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Cithara

KitharaThe Cithara or Kithara is an ancient stringed Instrument related to the Lyre but bigger and known in North Africa and Asia Minor and imported to Europe through the trading of Greece and Rome. It is constructed like a Lyre but with a larger soundchest and 5 - 12 strings and a Bridge making this one of the ancestors of many of the plucked stringed instruments with hollow bodies and bridges from the Lute to the Guitar. The names Guitar, Cittern, Sitar, Zither etc are often said to derive from the word Cithara.

It was played by plucking or strumming all the strings with a plektron and the other hand damping the strings which were not to be played. It is thought that it was played ina standing position and used for performances (rather than solo accompaniment).