The zither instrument has several strings stretched across a shallow wooden box, and is played with the fingers or a pick. If there is a zitherist among your circle of friends, these hand-picked selections will help you find the perfect gift.
Choose from music, T-shirts, cooking aprons, refrigerator magnets, posters, coffee mugs, trucker hats, postcards, cotton canvas tote bags, colorful buttons, and more unique zither gifts.
Joseph Cotten Orson Welles lists ‘Citizen Kane’ as his best film, Alfred Hitchcock opts for ‘Shadow of a Doubt,’ and Sir Carol Reed chose ‘The Third Man’–and I’m in all of them.
Fashionable shirts make a wonderful gift. With so many colors and styles to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find just the right design and sentiment for your favorite zitherist. Click on any design to see what’s available for everyone from babies to seniors.
Here’s one of our favorite inexpensive gift ideas for zither players and fans. Who doesn’t love refrigerator magnets? Standard size square magnets measure 2 by 2 inches. Designs are printed on 100% recycled paper. Scratch and UV-resistant Mylar keeps magnets looking new for years to come.
Mugs are one of our favorite affordable zither gifts. Everyone can use a few mugs. Click on any mug to see how the design looks from different angles. Choose from many sizes, styles, and colors to create a personal gift for your favorite zitherist.
We love music-themed postcards and these vintage zitherist cards are pretty enough to frame. Postcards are inexpensive and always appreciated by people who enjoy keeping in touch with friends and family. These postcards measure 4.25 by 5.6 inches, and are printed on ultra-heavyweight (120 lb) card stock with a gloss finish.
Classic cotton-poly twill blend aprons are another of our top picks for practical zither gifts. Choose from several style and color options. Spacious front pockets hold plenty of utensils and cooking tools. Aprons are machine washable and proudly made in the U.S.A.
Here’s a fun and inexpensive gift idea for your favorite zitherist or fan of this unique string instrument. Standard size square buttons measure 2 inches by 2 inches. Designs are printed on 100% recycled paper and covered with scratch and UV-resistant Mylar for years of use and enjoyment. Some designs allow you to choose a different background color for a customized button gift.
One of the most popular zither gifts is a set of playing cards. Each comes packaged in a cardboard box for easy gifting. Poker size cards measure 2.5 by 3.5 inches, with 52 playing cards and 2 jokers per deck. Click on any design to see the available options. Standard cards are printed on smooth card stock, and premium quality Bicycle playing cards are printed on durable semi-gloss card stock.
The Third Man (1949)
British director Carol Reed’s film noir was set in post-World War II Vienna and starred Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. Considered one of the greatest films of all time, The Third Man is celebrated for its acting, cinematography, and musical score. Viennese zitherist Anton Karas wrote and performed the score, using only the zither. In 1950 the film’s title music “The Third Man Theme” topped the music charts and Anton Karas became an international star.
The zither is an instrument similar to a psaltery, with many strings stretched across a thin, flat body. The number of strings can vary from twelve to more than fifty. Zithers can be played in many different ways. The strings can be plucked with the fingers, or alternatively with a plectrum or pick. They can also be strummed with a bow, or sounded by beating them with specially designed hammers.
Like a guitar or lute, a zither’s body serves as a resonating chamber, or sound box. Unlike guitars and lutes a zither does not have a separate neck assembly.
More Zither Facts
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a zitherist.
Notable zitherists include Basia Bulat, Kerry Christensen, Karineh Hovhanessian, Anton Karas, Rudi Knabl, Linda McCartney, Adolf Schneer, John Sebastian, and Manfred Schuler.
Celebrated director Carol Reed moved unknown Viennese musical performer Anton Karas to his home in London. Working from Reed’s oak dining table, the pair collaborated on the score for three months. Karas worked up to 14 hours each day, composing and recording the film’s zither-only score.
“The Third Man Theme” topped the music charts in 1950. Moreover, the film’s trailer stated that Karas would have the audience “in a dither with his zither.” Anton Karas and his unique instrument gained international fame as a result of this exposure.
Time Magazine “Dither Zither” (1949) The picture demanded music appropriate to post-World War II Vienna, but director [Carol] Reed had made up his mind to avoid schmaltzy, heavily orchestrated waltzes. In Vienna one night Reed listened to a wine-garden zitherist named Anton Karas, and was fascinated by the jangling melancholy of his music.
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