The Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer has hardly been studied at all, and very little is known about its detailed acoustics or the way it makes sound. In 2008 I started a series of experiments in an attempt to understand the instrument in terms of its vibratory and acoustical behaviour, and these continued over the subsequent decade. Experiment results were posted on the EverythingDulcimer.com website discussion forum so that mountain dulcimer makers could take from it what they found relevant to their constructional methods, and to broaden the general understanding of the acoustics of the instrument.
The EverythingDulcimer website ceased operation in 2018, and to prevent the experimental information from being lost, Jon Leachtenauer, a dulcimer maker in the US, collected and collated the forum posts and compiled them into a DVD-format book, which is available through eBay. The DVD-book has over 400 pages and includes over 300 illustrations. It is not a “how-to-make-a-mountain-dulcimer” manual, but rather the results of a series of practical experiments that shed some light on particular aspects of the acoustical workings of the instrument. Dulcimer makers, and those attracted to the technical aspects of musical instruments may be interested. The cost is USD$20, which includes postage. An eBay search for “An Interesting Dulcimer Experiment” should return purchase details.