In November, 2013, it was an honor to have my article on the zither included in The Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd Edition, published by Oxford University Press. This short article provides but a glimpse of the zither's incredibly rich history here in the United States. By sharing its history, I hope that interest will be renewed and new players will be inspired to learn.

If you would like to see this site grow, there are several areas where you can help. Contributions in the following areas are certainly welcome:

  • Vintage zither sheet music, so that zither players may explore early compositions and arrangements for the zither.
  • Music programs, photographs and other items of historical interest pertaining to the zither.
  • Your stories. Are you a zither player? Did you have an ancestor who played? Consider sharing your story for publication on this web site.

Thank you for taking the time to visit. If you have questions, comments or would like to contribute, feel free to contact me using the form provided below, or directly at

If you've enjoyed this site, the history and music presented, your donation will help to defer hosting and other expenses. Thank you!

Gut Klang

Since the web site has been online, I've received many emails from zither players and enthusiasts all over the world, making many new friends along the way. These connections help to further our common interest and mark new chapters in the zither's history. The positive feedback is encouraging. Here are some examples of notes received.

”A 'Big Picture' has emerged due to the mounting evidence that has been added to That is, the Zither culture in America from around 1870 through the 1900s was truly a unique, American 'Home-grown' culture that included its own zither builders, its own composers (Frey, Schwarzer, Wormsbacher and Brachet et al), publishers, string makers, clubs and societies. This was self-sustaining, apart from their German-speaking roots in Europe. This historic phenomenon must take its rightful place in American music history. And its music must be kept alive. The overall result of our research has yielded something far larger than I had ever imagined in the past 27 + years of my involvement with the concert zither.” – John Roeder, Ohio, United States

”Your project [Vintage Zither Music Project] is simply outstanding. It is wonderful to see so many valuable works that are now available to enthusiasts all over the world. Although there are other sources on the web that give access to vintage sheet music for the zither this collection is by far the most extensive and variegated that I know of. I can only guess how much of your time you must have sacrificed, but I think it is well invested and most certainly it is appreciated by a lot of zitherists all over the globe. Let's go for the next 500!” – Dr. Franz Schenk, Göttingen, Germany