jeudi 8 août 2013

What To Know About Psalteries

By Andrea Davidson

Psalteries is the term used to describe stringed instruments that are part of the zither family. These have been around for centuries, dating way back to ancient times. However, there are modern versions still widely used today.

In Ancient Greece, psalteries that were used were much like harps. The word itself is taken from the Greek language. It is a mix of a noun meaning psaltery, stringed instrument or harp, and a verb that means to touch sharply, pluck, twitch or pull.

During the Christian era, these included a soundboard. Attached were several strings that had already been tuned and were to be plucked in order to play. It was also called a canon, which is taken from a Greek word that means rule or principle. Typically the instrument is small and portable. However, it come in a variety of shapes and ranges.

The years between the 12th and 15th centuries is when these instruments were being included in sculpture, manuscripts and paintings found around Europe. They vary in shape and number of strings. In the 19th century, zithers were more common. More specifically, the autoharp and guitar zither. Just a century later, bowed psalteries were becoming more popular. They are designed with a triangular format so that the end half of the string can be bowed.

The bowed psaltery is one of the zither instruments that must be played using a bow. This is not like the traditional old plucked models and is primarily considered a modern invention of the twentieth century. Other types of these that are used today include, but are not limited to: violin zithers, conventional bowed psalteries and ukelin-style units. The type of performance done with these will range and are often related to the person playing and the instrument style.

Another version is the Baltic psaltery. This refers to a family of related box-zither instruments. Generally, these are found and used in the area of the Baltic Sea. The units that may fall under this classification include: Kusle, Kankles, Kokle, Kantele, Harpu and Kannel.

The psaltery is available through numerous retailers and at varying costs. Usually the price is based on the psaltery model, manufacturer, seller and condition. People who want to own these pieces should search around to see what is available from businesses in their area. They can also browse the Internet for a wider selection. There are some businesses that allow their customers to rent the instruments. People who would like instruction on how to play may find resources online, in print, or get help from music teachers.

Although they are not the most commonly used stringed instruments of modern times, psalteries are still widely available around the world. These instruments come in different shapes, sizes and ranges. They have been around for hundreds of years, many versions dating back to ancient societies and time periods. The unit have evolved and changed over the years and the modern versions used today are different from traditional psalteries in some respects. There are retailers, online and offline, who sell these, as well as music teachers and other resources that individuals can use to learn to play.

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