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This illustration in a French Psalter from the 9th century (c. 830) shows an unspecified plucked string instrument.
Stringed instruments hanging on a wall. Shown here are 4 Lookoeos, 2 mandolins, a banjo, a guitar, a violin, a Guraitar and a bass guitar.

Plucked string instruments are a subcategory of string instruments that are played by plucking the strings. Plucking is a way of pulling and releasing the string in such a way as to give it an impulse that causes the string to vibrate. Plucking can be done with either a finger or a plectrum.

Most plucked string instruments belong to the lute family (such as guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, banjo, balalaika, sitar, pipa, etc.), which generally consist of a resonating body, and a neck; the strings run along the neck and can be stopped at different pitches. The zither family (including the autoharp, kantele, gusli, kannel, kankles, kokle, koto, guqin, gu zheng and many others) does not have a neck, and the strings are stretched across the soundboard. In the harp family (including the lyre), the strings are perpendicular to the soundboard and do not run across it. The harpsichord does not fit any of these categories but is also a plucked string instrument, as its strings are struck with a plectrum when the keys are depressed.

Bowed string instruments, such as the violin, can also be plucked in the technique known as pizzicato; however, as they are usually played with a bow, they are not included in this category. Struck string instruments (such as the piano) can be similarly plucked as an extended technique.

Plucked string instruments are not a category in the Sachs-Hornbostel classification, as some of them are simple chordophones and others are composite (depending on whether the resonator is a removable part of the instrument).

List of plucked string instruments[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plucked_string_instrument — Please support Wikipedia.
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71 news items

 
Sioux City Journal
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 04:05:59 -0800

Noon mini-concert: One of the world's premier veena players, Nirmala Rajasekar will showcase this plucked string instrument and the Carnatic music of India 12:05 to 12:55 at the National Music Museum, 414 E. Clark St. in Vermillion, S.D. She will be ...
 
Caribbean Life
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 04:07:15 -0800

Musical interludes will include “Song of the Mountains,” a solo performed by Yueqin Chen on the ruan, a plucked-string instrument similar to a lute, and “A Parting Tune,” an ensemble piece inspired by the poetry of Tang Dynasty poet Wang Wei.
 
HamletHub
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:33:45 -0800

Music of Cima, Gabrielli, Corelli's Folia for violin and cello, Bach (arias and solo cello), Telemann (Cantata), Piccinini featuring the theorbo (a plucked string instrument of the lute family), Gaspar Sanz (dances for baroque guitar) Vivaldi ...

Palo Alto Online

Palo Alto Online
Thu, 15 Jan 2015 19:12:57 -0800

Unlike a typical chamber-music quartet consisting of two violins, a viola and a cello, Pallade Musica draws together baroque violin, baroque cello, harpsichord and theorbo: a plucked string instrument from the lute family. Tickets range from $30-$35 ...

Ancient Origins

Ancient Origins
Thu, 08 Jan 2015 14:06:29 -0800

A plucked string instrument was found, known as the “Se”. Thousands of years ago, the long, flat board instruments were fitted with 50 strings of twisted silk, and were instruments for the elite used in rituals and sacrificial offerings. Eventually the ...
 
Press & Sun-Bulletin
Mon, 22 Dec 2014 17:30:00 -0800

The Spanish however favored the vihuela de mano, a plucked-string instrument which which was tuned like a lute but built in the shape of a guitar. Its repertoire included dance music, accompanied songs, arrangements of sacred and secular vocal music ...

Macworld

Macworld
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 03:52:30 -0700

For tuning, Guitar Toolkit is very flexible: You set your preferred pitch between 392Hz to 528Hz, and you can even use presets to tune any plucked string instrument. There are dozens of alternate tunings, and you could use it with, say, a violin or ...
 
Huffington Post
Wed, 24 Dec 2014 11:54:45 -0800

In fact, they take that shimmering introduction in the song with its haunting strings and plucked string instrument and they loop it and extend it again and again, creating an even more intense mood of dislocation and discovery. You feel certain that ...
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