Did you know that one cannot sit on a mountain dulcimer without breaking it? The reader might be surprised of the number of mountain dulcimers who have dragged their broken little bodies into my shop because some hapless human did not look where they sat and in so doing crushed a poor defenseless mountain dulcimer! How could anyone not see a mountain dulcimer?!
Alright, maybe its owner should not have put the dulcimer in the chair! But then again, one does not usually want to set their dulcimer on the floor, nor stand them in the corner ("Nobody puts Baby in the Corner!").
We have all done it. You stop playing for a moment. You look for a "safe" place to set your dulcimer and you see that big easy chair and it seems so logical. You set the dulcimer in the chair. Then along comes some oaf who does not have eyes in their bottom and without looking they sit in the chair and the little dulcimer is crushed!
Depending on the skill level of the luthier, the dulcimer frequently can be repaired. Amazingly the sound quality is not always destroyed either. Admittedly, such repair takes a gifted artisan and the scars are usually permanent. But, one must ask themselves "Do you want this little baby to sing again or not?"
Surgery always leaves a scar and the scar frequently serves as a gentle reminder that an injury has occurred and one should be more careful next time.
I for one derive a great deal of joy out of making these little babies sing again, so keep on smashing them! No. I don't really mean that. Be careful out there!
The best way to fix a mountain dulcimer is to not sit on it in the first place!
President, Great Plains Dulcimer Alliance