photo of Kithara I
Photo by Danlee Mitchell
KITHARA  I   (As rebuilt 1959)

BUILT: 1938-1943. Begun in Los Angeles, and finished in Ithaca, New York. Rebuilt at the University of Illinois.
SIZE: Close to 6 feet high, to the top of the music rack; 3.5 feet across at the broad center; tapering in width from 9 inches at the bottom of the instrument proper to 4 inches at the tops of the two arms.
MATERIALS: The base acts as a resonator. The two large sides are 0.25 inch redwood ply; the seven soundboards (five of them not visible) are vertical-grain redwood. The 72 strings are guitar, tenor guitar, and banjo. Guitar tuning heads.
TONES: They are arranged in twelve hexads, each containing four to six identities of a tonality. Pyrex rods (5/8 inch) stop the two outside hexads for higher chords and gliding tones or chords. The instrument belongs to the lyre type, hollow arms and base; it is an elaboration of the ancient Greek Kithara.

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