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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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70 news items

Broadway World
Tue, 24 Feb 2015 21:26:15 -0800

This program showcases two powerhouse voices: Bukharian Jewish singer Muhabbat Shamayeva, one of Uzbekistan's leading vocalists; and Middle Eastern singer and composer Galeet Dardashti, heir to a family tradition of distinguished Persian and Jewish ...

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 ...
Mon, 02 Feb 2015 12:37:30 -0800

Shamayeva is accompanied by Iosif Abramov on tar, a long-necked, plucked string instrument, and Osher Baraev on doire, a frame drum. Dardashti's innovative style will be showcased in the second half of the production. Dardashti is known for her ...

Nottingham Post

Nottingham Post
Sun, 15 Feb 2015 07:49:15 -0800

Meadows Library, The Meadows: Introduction to the Sitar - Listen to Chris Cook play the sitar, a plucked string instrument used mainly in Indian classical music, and have a go at playing it (Saturday, 1.30pm, free). Nottingham Contemporaty, Weekday ...

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 ...
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 ...


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

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Huffington Post
Wed, 24 Dec 2014 11:52:30 -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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