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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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75 news items

Middletown Press
Wed, 07 Oct 2015 14:16:43 -0700

Sri Rajhesh Vaidya, a highly accomplished veena (plucked string instrument) player and composer from Tamil Nadu, India, has performed on stages around the world, including Europe, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, Canada, ...
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Thu, 24 Sep 2015 14:56:15 -0700

#The First Thursday concert this month features J.J. Gregg, formerly of the Whitman faculty, on the classical Indian sitar, a plucked-string instrument with a haunting, hypnotic quality — the sound that Beatle George Harrison sought as a source of ...


Sun, 13 Sep 2015 06:52:30 -0700

An Azeri Turk born and raised in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, she plays the lute-like plucked string instrument the saz as an “ashiq”, or traditional Turkic bard dating back to pre-Islamic epic stories. She travels north for her first performance in ...
PR.com (press release)
Tue, 22 Sep 2015 23:56:15 -0700

The kantele is a traditional plucked string instrument of the dulcimer and zither family native to Finland. He is a fifth-generation Finnish American player of the kantele, the Finnish psaltery. Kreeta Haapasalo, a well-known kantele player in Finland ...

Carleton College News

Carleton College News
Wed, 20 May 2015 12:41:15 -0700

Woo Jin Lee '18 (Republic of Korea), and Zhilu Zhang '17 (China) on the violin; Sijin Chen '17 (China) on the Zhongruan (Chinese plucked string instrument); Emma Grisanzio '17 (Carol Stream, Ill.) on the cello; and Alida Dice (Northfield High School ...

Boston Classical Review

Boston Classical Review
Sat, 07 Feb 2015 06:37:30 -0800

The short piece opened with Mark Rimple performing a light, trickling melody on the psaltery, a plucked string instrument that resembles an autoharp. As if to blanket the texture in a silvery sheen, Jesse Lepkoff (flute), David Douglass (vielle), and ...

The Straits Times

The Straits Times
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 22:37:00 -0700

They are sometimes accompanied by the haunting strains of the traditional West African plucked-string instrument, the n'goni, played by one of its prominent exponents, Moriba Koita. Buren intensifes the relationship between audience member and artist ...
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 08:56:15 -0700

Electronic experimenter Matthew Herbert will soon wiggle out his new album The Shakes. Before we get the release in full, he's shared another taste with "Strong." The song's a percussive track built on snapping drums and a plucked string instrument ...

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