- any of a family of musical instruments with strings stretched across a flat soundboard and plucked, bowed, struck with mallets, etc., as the dulcimer, koto, psaltery, etc.
- a folk instrument of this type of Austria and S Germany
Origin of zitherGerman from Classical Latin cithara from Classical Greek kithara, lute
A musical instrument composed of a flat sound box with about 30 to 40 strings stretched over it and played horizontally with the fingertips, a plectrum, or a bow, or set into vibration by the wind, as in the Aeolian harp.
Origin of zitherGerman from Middle High German zitter from Old High German zitera from Latin cithara cithara from Greek kitharā
- 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.