Name: Bowed Psaltery.
Type: Bowed Zither > Chordophones.
Region: Many > North America.
Dimensions: Length 51 cm.
Specimen: Ken Brodkey, Santa Cruz, California USA.
Acquisition Date: 2010.08.27 Friday.
The bowed-psaltery is a zither played with a bow and it is a member of
the chordophone family. Prior to existence of the bowed-psaltery many
stringed instruments are played with a bow including the Welsh Cyrth. A
patent was issued for the bowed-psaltery in 1925 by a German school
teacher Walter Mittman, in Westphalia Germany. He advocated the use of
this triangular shaped psaltery for music education along with the
luthier Edgar Stalmer (b. 1911 d.1996) both luthier’s made the first
plans for the bowed-psaltery available in Germany. Since the 1960s
Edgar Stahmer and his friend in England Ronald Roberts patented the
original plans in print. During the 1980s an American luthier Ronald
Zachery Taylor popularized the bowed-psaltery by making the plans
available in magazines. Since the advent of the internet plans for the
bowed psaltery have been transmitted from text-file to very graphically
detailed plans available. The sound of the bowed psaltery can be
described as “hauntingly beautiful” and quite resonant.
Michealjking.com -Psaltery Making
Stanley Sadie -New Grove Dicttionary of Musical Instruments Book O to P
Vol. 2 Making Early Stringed instruments by Ronald Zachary Taylor,
Publishers – Stobart Davies Limited Dryad Press ISBN: 9780854420513
> Ronald Roberts -Musical Instruments to be played ISBN: 0852190956.