Crumley / Edna Ritchie. Kentucky
203. Common Bill / I.G. Greer
204. Warrenton / Andrew Rowan Summers
205. Civil War March / Aunt Dora Hammon
206. Play-Party Medely / George Armstrong
207. Went to See My Susie / George amd Gerry Armstrong
208. In Good Old Colony Days / George Armstrong, Howie Mitchell
209. Shady Grove / Jean Ritchie
Publisher number
FI 8352 Folkways Records
Repository Loc.
Smithsonian Institution, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, 600 Maryland Ave., S.W., Suite 2001, Washington, D.C. 20024. Call 202-633-7322 for appointment. Fax: 202-633-7019. Email:
Ritchie, Jean
Grimes, Anne
Ritchie, Edna
Greer, I. G. (Isaac Garfield) 1881-1967
Summers, Andrew Rowan
Hammon, Aunt Dora
Armstrong, George Douglas 1927-1993
Armstrong, George Douglas 1927-1993
Mitchell, Howie 1932-
Physical description
1 phonograph record : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in
Instructional materials
Phonograph records
See more items in
Folkways Records Collection 1948-1986
Local number
Folkways 8352
The Appalachian Dulcimer : an instruction record, by Jean Ritchie
The Appalachian Dulcimer : an instrumental record, by Jean Ritchie
Appalachian dulcimer
Music--Instruction and study
Folk music
Folk songs, English
Dulcimer music
Appalachian Region, Southern--Songs and music
Southern states
United States
Viper (Ky.)
Restrictions & Rights
Restrictions on access