In this podcast, I talk with Ralph Lee Smith, who is an authority on the history of Appalachian or mountain dulcimer’s history. For nearly four decades he has research this distinctly American Instrument and its European antecedents. He is the author of two books on the topic: The Story of the Dulcimer and Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions. We also talk with LaVern Miller, a coffin maker for Amish families in the Shipshewana community.

Host: Jon Kay
Guests: Ralph Lee Smith (
Music: Martin Simpson (

[amazon_link id=”0810874113″ target=”_blank” ]Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions (American Folk Music and Musicians)[/amazon_link]

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2 Comments on Episode 4: Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions

  1. G. Roberts says:

    I really enjoyed listening to Mr. Smith. I started looking for a dulcimer here in Maine about 4 years ago. I now own 12 found in music shops, antique shops, and on line. I’ve been successful in contacting the makers of several. Now if I could only become even an moderately good player I’d be happy. Thanks again for a inspiring podcast.

  2. Jon Kay says:

    Great. He is really a wonderful guy and has done a great service to the dulcimer community in researching the history of this illusive instrument. Good luck in your search for dulcimers. I too have been collecting old instruments and interviewing builders. Would love to have you share an image or two of the instruments you have. I think folks would enjoy it.

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