|Hobgoblin Music - Fretted Instruments|
Descended from European zithers and used mostly in old time American music. It has from 3 to 6 strings usually arranged in 3 courses and traditionally strummed. The lower two courses are used as drones, the top course for the melody. Only the top course was fretted and this was usually done with a stick called a noter.Dulcimer
A larger instrument than the mountain dulcimer it is played by hitting the strings with hammers. It had a strong tradition in East Anglia especially. It is also quite strong in American music having been used in immigrant ethnic music and old time. There are different tuning systems and anything from 17 to 30 something double or triple courses of strings.
The Egyptian Ud or Oud is the precursor of modern lutes. The name of several instruments come from the Ud too. Al Ud = A Lute, also the Laud from Spain. The Oud has 7 nylon or gut strings. Renaissance lutes usually had 13 strings in 7 courses, and were delicate lightweight instruments. Baroque lutes were heavier with usually 15 strings in 8 courses, but often more, and sometimes sympathetic strings running alongside, as in the arch lute or theorbo. Oud, Ud
The ukelele is a family of instruments, but the most common are the soprano and baritone, used for traditional and popular music in Hawaii. On the soprano uke the 4th string is an octave above what you'd expect. Ukulele, UkeleleFretted Instruments
The Russian balalaika is another family of instruments, but we only really see the soprano. The Balalaika has either 3 strings EAA or six strings DAE. Balalaika
Please read the rest of this article, and much more, on our FAQ page.