Limited edition! Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of House of Musical Traditions in 2022. New dulcimers built by Carl Gotzmer of June Apple, based on the original Musical Traditions design (Carl was one of the original builders of MT dulcimers), with upgrades like planetary geared pegs, wider "floating" fretboard for increased resonance, and 0th fret. Hourglass, 4-string dulcimers with heart soundholes. Top is bookfaced to be symmetrical; back is one piece. Scalloped fretboard, 6 1/2 fret. To improve resonance, the bridge is not glued down, so it might move slightly when changing strings. Each dulcimer is handmade, so appearance may vary from photos. Deluxe padded soft case is included.
Two wood options available:
- All solid cherry
- Solid walnut back & sides w/solid cedar top
Read on for some history of Musical Traditions dulcimers:
The House of Musical Traditions store began in 1972 when David Eisner purchased the remaining inventory of Hank Levin's "Musical Traditions" lap dulcimer shop in NYC, and Eisner slowly added more instrument and product lines to create the full-line HMT music store over the years. Hank built Musical Traditions company dulcimers in the 1960's, and then moved to CA where he continued to build a few. Hank built dulcimers for Jean Ritchie and authored the chapter on dulcimer building in her famous "Dulcimer Book." Hank then sold the dulcimer business, and Musical Traditions dulcimers were built in Sand Point, Idaho for a brief time in the early 1980s. We still sell vintage "original" Musical Traditions dulcimers from the 60s-70s-80s from time to time.
To commemorate HMT's 50th year in business, David Eisner commissioned Carl Gotzmer of June Apple Dulcimers to create a 50th Anniversary dulcimer based off the original Musical Traditions designs. Carl was one of the original builders that worked with Hank Levin, and he had the original Musical Traditions dulcimer plans on file. This limited run is sold out, but Carl is continuing to build the modern Musical Traditions dulcimers we are offering for sale here.
The original Musical Traditions dulcimers did not have scalloped fretboards or the 0th frets, and they had friction tuners instead of planetary geared tuners. Originally, Hank built 3-string dulcimers and then added the double 4th string later, but did not widen the fingerboard. These anniversary dulcimers are built with a wider fingerboard to improve playability as a 4-string instrument. The fretboard and tuner upgrades will also give an overall improved dulcimer while still paying homage to the original Musical Traditions design.