top of page

What does ZITHER sound like?

Guten Morgen, meine Freunde,

I very much like all kinds of music, especially music that they play in Germany! There is so many festivals held in different regions of the country, that it is hard to generalize. Like, all Germans like yodeling (see our post about yodeling here: Singing in Germany)? No, some Germans prefer classical music to folk music, and rock fans will want to go to Bavaria or Cologne to hear their favorite tracks. There is something for everyone's taste!

Source: Music Bux

I would like to delve more into the music that was played in Germany for centuries and plays a major part in their culture allowing them to develop a strong school of music, so we will talk about traditional German musical instruments. What did German people use to play?

Some of the most well-known instruments will include accordion and bagpipes. You will be surprised to know that bagpipes is not only a Scottish instrument, but German as well! It blends very well with some traditional songs. As for the accordion, it is used in almost every traditional song: it is a portable wind instrument that has folding bellows, buttons, and a keyboard. Sounds fun!


What about this instrument? Looks like it was left in Alps by some giants!


It is an old traditional musical instrument of Alpine region, called an alpine horn, or Alphorn. It can be 16-17 feet long, and is made from a whole fir tree. The tree should be absolutely straight, one inch wide on one side and two inches on another side. It is then hollowed out and polished into the shape of a horn.

Another well-known (or often-heard) German instrument is called Hackbrett, or hammered dulcimer. Even though the word might look unfamiliar, the sound of it needs no introduction: the dulcimer, where the strings are played by tiny hammers, is widely used around the world, and chances are that you heard its magical crystal sounds in other songs.

Now, what kind of instrument is zither? The German word Zither comes from the Greek word cithara, from which the modern word "guitar" also derives. There is several kinds of modern zithers, and the Alpine zither has 42 strings. I would say learning to play it must be just as hard as learning German 😉


Germans also use classical guitars, mandolins, double basses, and violins as string instruments to go along with the tune, depending on what they play. These instruments, played by a skillful musician, will create melodies that are both exhilarating and soulful.

What is one German festival where you can hear all of these instruments at once? Here's the hint: it happens in the fall and celebrates the harvest of the year! Leave your guess in the comments section, and I hope we will be able to celebrate it this year!

65 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page