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Autoharp vs Chorded Zither

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murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 22 Jun 01 - 08:00 AM
Jenny S 22 Jun 01 - 10:36 AM
Rick Fielding 22 Jun 01 - 10:45 AM
GeorgeH 22 Jun 01 - 11:53 AM
Jenny S 22 Jun 01 - 02:40 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 22 Jun 01 - 08:45 PM
PHJim 08 Mar 15 - 05:12 PM
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Subject: Autoharp vs Chorded Zither
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 08:00 AM

I noticed in an Elderly Catalog there was a listing of "Autoharp by Oscar Schmidt" and on the next page "Timbreharp Chorded Zithered". Is there any difference between these instruments (besides building material, etc) or is the diffenent terminology because the name "Autoharp" belongs to Oscar Schmidt?

Thanks,

Murray


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Subject: RE: Autoharp vs Chorded Zither
From: Jenny S
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 10:36 AM

The autoharp and chord zither are two quite different instruments.

The autoharp has a couple of (generally chromatic) octaves of strings which are selected by holding down one of several padded bars to select which strings will be damped, and which will be playable.

The Chord zither has either:

1. Melody strings as above plus several pretuned chords of say 4,5 or 6 strings each. So the melody is played with one hand, and the chords with the other.

OR:

2. Just several pretuned chords of say 4,5 or 6 strings each, but no melody strings.

There is a photo of a chord zither with melody strings at: http://Bardofavalon.ifrance.com/Bardofavalon/musician/Instruments.html . The chords are on the left, melody strings on the right.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: Autoharp vs Chorded Zither
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 10:45 AM

Hi Murray. The "chorDED zither" is indeed what we generally know as an Autoharp. Like "Dobro" which has also become a generic name "Autoharp" is a trademark owned by The Oscar Schmidt Company (forget what the company's new name is)

This started a few years ago in a regular column in Frets Magazine, when the writer explained that any "autoharps" not made my Oscar Schmidt had to be called chorded zithers.

As Jenny says, the chord (without the "ed") zither is another kettle of fish.

Much of the time now a dobro (that isn't made BY Dobro) is simply called a "resophonic" guitar.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Autoharp vs Chorded Zither
From: GeorgeH
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 11:53 AM

For chord (NOT chorded) Zither check out one Andrew Cronshaw ... especially the recordings on Topic (one a compilation of two older LPs, one newer recording).

Wonderful stuff . .

G.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp vs Chorded Zither
From: Jenny S
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 02:40 PM

GeorgeH, do you have a URL for Topic or Andrew Cronshaw?

J


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Subject: RE: Autoharp vs Chorded Zither
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 08:45 PM

Thanks. What I was asking about was the chorDED zither and Mike clears that up. However. I didn't know anything about a chord zither and it is interesting to hear of its existence and I am curious. I will go to that URL Jenny and look at the picture.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Autoharp vs Chorded Zither
From: PHJim
Date: 08 Mar 15 - 05:12 PM

I have two non-Autoharp zithers. One has strings set up as chords on the left and single melody strings on the right. The label in the sound hole calls it a "guitar zither". The other one is essentially the same instrument except it is set up with 2 string courses on the melody side. It is made by a different company, but the label calls it a "mandolin zither". This is different from a chorded zither (Autoharp) or a concert zither, which has a fretboard on the left side.

Incidentally, there was once a publichation called "The Dobro Newsletter". Since they did articles on National. Regal and Beard players as well as Dobro players, they were asked to change the name of the publication and to refrain from using the word "dobro" unless it was referring to instruments made by the Dobro Co. and they were asked to include the © symbol. They began calling the publication "Resophonic Echos".


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