Zither, folk music instrument, most common in the Alpine area. The modern zither (concert zither) developed from the mediaeval dulcimer in Austria and Bavaria in the 17th century. Today the "Salzburg zither", in which the side away from the player is rounded, has displaced the "Mittenwald zither", in which both sides are rounded. Among the different types only the Munich (a1-a1-d1-g- c) and Viennese (a1-d1-g1-g-c) tuning (or stringing) are still of importance: 5 melody strings across a chromatic finger-board arranged in 29 frets and 24-37 diapasons (open strings). The melody strings are plucked with a zither ring (plectrum), the diapason strings are plucked with the fingers.
Literature#J. Brandlmeier, Handbuch der Zither, 1962.