Big Tyler Mountain Dulcimer

DS-7-1-cropped.JPG
DS-7-2-cropped.JPG
DS-7-3-cropped.JPG
DS-7-4.JPG

Title

Big Tyler Mountain Dulcimer

Description

Schnaufer's notes for this instrument read as follows: "Big Tyler Mt., West Virginia/1911/Maker - Denis McCown for Helen Melton Saffel/Owner Schnaufer/Purchased from Wanda Parrish (Las Vegas, Nevada), great niece of Helen Saffel, 1987." Wanda Parrish was living in Thorntown, Indiana at the time she sold this instrument to Schnaufer.

As Schnaufer recounted for audiences many times, this instrument was built by Denis McCown of Big Tyler Mountain in attempts to convince one Helen Melton to marry him. She declined, but kept the dulcimer anyway.

Schnaufer played this instrument often, and was photographed by Maria von Matthiessen with this dulcimer for the pictorial work Song from the Hills (New York: MacMillan, c1993).

Creator

McCown, Denis

Identifier

DS-7

Coverage

Big Tyler Mountain, West Virginia

Dulcimer type

E

Owner

Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, Tennessee

Cataloged by

S. Conatser, Z. Law

Dimensions--overall

35" x 6 1/2" x 2 3/4"

Physical description

instrument is well-crafted and in excellent condition; popular, painted brown or an oxidized red with thick shellac; slender, hourglass-shaped body, with end of instrument flat and attached to curved tailpiece; strings are held by a single nail; headstock carved scroll with three pegs probably original to the instrument; hollow fretboard; nut and bridge inset into fretboard; 4 sound holes, shaped as five-pointed stars; 17 frets under one string only; 3 thin, teardrop-shaped "feet" on back;

Geolocation

Citation

McCown, Denis, “Big Tyler Mountain Dulcimer,” Appalachian Dulcimer Archive, accessed October 20, 2019, https://dulcimerarchive.omeka.net/items/show/69.