Zither meaning

-ərn
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.
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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.
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A folk instrument of this type of Austria and S Germany.
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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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Origin of zither

  • German from Middle High German zitter from Old High German zitera from Latin cithara cithara from Greek kitharā
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From German, from Latin cithara, from Ancient Greek κιθάρα (kithara, “kind of harp”).
    From Wiktionary