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Zither info please...

Related threads:
Infomation on Zither (27)
Tuning and Playing the Zither (37)
Skepticism and the Zither. (30)


Mudlark 01 Nov 01 - 01:54 AM
Sourdough 01 Nov 01 - 02:02 AM
GUEST 01 Nov 01 - 04:55 AM
Bill D 01 Nov 01 - 07:46 AM
Mudlark 01 Nov 01 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,chrisj 02 Nov 01 - 12:49 AM
Rick Fielding 02 Nov 01 - 01:40 AM
Rick Fielding 02 Nov 01 - 11:56 AM
GUEST 20 Jan 10 - 01:04 PM
treewind 20 Jan 10 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,Max_Headrom 01 Feb 10 - 07:41 AM
GUEST 01 Feb 10 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Auxiris 01 Feb 10 - 10:43 AM
GUEST 01 Feb 10 - 08:53 PM
Ferrara 01 Feb 10 - 08:55 PM
GUEST,Sarah 02 Apr 12 - 07:57 PM
Jack Campin 02 Apr 12 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 03 Apr 12 - 05:23 AM
GUEST 11 Apr 13 - 02:50 AM
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Subject: Zither info please...
From: Mudlark
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 01:54 AM

I noticed an interesting looking zither on ebay, and would like info about this instrument...it looks like an autoharp...does it sound like one? is it played like one? Tho I've held an autoharp a few times I've never played one, and have never seen a zither (is this the 3rd Man Theme instrument) in person. Any info: what they sound like, how they are played, are they held up or played flat, how hard they are to play, plucked or chorded, etc. would be helpful.


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: Sourdough
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 02:02 AM

It is the "Third Man" instrument but I can't tell you how hard it is to play. I listened to a particularly good zitherist in a Weinstube in Vienna but like all good performers, he made it look easy.

It is a wonderful sound and I enjoy it for German-Austrian folk music.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 04:55 AM

www.zithers.com


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 07:46 AM

There are several type of zithers, some of which have a fretted area, some with just a few sets of chord strings, but most require careful picking of individual strings to play the melody..(which is probably why the autoharp was invented..*grin*..)

here is Ferrara playing hers at the recent Getaway. Her left hand is strumming sets of chords, while the right is fingerpicking melodies.


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: Mudlark
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 04:46 PM

Thanks very much for the input...the intro on the zithers website points up 2 immediate problems for me...string cost and the need for music theory. If I had money I'd collect stringed intstruments the way some people collect cars! As it is, I'm probably better off just putting in more time practicing on the ones I have....


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: GUEST,chrisj
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 12:49 AM

The Zither? Was that the instrument played by the young Australian girl, Shirley Abicair who used to do Australian folk songs? She was quite well-known in the UK for a few years in the 1950s.


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 01:40 AM

Great photo Bill....if it weren't for the two fat guys hovering over her.

The concert Zither (with Fretboard) has always intrigued me......until I REALLY saw how hard the bloody thing was to play. Maybe in the next life I'll give it a try.

Ferrara's zither has a very gentle almost ethereal sound. Sounds great with a ballad....still looks pretty difficult though.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 11:56 AM

I hunted for twenty five years for an album of Anton Karras playing stuff from "The Third Man". Simply loved it!

When I finally met a concert Zither player I asked if she'd play "The third Man" for me. She got a verrry snotty look on her face and said "I don't play THAT kind of music"! She must have felt like a Bluegrass band that gets asked for "Fox on the Run"!

It was a 'mixed' situation for me. She played beautifully but was elderly and too deaf to notice her instrument was WAY out of tune. At least i got to see how bloody hard the thing was to play though.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 01:04 PM

I have a "harpeleik zither" with a red rose decal on front center. Has the strings and is in it's original green/brown plaid case. Approx. 2X2 feet Says : "o-ackord sperrad cittra on side.
Anyone have any info please?
Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: treewind
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 01:28 PM

Try a YouTube search for Zither

There's plenty there to give you an idea of what it sounds like, and what claim to be tutorials too.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: GUEST,Max_Headrom
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 07:41 AM

