Ancient Music

The Ukelin

Zithers

    The Ukelin is a delightful variant on the standard 15-4 pattern. It has exactly the same set of strings and tuning but is structured as a long embelished rectangle. The lower 2/3rds of its length contain the standard four chord groups while the upper 2/3rds set up the fifteen melody strings as an inverted bowed psaltry! You bow the melody with one hand while you pluck the harmony with the other!
     Actually the result, musically speaking, is quite nice in a haunting way. It is still limited to the keys of C major and D minor. This one was left behind by a young german prisoner of war who had been working as a farmhand in Tennessee before he was repatriated at the end of World War II.

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