A Case For Music

A book of zither compositions, Solos for the Zither, has been kindly offered by Leslee Lindstrom. Published in 1919, this book of music was among the personal effects of her great-grandfather, zitherist Jacob Dugwyler. The composer of these pieces, J. Fremont Frey, of Indianapolis, Indiana, was a strong advocate for the zither and was elected Vice President of the American Zither Verband in 1913.

Solos for the Zither (Download)

Zitherist Mimy Huf

In this photo, dated October 17, 1937, zitherist Mimy Huf prepares for a concert during the Tenth National Congress of the United Zither Players of America (UZPA). The UZPA, a continuation of the American Zither Verband, held its first Congress in Washington, MO, in 1912. This concert, held in Rochester, NY, was given by 80 zither players before an audience of 2000.

Zithering from the Heart

With the support and encouragement of family, Maria Petersen has recently completed a series of zither recordings. From the alpine melodies of her native Bavaria, cherished folk songs and other well-known selections, her project represents a lifetime of music with the zither. In this article, AnnElise Makin presents Maria's story, her early musical recollections and the recordings for which she has won accolades.

A Portrait of A. J. Paschinger

Originally a first violinist with the Johann Strauss orchestra, A. J. Pashinger developed a greater appreciation for the zither. He excelled on the instrument, playing the zither solo for Strauss' "Tales from the Vienna Woods" at its world premiere in 1868. A prolific composer, he is credited with over 650 original compositions and arrangements for the zither. In this article by Anton H. Paschinger, we remember A. J. Paschinger, the painter, musician, composer and man.

Zitherist Sofian Zapf

A new generation experiences the zither. In this photo, Sofian Zapf plays the zither while Leonard Zapf looks on. Sofian was born in Kulmbach, Germany and was trained as a violin maker. After WW1, he immigrated to the United States with his family and was a co-founder of Zapf's Music Co. in Philadelphia. He performed frequently in public as a zither player and was a violininst with the Olney Symphony Orchestra.

Thirty-Sixth Sterling Zither Seminar

Zither players from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey convened once again for the 36th Sterling Zither Seminar. Jane Curtis, whose report follows, 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.

Vintage Zither Music Project

With hundreds of selections to choose from, the Vintage Zither Music Project is a key resource for musicians and researchers wishing to explore early music composed and arranged for the zither. To grow this collection, Zither US is seeking your contributions. Do you have vintage zither sheet music that you would like to share with the community? If so, email dave@zither.us, or use the provided contact form for more information.

A special thanks to Günter Granitzer in Vienna, Austria, for his efforts in adding new life to many of these early compositions. Where an audio image is provided for a selection, select it to hear a digital representation of the sheet music.

In Olden Times (Download)

Zithering in Charm City

The zither, first widely introduced to the American public by Tyrolean minstrels in the late 1840s, was initially regarded as a curiosity. Over the next several decades, however, it emerged to become a part of America’s cultural heritage. Domestically, zithers, sheet music and zither methods were produced to meet the demands of a zither-playing public. By the 1870s, players began to convene with the idea of forming clubs.

The Baltimore Zither Club, circa 1935

The Zither Crosses the Pond

From its humble beginnings as the diatonic scheitholt played in the Alpine regions of Europe, to the fully chromatic instrument played today, it is likely that the zither has sounded in the United States as long as Germans have been coming to these shores. Along the way, however, there have been key figures who have helped to popularize the zither here in the US. Among the earliest, was Tyrolean, Joseph Hauser.

and they came with their music...

Born in Gotha, Thuringia, Germany, Paul von Nordeck immigrated to the US, travelled extensively, and eventually settled in Salt Lake City, Utah. In this article, Boyd Humpherys remembers his grandfather, Paul von Nordeck, a talented musician who enjoyed entertaining friends and family with selected songs played on his favorite instrument, the concert zither.