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Old 09-10-2011, 08:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3
Talking Mystery Instrument!

Hello Music Friends!
I got a hold of this beautiful instrument today.
Can someone tell me what it is?!?!?!

Here's what I know:
-It should have 4 strings
-It is missing its neck
-It has three feet on the bottom, which makes me think it was meant to be played laying flat
-It has 30 frets which are on its body
-It is over 100 years old
-It still resonates when certain tones are sounded vocally, which tells me it isn't totally ruined despite sitting in a backyard workshop for 50 years.

Here is a picture of it.


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Mystery Instrument!-photo-2011-09-10-16.38-3.jpg  

Last edited by Nyaz; 09-10-2011 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Ashland, KY
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I'm not too sure exactly what it is, but I'm 90% certain that it's some sort of dulcimer.

It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they're better left unsung
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thumbs up


This instrument is a Bowed Zither (aka Streichzither) from Germany. It was made between 1875-1910.

YAY. Mystery solved!
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Very cool! I was going to say dulcimer as well. Glad you found out what it is
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3

Hey Guys,
Thanks for the replies and support! I had other people say dulcimer. Who knew!?!?!?
Yes yes, I am very excited! I currently have it quarantined in a plastic bag because there is evidence, in the form of a number of small holes, of a past or present presence of wood worms. I think they are long gone, but if not I am keeping them away from my guitars and mandolin just in case! (Not to mention my book shelves!)
I am going to get it looked at eventually and see how much it would cost to get it repaired. I have no gauge of the worth of an instrument like this, but even if it is worth something, I feel that serendipity placed this little guy in my home, so it is only my duty to learn how to play it!
I'll get some pics up after the refurbish!
Thanks again!
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