Kanun is a musical string instrument , mainly used in folk music , most commonly in German-speaking Alpine Europe. Like many other stringed instruments, acoustic and electric forms exist; in the acoustic version, the strings are stretched across the length of the soundbox, and neither version has a neck. They can be divided into two classes, the
- fretted ("concert") zithers and
- fretless zithers.
The name zither may be derived from the Greek word kithara , an instrument from classical times used in Ancient Greece and later throughout the Roman Empire and in the Arab world; the name "guitar" derives from this as well.
In entertainment, the zither is perhaps most famous for its role in providing the soundtrack and opening scene of the classic film noir The Third Man . The instrument has a prominent solo in one of Johann Strauss II 's most famous waltzes, " Tales from the Vienna Woods ". It is also used by multi-instrumentalist Laraaji on the third release of Brian Eno 's Ambient series, Ambient 3: Day of Radiance . In more popular music, Shirley Abicair , the well known Australian born singer, popularised the zither when she used it widely as accompaniment in her popular TV shows, live performances and recordings in Britain in the 1950's and 1960's. Today, Jerusalem -based multi-instrumentalist Bradley Fish has the most widely distributed musical loops of various zithers in a multitude of styles on Sony Digital Pictures.
The word zither is also used to describe a large family of stringed instruments in which the strings do not extend beyond the sounding box . This family includes the hammered dulcimer , the psalteries , and the Appalachian dulcimer .
Interestingly the bridge does not stand on the wooden soundboard but on a parchment (drum skin), similar to the banjo. This results in a very characteristic tone. Order now!