List of Appalachian dulcimer players

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Prominent mountain dulcimer players[edit]

Well-known musicians who play (or played) the Appalachian dulcimer as a primary instrument include:

  • Don Pedi, In 1974 Don entered his first contest, at Fiddler's Grove in North Carolina, and won first place. By 1980 he had won so many contests at Fiddler's Grove that he was certified "Master Dulcimer Player" and retired from future competitions.[1]
  • Robert Force. Pioneer of the standing up, overhand style of playing, has been a performer on the Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer for more than thirty-five years.
  • Jean Ritchie
  • Richard Fariña
  • Nashville-based David Schnaufer recorded with The Judds, Kathy Mattea, Johnny Cash, and Mark O'Connor. Schnaufer was a historian of the instrument and the world's first dulcimer professor; he served as Adjunct Associate Professor of Dulcimer at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music from 1995 to his death in 2006.[2]
  • Stephen Seifert of Nashville, recognized as one of the most versatile and talented contemporary dulcimer players. A popular presence at American folk music festivals, Seifert also performs with classical symphonies around the United States.
  • Lorraine "Lee" Hammond, one of the most accomplished contemporary mountain dulcimer players, recorded An Exultation of Dulcimers with Roger Nicholson (whose music she helped introduce to the United States).[3]
  • Mark Gilston, one of the pioneers of adapting European traditional music to the Appalachian dulcimer in the 1970s. He is particularly well known for his Balkan, Scandinavian and Celtic dance music on the dulcimer.[4]
  • Bing Futch has performed and recorded with the mountain dulcimer since 1986 and has used electric mountain dulcimer as the main instrument in his band Mohave[5] since 1999.
  • Guitarist John Pearse, an early British enthusiast of the mountain dulcimer, was one of the first to introduce the dulcimer to English folk clubs in the 1960s.
  • Roger Nicholson (1943-2009)[6] recorded a seminal album, Nonesuch for Dulcimer, with English guitarist and singer Robert Johnson (later of Steeleye Span) in 1972.
  • Margaret MacArthur, folk music historian, musician and dulcimer instructor, introduced the mountain dulcimer to many folk musicians in the 1960s.
  • Jen Clark, pioneer of dulcimer in Scottish traditional and contemporary music, toured extensively and recorded Stand Easy as a member of the Battlefield Band in 1979.[7]
  • Dan Evans,[8] who developed a method of accompanying songs using chord inversions and fingerpicking in Ionian mode, recorded and performed with Roger Nicholson.[9] Dan has since developed a method of playing minimalist music on the mountain dulcimer using fast picking patterns

Big-name musicians who have recorded with a mountain dulcimer[edit]

  • Joni Mitchell played a dulcimer on the 1971 album Blue and included a dulcimer set in many of her live performances. She is credited with popularizing the instrument outside of US folk music circles in the 1970s.
  • Many British folk-rock groups of the late 1960s and early 1970s featured the mountain dulcimer, including:

Other musicians[edit]