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Handcrafted Hammered Dulcimers

Jerry Read Smith



Zachary Hamilton

A notice on pricing from Jerry:


Dear customers,

As we all know, the cost of living has been rising rapidly in the past few years. This is particularly true in the Asheville, North Carolina area. I have not been keeping up with the inflation rate for some time now. After conducting a detailed cost analysis last year, we have determined that our current prices are unsustainable. Every instrument made here at Song of the Wood is individually treated as an “heirloom” quality build. In an effort to keep up with the times we are very carefully monitoring a pricing increase schedule. We will continue to build instruments with an eye on ever improving architecture and an ear focused on tonal balance and superiority. I've been doing this for almost 50 years now and I have no intention of retiring! I love waking up each day and heading up the steps to my Workshop right here next to my home and Studio. I have always considered the relationships I've built with an incredible array of customers (now friends) as the most rewarding part of this work. Thank you for your understanding ... and support. May God continue to bless us all as we make our way during these unprecedented times.

Jerry Read Smith

January 10th, 2024

     Since 1975 Jerry Read Smith has been building some of the most sought after hammered dulcimers in the industry.  For the past 9 years Zachary has been learning how to craft Jerry's instruments, and he has been the primary builder for the past 5 years. Each dulcimer is beautifully handcrafted with care and precision calling upon Jerry's 49 years of experience and Zachary's patient craftsmanship and eye for detail. Taking into account each player's individual desires, we are creating one-of-a-kind instruments that both look and sound beautiful.  Jerry's desire is for each of these heirlooms to live "beyond the norm." Recognizing that there is always more to learn and ways to improve, we are striving to build the best hammer dulcimers you can buy. Have we succeeded? You be the judge.

Numerous variations are available on any base model choice, including Soundboard wood(s), End Rail Laminations, Corner Scroll work, Custom Rosettes, Abalone Inlay, and much more.

     For inquiries, or to be placed on the list for a new hammered dulcimer, call or email Jerry at 828-301-1622 or  He'll be happy to "meet" you and discuss the possibilities.

Professional Introductory Models

Our Professional Introductory line is designed for professional musicians or serious players interested in a professional grade sound, or even for aspiring beginners.  Come visit and have a listen! They speak for themselves.

Note: We have discontinued our Diatonic models due to far greater interest in the extended range Chromatic models.

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JRS Compass
Base Price - $2449

Our most lightweight and compact hammered dulcimer, increased to 16 courses on the Treble and Bass bridges with expanded chromatic capability!

JRS Navigator
Base Price - $2849

Our mid-sized Introductory cousin of the Concertmaster hammered dulcimer has the same notes & range. It is a simplified form of it's more esteemed cousin to provide a lower price point.

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JRS Explorer
Base Price - $3249

Our largest Introductory instrument, this model has the same notes and range of our JRS Grande Concertmaster but simplified to provide a lower price.

Professional Recording Models

Our Professional Recording models are designed for professional musicians, performers, and recording artists. If you are looking for the purest tone and best tonal balance available today, come give them a listen. Whichever dulcimer you are interested in, it speaks for itself.

JRS Concertmaster
Base Price - $4495

Our 4.5 octave Professional Recording model, the Concertmaster spans a range from A1-A6. This hammered dulcimer includes a number of upgrade options by default and utilizes a more refined soundboard structure to smooth the tonal balance across the range.

JRS Grande Concertmaster
Base Price - $4949

Our 5 octave Professional Recording model, the Grande Concertmaster spans a range from A1-A6. Our flagship hammered dulcimer includes a number of upgrade options by default and utilizes a more refined soundboard structure to smooth the tonal balance across the range.

Dreaming of owning your own JRS Hammered Dulcimer?

Find some inspiration here:

Song of the Wood
Bowed Psalteries

     The Bowed Psaltery is an instrument derived from the ancient plucked psaltery while incorporating the technique of "bowing" as opposed to "plucking."  It was developed in Western Europe in the late 1800's as an aid to teach elementary age school children how music works.  The natural notes are along one side and the sharps and flats are along the other side.  We make them in both right-handed and left-handed models.


     Song of the Wood's Bowed Psalteries are derived from the finest hardwoods and hand crafted in the Song of the Wood Workshop.  We offer two different models: 2 Octave and 2 1/2 Octave.

Each psaltery is packaged with an adjustable horsehair bow, tuning wrench, tuning chart, instruction booklet, rosin and extra wire. Every instrument is signed, numbered and dated under the soundhole rosette.  Things you might consider as accessories include a travel case, a battery powered chromatic tuner,  a wall hanger and some assorted instructional materials.  We also accept "custom" orders and can fit them with tripod fittings and/or internal contact microphones.  


     Our "standard" bowed psalteries are made with more basic woods and are usually available in Maple, Walnut, Cherry or Mahogany tops. The other "featured" psalteries are actual "one of a kind" instruments shown as they become available.  Once they are purchased, they are gone!


     Check out our store to see the currently available Bowed Psalteries.

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