photo directory main index

bowed instruments chord zithers chord-zithers of unusual design gizmo-harps with chords gizmo-harps without chords
zithers without chords regent zithers autoharps Germania harp & relatives monotypes

Note: If you are looking for a specific instrument by name and would like to see the categories above with their individual instruments, click here.

I have provided this handy index for quick access to various instrument categories represented in the directory. Each heading is linked to a page of the same title. Once you get to the page of your choosing, you will find a table (or several) showing the instruments you will find on that page. Clicking on any entry within these tables will take you to information and photos about that specific instrument.

Once there, each instrument is represented by a small thumbnail image. When a thumbnail image is clicked, a much larger view of the image opens in its own window, so you can stay "based" on the page and don't have to go page-flipping back and forth to view them. The large images (should, at least) fit on your screen. In most browsers, best results are had by closing each image window before opening the next one.

As to how the instruments are arranged within the gallery, it is primarily by functionality and/or their physical attributes.

I should add that some of the terminology and the names of decals are my own. In both cases, they didn't have names, which is unhandy, so I took the liberty. However...

Kelly Williams has begun to undertake the task of sorting out the various decals at his fine site, The Guitar-Zither Clearinghouse. He's taking the somewhat more scientific approach to cataloging by assigning them numbers rather than names, and by giving references as to which ones appear with which on various instruments. Here's a link to his Decal Reference Index Page. Kelly is classifying instruments and their variants by number too. He is currently hard at work authoring the definitive reference book concerning American fretless zithers, which will include all such information.

A final note...some of these instruments were sold under a zillion different names, so if you have one and see one here that looks like it, but the name of it isn't the same as yours, think nothing of it. Zithers with gizmos and ones with paired melody strings are particularly prone to this, as are pretty much all of the Marx instruments. A few examples of the manufacturers' indiscriminate nomenclature are noted throughout the gallery.

I have attempted to link everything profusely, and I hope you find the site to be easy to navigate and informative. And most of all I hope it results in more folks playing these great old instruments. Happy browsing.