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Images from The Study-Storage Collection

Zither (Qanun), Turkey, after 1920

NMM 10986.  Zither (Qanun), Turkey, after 1920 Bass side view Treble side view

Lower end

NMM 10986. Zither (qanun, qa'nun, kanun, kanoun, canoon), Turkey, after 1920. Wood body with animal skin (substituted for traditional fish skin) covering four compartments at lower end of table. Seventy-two gut strings in twenty-four courses consisting of three strings each. Rotating metal bridges ('orab), mounted under most courses of strings, stop strings to produce different pitches. Top tabs ("fingers") facilitate the rapid change of pitches, from sharps, half-sharps, half-flats, and other scale colors characteristic of Arabic music. The use of these microtonal bridges is generally thought to have commenced in the 1920s. Three rosettes. Overall length: 830 mm; length of bass side: 830 mm; length of treble side (to diagonal facet): 217 mm; length of bridge side: 379 mm; length of diagonal (pegboard) side: 922 mm; depth of soundbox: 42 mm. Paul and Jean Christian Collection, 2006.

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Views of Finial, Tuning Pins, Microtonal Tuning Levers, and Rosettes

Finial and upper end of zither
Rosette 1

Rosette 2

Tuning Pins, Microtonal Tuning Levers, and Main Bridge

Tuning pins Bridge

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Most recent update:   October 11, 2010

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