Ancient Music

The Standard Autoharp

Zithers

    The Autoharp was designed as a chord-only zither. Three octaves (two chromatic) are strummed alltogether and felts beneath the suspended chord bars damp all the strings you don't want in that particular chord. The chord-bar pattern is musically very sophisticated and unique, allowing (in this case) four major and three minor keys arranged so that the minor cords (back row of buttons) modulate between their adjacent major chords (front row). Additionally there is a technique of playing melody simultanious with the chording that the original inventor did not envision. See the "Articles" section for some history of the invention of the autoharp.

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