stringed instrument

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stringed instrument,

any musical instrument whose tone is produced by vibrating strings. Those whose strings are plucked with the finger or a plectrum include the balalaikabalalaika
, Russian stringed musical instrument, with a triangular body and a long fretted neck fretted instrument. Usually there are three strings, which are generally plucked with a pick.
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, banjobanjo,
stringed musical instrument, with a body resembling a tambourine. The banjo consists of a hoop over which a skin membrane is stretched; it has a long, often fretted neck and four to nine strings, which are plucked with a pick or the fingers.
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, guitarguitar,
musical instrument related to the lute, modern guitars normally having six strings that are plucked with the fingers or strummed with a pick. Earlier versions had pairs of strings like the lute.
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, harpharp,
stringed musical instrument of ancient origin, the strings of which are plucked with the fingers. Harps were found in paintings from the 13th cent. B.C. at Thebes. In different forms it was played by peoples of nearly all lands throughout the ages.
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, lutelute,
musical instrument that has a half-pear-shaped body, a fretted neck, and a variable number of strings, which are plucked with the fingers. The long lute, with its neck much longer than its body, seems to have been older than the short lute, existing very early in the
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, mandolinmandolin
, musical instrument of the lute family, with a half-pear-shaped body, a fretted neck, and a variable number of strings, plucked with the fingers or with a plectrum. The earlier mandolin, with five double strings, was developed from the mandola, a 17th-century lute.
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, zitherzither
, stringed musical instrument, derived from the psaltery and the dulcimer. It has a flat sound box over which are stretched from 30 to 45 strings; these are plucked with the fingers and a plectrum. In the 18th cent.
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, the sitarsitar
, fretted string instrument with a gourdlike body and a long neck, similar to the lute. It has from 3 to 7 gut strings, tuned in fourths or fifths (or both), and a lower course of 12 wire strings that vibrate sympathetically with the first set.
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 of India and Pakistan, the kotokoto
, a Japanese string instrument related in structure to the zither. It consists of an elongated rectangular wooden body, strung lengthwise with 7 to 13 silk strings. The uniformly long strings are tuned to one of several standard tunings by moveable wooden bridges.
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 of Japan, and countless others. Those plucked by means of a keyboard include the harpsichordharpsichord,
stringed musical instrument played from a keyboard. Its strings, two or more to a note, are plucked by quills or jacks. The harpsichord originated in the 14th cent. and by the 16th cent. Venice was the center of its manufacture.
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 and spinetspinet,
musical instrument of the harpsichord family. Although the terms virginal and spinet, interchangeable until the end of the 17th cent., were sometimes used indiscriminately to designate any harpsichord, they usually referred to small instruments having one
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. Those played with the bow are principally of the violviol,
family of bowed stringed instruments, the most important ensemble instruments from the 15th to the 17th cent. The viol's early history is indefinite, but it is recognizable in depictions from as early as the 11th cent. During the second half of the 17th cent.
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 and violinviolin,
family of stringed musical instruments having wooden bodies whose backs and fronts are slightly convex, the fronts pierced by two f-hole-shaped resonance holes. The instruments of the violin family have been the dominant bowed instruments because of their versatility,
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 families, the kemence of Turkey and Central Asia, the rebab of the Arab world and the many varieties of spike fiddle in Indonesia, Central Asia and elsewhere. Instruments whose strings are struck include the dulcimerdulcimer
, stringed musical instrument. It is a wooden box with strings stretched over it that are struck with small mallets. The number of strings may vary. The dulcimer is related to the psaltery and modern zither.
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 of Europe and America, the santur of Iran, Iraq and other countries, and several keyboard instruments, among them the pianopiano
or pianoforte,
musical instrument whose sound is produced by vibrating strings struck by felt hammers that are controlled from a keyboard.

The piano's earliest predecessor was the dulcimer. The first piano was made c.
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 and clavichordclavichord
, keyboard musical instrument invented in the Middle Ages. It consists of a small rectangular wooden box, placed upon a table or on legs, containing a sounding board and a set of strings.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Stringed Instrument


(also chordophone), a musical instrument in which the sound is produced by stretched strings. Changes in the pitch of the sound are produced either by shortening the strings, as on the violin, or by using strings permanently tuned to a certain pitch within the range of the particular instrument, as on the piano. Most stringed instruments are made of various woods, with the soundboard made of resonant spruce or fir. Except for the strings themselves, metal is usually used only for fasteners and parts of the action.

Stringed instruments are divided into several subgroups according to the method of producing the sound: bowed, plucked, hammered, keyboard hammered, and keyboard plucked instru ments. (SeeMUSICAL INSTRUMENTS).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The16th century masters of miniatures, includingNizameddinSultan Muhammad, Mirza Ali, and Mir Sayyid Ali Tabrizi often depicted the stringed instrument in their works.
Caption: NEW ADDITION--The kamancheh stringed instrument has been added to UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage.
Online auction house Amati will be taking up residence at the city's Marriott Royal County Hotel on March 3 to offer free valuations on stringed instruments.
Paul and radiologist Steven Sirr of Minneapolis, who is also an amateur violinist, had for several years been using computed tomography to examine stringed instruments. Then they were able to study CT images of the Betts made at the Smithsonian.
According to archaeologists, it is part of the bridge of a lyre, a stringed instrument used in Greek classical era.
Ugur Alpagut plays the violin, Kaya Guc the piano, Fahrettin Unal the clarinet, Yalcin Duran Baygin the percussion, Hasan Ozcirpan the "baglama" --a type of Turkish stringed instrument. Deniz Yener Kekec is the vocalist of the band.
Mitsuki Dazai of Creswell is a master of the koto, a traditional Japanese stringed instrument. She will play traditional and original music at 7 p.m.
The year is 2000, and a study by the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) warns of a shortage of stringed instrument teachers nationwide.
What is a rebec - an antelope, an early stringed instrument or a nonalphabetic key on a keyboard?
We believe that studying a stringed instrument would be an excellent way to prepare pianists to enter the post-college music world, and we would like to encourage more pianists to take a string techniques class or private string lessons in college.
By the age of 14, he had learnt the lute, a traditional stringed instrument. His love affair with the violin began in 1988, and after years of experimenting and interacting with different masters in Sudan and abroad, he has mastered the instrument.
Featuring three of Turkey's most in-demand master instrumentalists, Taksim Trio is made up of Husnu Senlendirici on clarinet, Ismail Tuncbilek on baglama (stringed instrument) and Aytac Dogan on quanun (percussion instrument).