The cittern is a pear-shaped instrument with 10
paired strings, or five courses. A member of the mandolin family; it is
also related to the bouzouki, and is a distant relative of the guitar.
(Both words come from the Middle English giterne, from French cithare,
from Latin cithara, from Greek kitara.) No relation to the sitar, the
instrument that Ravi Shankar and George Harrison play. There are
tunings for citterns. They have a deep, mellow sound something like a
between a 12-string guitar and a cello. In recent years it has become
with Irish musicians.
The instrument pictured was built by luthier W.
A. Petersen of Omaha; it is a Grade 2
a 22.5 inch scale, Brazilian rosewood back and
and a Sitka spruce top. The musician is Scott Ross of The Flatland