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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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63 news items

The Aerogram

The Aerogram
Tue, 18 Nov 2014 05:10:30 -0800

The earliest example of a stringed instrument originates from the Egyptian period where the first plucked string instrument to be found was a bow shaped harp. In the years to follow a necked instrument was developed with precise marked frets (those ...

Bellingham Herald

Bellingham Herald
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 08:00:00 -0700

Whoever thinks a certain plucked string instrument from Hawaii is boring needs to think again. From the first glimpse of Hawaiian garlands, men in dark suits and bow ties, and women in black evening dress, it's clear the United Kingdom Ukulele ...


Wed, 15 Oct 2014 04:02:18 -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 ...
Bellingham Herald
Sat, 13 Sep 2014 23:56:15 -0700

Whoever thinks a certain plucked string instrument from Hawaii is boring should to think again. From the first glimpse of Hawaiian garlands and elegant bowties, it's clear the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra dispels all notions of the ubiquitous ...
Huffington Post
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:08:58 -0700

Built off the skyline's critical points, the score is played on a tonkori, a plucked string instrument indigenous to the island. Kawachi's other compositions include a take on the Shinjuku region in Tokyo, and one based on the Bavarian Alps. Because ...
Daily Herald
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:35:33 -0700

The kankle is a Lithuanian plucked string instrument similar to a zither. The birbyne is a Lithuanian wooden reed instrument with a flared bell made of horn that was used by sheepherders. “It is just wonderful that Lithuania could come this year after ...
The Star Online
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:41:15 -0700

PETALING JAYA: When local musician Neil Chua Wey Chong is chosen to take part in the OneBeat programme organised by the US State Department, he will be representing more than just Malaysia. He hopes to introduce the ancient Chinese musical ...
The Borneo Post
Wed, 18 Jun 2014 10:03:45 -0700

Korphai, which means 'bunch of bamboo', played a diverse array of string instruments which included a plucked string instrument from northern Thailand called 'seung' and a bowed string instrument called 'salo'. Other types of traditional Thai musical ...

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