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There are two basic types of dulcimers. The first is the Apalachian dulcimer, which is actually in the zither family. It is usually played sitting down with the instrument on the player’s lap. It is a fretted instrument, similar to a guitar, with one hand being used to press down on the fretboard while the other hand strums the string(s) — normally there are two single string and one doubled string. The other type is the hammered dulcimer, in which two beaters are used to strike two courses of strings suspended over a trapezoidal wooden soundbox. This is called the Hackbrett in German and the Cimbalom in Hungary. A similar instrument in the Middle East is called the Santour.

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