Sourwood Mountain Dulcimer (Film)

Sourwood Mountain Dulcimer

  •  Gene DuBey
  •  1976
  • Color IconColor
  •  27:50
  •  16 mm film
Film Description
Dulcimers are one of the world’s oldest musical instruments and have been heard in the southern and central Appalachian mountains since the time of the earliest white settlers. The knowledge of how to make and play them has been handed down from one practitioner to another for generations, illustrated in this film by I.D. Stamper, a master dulcimer builder and player from eastern Kentucky, and John McCutcheon, a young musician. Sourwood Mountain Dulcimers follows the two as they play together, swap tunes, discuss musical traditions and demonstrate the difference between hammered and mountain style dulcimer.

Screenings & Festivals
  • Festival of American Folklife, Smithsonian Institution
  • International Festival of Documentary

This film was preserved by Appalshop Archive with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. To support the work of preserving and safeguarding the collections, please consider designating a donation to Appalshop Archive.


“Remarks about the origins of various instruments, the traditions of instrument making in the area, and the influence of one musician’s style on the other waft gently through the film in an informative commentary that does not intrude on the obvious and simple joys of the men’s music making and shared friendship.” — Booklist
“The music, the friendship of the musicians, and the greens and blues of a summer afternoon make an extraordinarily pleasant film.” — Educational Film Library Association
“An asset to any music department.” — Hinds Junior College