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America’s music past holds a key for people who long for joy in their lives. Young people in the sixties and seventies used it to ignite their passion and find kindred spirits. David Schnaufer was one of them; he learned the secret when he discovered little-known instrument: the mountain dulcimer.  

Schnaufer exploded onto the nineteen-eighties Nashville music scene in one of the most astonishing success stories ever to happen in Music City. His passion for the dulcimer led him to become a world-class musician. He recorded with everyone from Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler to Johnny Cash and Emmylou Harris; from John McEuen and Sandy Bull to Allison Krauss and Linda Ronstadt. Yet, his famous friends and collaborators aren’t even the most interesting aspect of his life. This high school dropout and free spirit became an award-winning performer, songwriter, instrument designer and builder, teacher, rock star, actor, producer, historian, and the world’s first dulcimer professor. Pluck dives deep to tell the story of how David did it and why he was beloved by countless people around the world.


None of it came easy. David’s struggle to define a life on his own terms is revealed through themes of family heritage, aspirations and identity, suffering and perseverance, human connections across time and space, love, reconciliation, and gratitude. In our current challenging times, David Schnaufer brings hope through his conviction that the dulcimer and its music have an infinite capacity to unite people and ensure a lifetime of enchantment for anyone who has ever wished he or she could play an instrument. 

About the Biography

Pluck: The Extraordinary Life and Times of David Schnaufer

 #10 Quilted Maple Dulcimer built by David Schnaufer

Owned by Rick Freimuth

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