Dulcimore dynamics by design

Energy
Vibration
Resonance
Intonation
Volume
Use of sound post
Dynamics
You pluck a string. The string vibrates. How much more simple can it be than that? Well we have to ask how long is the string, what is the mass of the string, how much tension is on the string, and lastly, how much energy was used to pluck it? Interesting!
And what about the variables my friend, what are the dynamics at work? Is it possible to change the tone we hear by adjusting the resistance between string vibration and the waves in the air? After all, isn’t it those waves that move your ear drums that cause you to determine if it is a sweet sound or not so much?
If we look at the dulcimore in a perspective of dynamics not unlike hydro or aero, we understand the optimal sound quality is that of the path of least resistance. The tone of the instrument is in effect what is not restricted from the path. Very soft wood will dampen the tone making it dull, the upper tones are killed. Very dense wood offers little resistance to the upper tones making it bright. The optimal density wood carries most of the vibrations with little resistance, giving it a full voice. Of course we can alter most of these variations by nut and bridge material and position, as well as string selection.
What am I trying to say? I don’t know. This is something that has been on my mind for a while and writing it down some times helps me to see it a little better.

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