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Hearts of the Dulcimer

Distributed by Dulcimuse
Produced by Patricia Delich & Wayne Jiang
Directed by Patricia Delich and Wayne Jiang
DVD , color, 55 min. plus 40 min. of extras
General Adult
Music, Folk Music

Reviewed by Bonnie Jo Dopp, Librarian Emerita, University of Maryland

Recommended with reservations   
Date Entered: 8/21/2014

Subtitled “A passionate journey of the mountain dulcimer” this documentary may attract a niche audience: people who make or play dulcimers. Partly a history of this Appalachian lap harp and its transformation, beginning in the late 1960s, by mainly California builders, and partly a series of testimonials by amateurs and a few professional musicians who enjoy playing it, the ‘labor of love’ aspect of its production shows itself without apology. Includes a pitch for people to buy their own copy (for $30) and several short extras, the longest of which depicts an engaging middle school dulcimer-making project. Overall, a sweet tribute to one of the easier musical instruments to play, but not an essential learning tool for any music education program. Libraries in California may find a few eager viewers.