Great Grandfathers Zither

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Andy
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:36 am
Location: Austin TX
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Great Grandfathers Zither

Post by Andy » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:34 pm

Hello everyone,

I know more about the personal history of this instrument than I do the instrument itself. I know it was acquired somewhere around Siegen, Germany sometime in the early 1900s. There are two stickers on the inside, one (the original I assume?) I can only half make out, the second was added when Walter returned to Germany in '59 to visit family. I haven't been able to find any other identifiers aside from the stickers. If anyone has any insights, I would love to hear.

Thanks!
- Andy
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Walters Zither (3/3)
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Walters Zither (2/3)
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Walters Zither (1/3)
IMG_0775.jpg (265.53 KiB) Viewed 1126 times

NutmegCT
Posts: 194
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:31 pm
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Re: Great Grandfathers Zither

Post by NutmegCT » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:56 pm

Hi Andy - welcome to the forum.

That is a beautiful zither you have! And so fortunate that you know its history. More experienced forum members will give you lots of information, but here's what I can contribute.

The older label shows the instrument came from the musical instrument shop of Hermann Oscar Otto, which opened in 1880 at the corner of Bismarckstr. and Schuetzenstr in Markneukichen. His shop was still operating at least in 1930.

I don't see where you live, so hopefully you have a good zitherist in the area to teach you this wonderful instrument.

Also, thanks for uploading those music scans. That will be a wonderful addition to the repertoire.

As the zitherists say - Gut Klang!

Tom M.

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: Great Grandfathers Zither

Post by Rudy Mueller » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:07 am

Hi Andy,

If you're in the Chicago metroplex area, we a tentatively planning another informal gathering "Zither Sunday" in January, probably on the 14th, in Wales/Delafield Wisconsin. (At this time of the year, we keep an eye on the weather.)

Rudi Mueller
Grafton WI

Andy
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:36 am
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Great Grandfathers Zither

Post by Andy » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:18 pm

Thank you both for replying so quickly! I wish I were closer to either of you, unfortunately I live in Austin TX (will update profile to reflect).

- Andy

NutmegCT
Posts: 194
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:31 pm
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Re: Great Grandfathers Zither

Post by NutmegCT » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:39 pm

Hi Andy.

A few possible zither leads in Texas for you:

Check out the Saengerrunde:
http://www.saengerrunde.org/

Saengerrunde lists many Texas clubs emphasizing German heritage and music:
http://www.saengerrunde.org/german-links

Also, the Texas German Heritage Society, which may have some leads for you:
http://germantexans.org/

Hope this helps.
Tom M.

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: Great Grandfathers Zither

Post by Rudy Mueller » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:17 pm

All the Bavarian Trachten groups of Texas seem to be in the Dallas area.

Was "Der Verein" , which was heavily involved in settling West Texas, Austrian (or German), in origin???

A request was sent to Almarausch Dallas for any possible contacts. This may be a long search. You may want to check out the web site of the Gauverband Nord Amerika, or start looking at some Austrian sources.

Rudi

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: Great Grandfathers Zither

Post by Rudy Mueller » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:32 am

Hello again Andy,

The web-master at Almarausch Dallas has another suggestion

www.prostyall.com/das-ist-lustig of the Houston area.

Their site also lists an "autoharp" .

Rudi

Andy
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:36 am
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Great Grandfathers Zither

Post by Andy » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:37 pm

Evening everyone,

I just wanted to share a follow up picture. I found a shop here in Austin that did some repairs and cleaned up the Zither. It now has a fresh set of strings and I have spent the last week getting acquainted with how it all works. My fingers are killing me, but so far so good.

- Andy
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Rudy Mueller
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: Great Grandfathers Zither

Post by Rudy Mueller » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:51 am

Andy, what a beauty!....and you found a luthier who knew how to re-string it!

Which instruction book(s) are you using? For self-instruction, you may want to check out Kabatek (available at this site) and Darr.

Rudi

Andy
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:36 am
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Great Grandfathers Zither

Post by Andy » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:33 am

Rudy,

I had been paging through several books and videos during the time the Zither was being repaired. I had not touched a musical instrument since I was in middle school, so study in the down time has been a lot of re-learning how written music and stringed instruments work (I played the clarinet).

So far I've found that the Taborsky PDF was a huge help in learning how the Griffbrett worked (I really needed the notes just spelled out). Additionally I have been using this dusty old "Volkstümliche Zitherschule" book by Adalbert Albrecht for its drills.

One thing I've noticed is that in all of these older books the right hand staff is written in the Treble clef instead of the Bass clef. The music I have seen online and on this site however have the right hand written in the Base clef. Why the difference?

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