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  • JABP-Alto

    Bowed Psaltery

    This Alto bowed psaltery features a wooden "lace" soundhole.  It spans two octaves chromatically, from G to G, with the C strings marked with a brass dot for orientation when playing.  The octaves begin with the G below middle C.

    The exact origin of the bowed psaltery is unknown. Some drawings indicate a presence in Europe in the early Medieval times. It was originally played by plucking the strings. The use of a bow was likely introduced in the 20th Century when the instrument was recreated from Medieval drawings.

    The triangular shape of the bowed psaltery allows each string to be bowed individually. The strings are arranged much like a piano, with the "white keys" on the right side and the "black keys" on the left.

    The tops are cut from Western red cedar (except the Soprano which is solid black walnut), and the backs and sides are made from black walnut. The wood for the tops and backs is "bookmatched" for woodgrain artistry and tonal quality. The inlay rosettes are handmade, using such techniques as scroll "lace" and chip carving.

    Details- 2-1/8" x 8" x 22-1/2"
    - Includes folk bow with a walnut frame