050712 - WotD: zither

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From an article in the New York Times about an actor learning to play the piano for the stage:

"While she describes herself as "wild" and "willing to do anything" in a lesson, she feels she learned more about music instruction from a Chinese musician who taught her to play a zither, she says, than from any classical piano instructor she has had."

From Merriam Webster's online dictionary:

    a stringed instrument having usually 30 to 40 strings over a shallow horizontal soundboard and played with pick and fingers

Huh. I think I played one of those in the first grade, for Northview Elementary School's Parent's Day Talent Show.

Update: John pointed out that I probably played the autoharp in school, and not the zither. Looking at images of the two instruments, I see how I mixed them up, and yes, it was the autoharp I played.

Before I looked up the instruments online, I asked my coworkers if they knew what an autoharp and a zither were. Kyle said he played the autoharp in school. He also went on to tell us that a teacher of his would play the autoharp during story readings as musical accompaniment, playing discords and sharps during tense moments in the story.