American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. 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.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Same as cithern.
- n. 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.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Mus.) An instrument of music used in Austria and Germany. It has from thirty to forty wires strung across a shallow sounding-board, which lies horizontally on a table before the performer, who uses both hands in playing on it. [Not to be confounded with the old lute-shaped
cittern, or cithern.]
- n. a musical stringed instrument with strings stretched over a flat sounding board; it is laid flat and played with a plectrum and with fingers
- From German, from Latin cithara, from Ancient Greek κιθάρα (kithara, "kind of harp"). (Wiktionary)
- German, from Middle High German *zitter, from Old High German zitera, from Latin cithara, cithara, from Greek kitharā. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“And one guy on a zither was a lot cheaper than hiring an orchestra.”
“Yes, indeed, the zither is a pearl, only it does not come from the depths of the sea.”
“The soundtrack recalls the zither music that ratchets up the tension in”
“The zither is a melancholy little instrument; in range of expression it is to the harp what the winchat is to the thrush; or to the violin, what that bird is to the nightingale; yet few instruments are so exciting: here and there along these mountain valleys you may hear a Tyrolese maid set her voice to its plaintive thin tones; but when the strings are swept madly there is mad dancing; it catches at the nerves.”
“A third was fingering some sort of instrument, a kind of zither or dulcimer with lengths of catgut strung along two axes, one set perpendicularly above the other.”
“The _Santurie_, for instance, a kind of zither, with eighteen sets of three strings each, is a most harmonious instrument from which beautiful effects can be obtained by the player.”
“Aged stringed instruments with exotic-sounding names such as zither and tremoloa hang on the walls.”
“You are the most patient creature alive," said he, "otherwise you would not be contented to go on playing the zither, which is not a very exhilarating instrument, my little Blanquette.”
“The museum has some china and silver from the Jhelium shipwreck as well as a restored symphonium which still plays, telescopes, typewriters, an Orpheus mechanical zither, swords, and the original framed letter of surrender from the 1982 conflict.”
“Though Ruari Murchison's design has trees everywhere, the view is unobstructed by anachronistic gimmicks, save for a beguiling suite of songs by Simon Slater for the much-underused medium of the zither banjo.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘zither’.
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