Dulcimers are from the zither family of string instruments and are struck or plucked. In the UK there are two types of dulcimer - the hammered and the Appalachian or mountain dulcimer.
Both types of dulcimer have different variants in many countries. The layout of notes is different for each type and the size of the instrument can vary. You can explore this on our interactive Dulcimers Around the World map.
Although the dulcimer is not an instrument that you hear every day it has been used in various film sound tracks and was very popular with rock and pop musicians in the 1960s and 70s.
Photos: Top - East Anglian Hammered Dulcimer,
Bottom - Mountain Dulcimer (courtesy Geoff Black)