Name: Guitar Zither.
Type: Chordophones > Zithers > Box > Fretless.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 314.122.4
Inventor: Friederich Menzenhauer [1858-1937]
Region: Continental Europe & North America.
Description: The guitar zither also called a chord zither, fretless zither, mandolin zither or harp zither. First patented May 29, 1894 by Friederich Menzenhauer [1858-1937]. The guitar zither came into use in the late 19th century and was widely mass-produced in the United States and in Germany by Menzenhauer and later by Oscar Schmidt Inc., the Phonoharp Company and others.
Tunings: One set of strings is tuned to the diatonic, chromatic, or partially chromatic scale and the other set is tuned to make the various chords in the principal key of the melody strings.
Construction: It is a musical instrument consisting of a sound-box with two sets of unstopped strings.
Citations: Bibliography: Kelly Williams, May 11, 2003 “Background of the Guitar-Zither” ; The Guitar-Zither Clearinghouse ; Terminology on the “guitar-zither” [patented by Menzenhauer], “chord zither” ; referred guitar-zither, appeared in The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments and The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instrument] and “chorded zither” ; Websites ; Gregg Miner & Kelly Williams July 2011 ; “Selecting the Term”. Fretless Zithers ; Andreas Michel. “Harp zither”. In Deane L. Root. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press ;