I've been trying to find out what instrument the "Third Man" was played on for many years. I've bought zithers, NO CHANCE. I've bought Autoharps, Still got one and it's great but it's NOT Anton Karas. What you need is a "Koncert Zither" I finally got one from E.Bay Austria. You can access different country's E.Bays quite easily. (bottom of the screen) I had to do the whole transaction in German (GREAT learning curve) with the aid of a translating site but it was SERIOUS fun! So, if you want to 1st find out what it's played on, and 2nd learn how to play it. search worldwide on E.Bay for a Koncert Zither (Concert Zither) and then go on to YouTube. Find Anton Karas, load them all. It's a bit like searchimg for the Holy Grail, but believe me it's worth it! You'll be looking at thick end of £500.00 but it's worth every penny and if you get one you'll have the second one that I know about. I've trawled the internet for nearly three years to find a good one. It's not the most difficult thing to play basic tunes on but it's like the SIRENS, it'll take you in and NOT let go. GOOD LUCK. BUY A GOOD ONE, don't waste money. Like any other musical instruments there are poor and average quality. BUY THE BEST! You''ll take it to the grave with you!
Bon chance,
Max. Headroom


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 07:54 AM

If your instrument has Barres going from top to bottom then it's an Autoharp. These vary from three to 21 chords (buttons) but are normally (to be any good) twelve, fifteen & twenty one barres (Chords) These are quite easy to learn to play simple tunes on .
If it has JUST strings then it's a ZITHER. These are played purely on the strings (like a harp) and are far more diffucult to learn to play basic tunes than is an autoharp. Autoharps are also GREAT in bands. Zithers really need to be played solo. Don't forget. THE MORE THE BUTTONS THE MORE CHORDS YOU CAN PLAY!
Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 10:43 AM

Hey, Max. . . a great story; glad to hear that you finally found what you were after. I knew someone in the States who used to play blues on his concert zither, which was amazing to hear. Your advice about searching for a GOOD instrument could be applied to ANY musical instrument. Having said that, I found and rescued a simple "toy" zither last year in a flea market for 3 euros and it cost more than that to replace its strings and then a tuning wrench had to be made for it from a radiator key, but it is great fun---now that it is staying in tune.

cheers,

Aux


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 08:53 PM

GUEST, there are so many different styles of zither. Does your zither have a fretboard running down one side?

That would make it much more versatile, and much harder to play I believe, than mine which is IMHO a "parlor zither." Mine has 6 chords, and 2 octaves of chromatic melody keys. Fun, but not nearly as versatile as the very fine concert or guitar zithers.

Can you put up a photo of your zither?

Max Headrom, Can You Play It???? Congratulations!!!

Anton Karas' playing in The Third Man was beyond description. I believe he wrote all the music: not just the Third Man Theme, but the "mood" themes, especially the music for the scarier parts of the movie. All played on his excellent concert zither. It was marvelously expressive. The zither and his playing were an integral part of the movie. Blew me away.

I suspect the lady who said she doesn't play "that kind of music" couldn't have done justice to The Third Man Theme anyhow. My own feeling is that Karas' playing was one of a kind.

Rita Ferrara


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: Ferrara
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 08:55 PM

Sorry, the last GUEST was me without my cookie.


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: GUEST,Sarah
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 07:57 PM

Hi all, i recently acquired a Harpeleik Zither when my father passwd away. I really know nothing about it except it has a painted red poppy and white flowers around the center. I am 34 and can remember this in my house my whole life. Would love to know anything about it. Hopefully someone can help.


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 08:44 PM

A "harpeleik zither" is not a real zither - they are sometimes called "piano harps". Like an autoharp but with the chords made by adjacent unbarred groups of strings. Some only have chord strings, others have the top strings forming a small harp. What they don't have is frets on the melody strings to permit the mandolin-like technique Anton Karas used.

They were never very well made, and the backs are usually split by now because they couldn't handle the string tension for 100-odd years.


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 05:23 AM

I would say a Harpeleik Zither is just as real a zither as any other type, probably more so for the absence of frets, which are a feature of certain European folk board-zithers (up to the Concert Zither of Karas), but absent from most other members of the world zither family. Back in 1999, the monks of Worth Abbey would sing their Gelineau psalm tones to the accompaniment of a very big unfretted Chord Zither, and I hope they still do.

Lots of chord zithers on YouTube, including this, which I'm guessing is the sort of thing Sarah is talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExA9lhy0_cc


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Subject: RE: Zither info please...
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 02:50 AM

Ratnasium I have a 1899 zither and i need to know what it might be worth any sujestion?


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