zither

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English[edit]

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A zither

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From German, from Latin cithara, from Ancient Greek κιθάρα (kithara, kind of harp).

Noun[edit]

zither (plural zithers)

  1. A musical instrument consisting of a flat sounding box with numerous strings, placed on a horizontal surface, and played with a plectrum and fingertips; similar to a dulcimer. In the Norwegian harpeleik and Swedish cittra versions, the instrument is considered a chorded zither and usually has 7 (Norwegian) to 9 (Swedish) chords, some with as many as 11 strings each, which are mostly strummed and damped as chords, although sometimes plucked. The Norwegian harpeleik and Swedish cittra are still in production by a German manufacturer.

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