The Quakertown Area Dulcimer and Autoharp Society was formed by Obie Ralphs and his wife, Bobbie Ralphs. They discovered their affinity for the instruments after enjoying a public performance.
“I thought it was really pretty,” said Bobbie. “I had hand injuries and I was like, ‘I think I can play this.’”
The group has around 20 regular members and meets every two weeks at the Zwingli United Church of Christ in Souderton and frequently perform. The rehearsals are usually split between practicing pieces for a performance and simply jamming.
The hammered dulcimer has 72 strings positioned across a trapezoidal piece of wood. The player uses spoon-shaped mallets to hit the strings in different places for different notes. No previous experience with the instrument is required for anyone who wants to learn.
“Many of us are self-taught,” said Obie. “But we’re more than happy to give tips to someone if they’re new to the instrument.”
Read more about the QUADAS Dulcimer Club at The Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.