EMS Psaltery, Plucked 22 Strings
Product Description: 24" x 13" this historic reproduction is designed by Early Music Shop. It has a solid rosewood body, spruce sound board and solid brass bridges. It comes with a tuning tool. 22 steel strings with suggested tuning: low G (G3) to High G (G6), 3 octave of all naturals. Strings 1 - 9 are .012", 10 - 17 are .015" and 18 - 22 are .018"; all plain steel with loop ends. This plucked psaltery is a reproduction of the most common form. It has the trapezoidal shape with curved sides, referred to as 'pigsnout' and the tuning pegs mounted on the sides. Historic illustrations show the plucked psaltery held against the chest with the narrow, pig-snout end pointed down, or resting on the lap. The strings of the plucked psaltery are plucked, either with fingers or with a quill or plectrum. Rosin for bow (RSNP) sold separately. Modern plucked psalteries mount the pegs perpendicular into the soundboard. The term psaltery is from the Greek psalterion. The instrument was most likely brought to Europe during the crusades from the Near East, or it may have been based on the North African Qanun. The earliest psalteries had gut strings. Later steel strings were added for a louder, brighter sound. Illustrations from the 12th century onwards depict a number of different forms of the instrument. Such plucked psalteries were well known throughout Europe during the Middle Ages: Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1340 - 1400) refers to it in his Millere's Tale. By the 18th century it had developed into several other instruments, including the hammered dulcimer. The harpsichord is a hammered dulcimer with a keyboard mechanism; which eventually gave rise to the most important instrument of modern times, the piano. Historic illustrations show the plucked psaltery held against the chest with the narrow, pig-snout end pointed down, or resting on the lap. The strings of the plucked psaltery are plucked, either with fingers or with a quill or plectrum. Rosin for bow sold separately.