PLEASE READ - our COVID-19 status

To our Dusty Strings community,

After ten weeks of working as best we could from home, we are relieved to be back in our workshop and office now! We have really appreciated everyone's patience so far, and we hope you'll continue to be patient with us as we resume our "normal" operations with a very limited capacity and an irregular schedule. Our first priority has to be the health of our employees and our community, and we are carefully following all of the safety practices recommended and required by the state of Washington. Within those limitations, we are doing the best we can to answer the phones and to respond to orders and emails, and we're grateful for your understanding if it takes us longer than usual to get back to you!

String & Accessory Orders

We should be able to fill most orders for strings and accessories within a few days. At this point, we don't expect any significant delays, but we will let you know if we think it will be more than a week before your order ships.

Mail Service Disruptions

If you are trying to place an order through our website for shipping outside of the US and you receive a "no shipping options available" message, that means that the United States Postal Service is not currently accepting mail for delivery to your country. We are sorry that we do not have any way to get around this, and we hope you can wait until the situation improves!

Instrument Orders

We have resumed building and shipping instruments and would love to answer questions or talk with you about placing an order! If your dream instrument is not in stock, we can make an educated guess about how long it will take us to build it, but please allow some extra time for surprises. We are still adjusting to our limited capacity and safety restrictions.

We sincerely appreciate your support during these uncertain times. It is hard to be a small business in the best of times, and this is a challenge on a scale we haven't faced in our 40 years, so we want you to know that both your continuing interest and your words of encouragement mean a lot to us!

Prelude

Prelude

Dulcimer Video Page

Overview

  • 2½ octaves
  • laminated Finland birch soundboard and back
  • traditional 5th-interval tuning
  • 12/11 configuration

The Prelude is the perfect setup for a beginning hammered dulcimer player. Built with a laminated Finland birch soundboard and back, it is an exceptionally sturdy, stable instrument that offers a sweet, balanced sound. The 2½ octave, 12/11 arrangement corresponds to all the well-known instructional materials. The Apprentice model is the same instrument, but with black finish.

The Prelude comes with the basics to get someone started playing: single-sided wooden hammers, a T-handle tuning wrench, note indicator strips and the Hammered Dulcimer Owner's Guidebook. Additional options include a case for protection and transportation, and choices of playing legs or folding stands for supporting the instrument.

Prelude: $545 (includes T-handle tuning wrench, regular single-sided wood hammers, note guide strips, owner's guidebook)

Compare Dulcimer Models

Complete Price List

How to Order

Options

Burgundy-colored padded soft case for hammered dulcimer

Padded carrying case

Price: $175

Hammered dulcimer support options include this folding wooden stand Variety of stand and leg choices

Tuning & Specifications

Range

The Prelude, Apprentice and D10 have 2½ octaves of range; the lowest note is the G below middle C. There are 12 courses of strings on the treble bridge and 11 courses on the bass bridge. This configuration is often referred to as 12/11. Easily available keys are G, D, C and F, along with their relative minors. There are a variety of chromatic notes available in each key.

Tuning and Strings

String chart for Prelude, Apprentice or D10 hammered dulcimerSuperscript numbers indicate octaves (C4 is middle C). Dots indicate marked courses. All strings are plain steel with loop ends, and the wire gauges are shown in inches.

Click here for downloadable string charts and string ordering information.

Dimensions

  • Hammered dulcimer diagram with top and bottom rails labeledBottom rail: 38½ inches
  • Top rail: 20 inches
  • Height: 15 inches
  • Thickness: 3¼ inches
  • Weight: approx. 13 pounds

Woods

  • Soundboard and back: laminated Finland birch
  • Pinblocks and rails: Eastern hard maple
  • Main bridges: maple
  • Side bridges and soundhole inserts: sapele or walnut

Compare specifications

Reviews

Reviews & Testimonials

1 Review(s)

  • David
    Apr 7, 2018
    I bought my Prelude on a trip to the US from the UK in '99, having been captivated by the sound of the dulcimer playing on the Rich Mullins Homeless Man film. It's still going strong today with a beautiful tone. It's the perfect entry level instrument which came with helpful instructions for the complete beginner. I'd love to progress on to one of the chromatic models, but I'll still keep my Prelude.

"I'm enjoying every minute of exploring this great instrument!"

-Mitzi Barker (Chugiak, Alaska)

Read More Testimonials

Post a Review

We value your opinion and hope that you will share a review! Your first name will be shown, but last name and email address will be kept private and used only if we need to contact you directly. We believe in the importance of both positive and negative feedback, but before displaying reviews, we do screen them for spam, inappropriate language, and comments that are disrespectful of our fellow instrument builders.