Cyntia's latest and debut solo release is Soul Tending (Aeolus Music 2014) Listen & purchase here

Cyntia Smith is a professional dulcimer player, singer, composer, music arranger and teacher. She has produced, with Ruth Barrett, five critically acclaimed studio  albums, plus most recently a debut solo release, Soul Tending.   Cyntia has been an instructor and performer at many festivals and venues including the Appalachian State University Dulcimer Workshop in Boone, NC., The Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville NC., The Great Black Swamp Dulcimer Festival in Limo OH, and the Winterfest of Acoustic Music in Irving, Texas. Cyntia and Ruth were invited to give a concert at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics on the Cultural Heritage Stage.  The duo also helped found The Summer Solstice Dulcimer and Traditional Music Festival in southern California. Cyntia performed, toured, taught the dulcimer at festivals, and made albums with Ruth Barrett from 1979 to 2000.

Cyntia co-founded the Harvest Festival of Dulcimers and its sponsoring organization, the  Southern California Dulcimer Heritage. She served as the artistic director of the festival from 1995 to 2006.  

With master luthier Dale Emerson Foye, Cyntia co-created the Aeolus Dulcimer, a hybrid between the classical guitar and the mountain dulcimer. To this endeavor, Mr. Foye brought his expertise as a classical guitar maker and Cyntia added her requirements as a musician and her artistic aesthetic through the decorating of these instruments. She was Mr. Foye's expert assistant from 1980 to 2010 and became an accomplished inlay artist for those customers desiring something unique with their instruments. She also designed, carved, and inlaid custom sound hole designs into the sound boards of many Aeolus Dulcimers. Her abalone and Mother-of-Pearl inlay work also graced many of Mr. Foye's classical guitars.

In 1999, Cyntia  graduated from  Chapman University with a Bachelors of Music in Music Therapy. She has used the dulcimer in her music therapy work in many settings including with abused/neglected teenage girls, persons with Alzheimer's disease, and patients in a psychiatric partial hospitalization.

Cyntia received her Doctorate in World Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2011. Her dissertation, titled "Music, Myth, & Soul Tending," brought the ideas of Music Therapy into the conversation of depth psychology and the use of music to tend soul.

Since 2000, Cyntia has served as a board certified music therapist, and currently works as a program director in a non-profit fine arts program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She also enjoys giving private dulcimer lessons online or in studio when possible.  More about lessons HERE


Aeolus Music is Cyntia Smith’s independent record label and publishing company established in 1981 with Ruth Barrett, Cyntia’s musical collaborator from 1979 to 2000.  Smith and Barrett formed Aeolus Music to have complete artistic freedom in creating their albums and in selecting traditional music that depicts women in positive and strong roles, and writing songs that express the sacredness of the earth and concern for the environment.

As fretted dulcimer artists, singers, and arrangers of Traditional Irish, English, Scottish, European and American ballads and instrumentals, their original music draws upon these traditions combined with their personal experiences.  Their playing features a chord-melody style of playing that creates a tapestry of interweaving melodies and harmonies that ranges from delicate and mesmerizing to bold and uplifting music.

 The duo’s albums are: Aeolus (1981), Music of the Rolling World (1982), Deepening (1984), A Dulcimer Harvest (1991), and The Heart is the Only Nation (1993). In 1999, both the Aeolus and Music of the Rolling World vinyl LPs were re-released on their 20th anniversary double album CD, The Early Years. In 2003, the Deepening vinyl LP was re-released in the CD format. Cyntia continues to record and publish through Aeolus Music and in 2014 she released of her first solo album Soul Tending. Click HERE to purchase music downloads, CDs, and LPs (vinyl.)