Welcome to Zither US

Here you will find information pertaining to the concert zither, an instrument with Alpine origins commonly associated with the German-speaking lands of Europe. The concert zither has an incredibly rich history here in the US. By providing a venue to share its history and music, it's hoped that interest will be renewed and new players will be encouraged to take up this wonderful instrument.

To grow as a resource, Zither US is seeking your contributions. Did you have an ancestor who played the concert zither? Do you play, or have you attended a recent performance? If so, consider sharing your experiences and knowledge with the community. For more information on how to become a contributor, contact us.

For the enjoyment of the zither community, hundreds of vintage zither arrangements and compositions have been digitized and published. Visit the page of the Vintage Zither Music Project to browse the current collection.

Martin Zither

This zither photo was sent to us by Dick Boak of the Martin Guitar Company. The concert zither, shown below, was made by C.F. Martin, Jr., circa 1882 and is currently on display in the Martin Museum.

Photo Courtesy of C. F. Martin Archives ©

Arthur Schatz: A Biography

Since picking up the zither at the age of 14 in Munich, Germany, it would not be long before Arthur Schatz's musical talents would gain him notoriety. Trained as a model carpenter, he would later immigrate to Canada to practice his profession. Throughout life, he continued to promote friendship and the cultural traditions of his homeland. In this article we remember Arthur K. Schatz Sr., Munich native and long time resident of Oshawa, Canada.

Nikolaus Weigel - One-hundredth Birthday Anniversary

In Nikolaus Weigel's time, zither tunings abounded and to a certain degree were a matter of personal preference. Recognizing this discrepancy, he set out to standardize and expand its capabilities. In this article, author Fritz Stang examines the life of this musical innovator, whose contributions for the zither have become a recognized standard. Discovered in an old issue of Saitenspiel, this article has been translated from the original German and edited by Jane Curtis.

Apollo Zither Club

This zither photo was sent to us by Trish Kellen. The Apollo Zither Club was led by Henry Schaber, pictured front and center with the conductor's baton, and was just one of several zither clubs that existed in Nebraska. This zither club image is circa 1898. For more information on Henry Schaber see "Remembering Henry Schaber."

Researching Zitherspiel in Wien. 1800 - 1850

What was originally intended to be an introductory chapter for a book on the "Golden Age" of the zither soon turned into a sizable project in its own right. Now published, Dr. Joan Marie Bloderer's book Zitherspiel in Wien. 1800-1850 represents a significant expansion of her dissertation of the same name. In this article, Dr. Bloderer shares some of the research experiences from her latest work.

Remembering Henry Schaber

During the 1880s, immigrants by the thousands arrived in Omaha to support a booming economy. Arriving from Germany, the Schaber family brought their labor, skills and elements of their culture. In this article we explore the life of Henry Schaber, former zitherist and resident of Omaha, Nebraska.

Zitherist Irene Susitz

The music of 'The Third Man' film, played by zither virtuoso Anton Karas, continues to inspire musicians to this day. For Irene Susitz, it was the melody of the 'Harry Lime Theme' that piqued her interest. With this melody in mind, she sought instruction and was fortunate to receive words of encouragement from her music teacher, Eveline Schuler.

Thirty-Second Sterling Zither Seminar

Zither players from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey convened once again for the 32nd Sterling Zither Seminar. Jane Curtis served as host for the event and led the zither enthusiasts through a well-structured seminar program, which spanned two days. The seminar was held at the Greenspring retirement community in Springfield, VA.

Producing a Music Album with Play-Along CD

To celebrate 20 years of music together, Ilse Harris and Johanna de Groot recorded a CD to present as a gift to friends and family. After many requests for the album's sheet music, the idea came to create a play-along CD so that other zither players could enjoy playing along with a backing band. In this article, Ilse Harris shares her recording experience, from idea to reality.

Does Anyone Know Nikolaus Weigel?

Unsatisfied with the lack of uniformity and range of the zither of his time, Nikolaus Weigel introduced a series of innovations which served to expand its capabilities. In this article, Petra Hamberger explores the life of this modest musical pioneer whose discoveries we can appreciate even today. Originally published in the March-April 2008 issue of Saitenspiel, this article has been translated from the original German by Jane Curtis.


Subscribe to Zither US  RSS