Monochords

Current Stock -  13 Two Octave Zithers

Cherry back and sides with Redwood sound board and Maple pin blocks. Key of C

Key of C Monochord
Key of F Monochord
What is a Monochord?

Initially the monochord was just a single stringed instrument used by Pythagoras to demonstrate the mathematical ratios between musical intervals.  Expanded versions of this concept means you have multiple strings tuned in unison sometimes including the 5th note of the scale and octaves.  The strummed strings are amplified by a sound box made of a quality hard and tone woods.  The instrument provides a meditative environmental sound attractive to music therapists and sound healers.

How do you play the monochord?

Drag your index finger across the strings towards you from high note to low.  Alternate hands to create an almost continuous sound. Having some fingernail helps but you can use a pick or a bare finger for a softer quieter tone.  You can alter the tonal quality by playing closer to the bridges or starting and finishing in different locations on the string band. 

Construction

My Monochords have either Walnut or Cherry back and sides with Redwood or Cedar soundboards and Maple pin blocks

  • C Tuning Option:  C4,G3,C3,G2

  • F Tuning Option:  F4,F3,C3,F2

  • Dimensions: 32 1/2" x 9" x 3 1/2" (Monochord in F is  2" shorter)

  • Weight: approx. 7 1/2 lbs

  • Included with the instrument is an Owner's Sheet and Tuning Wrench

$475 plus $40 shipping
Another Version of a Monochord in C

This Monochord in C is based on the overtone series. It is a plucked instrument that is acoustically able to provide the fundamental (in this case C2) plus octaves of that note (C3, C4, C5 and C6) plus all the overtones of that fundamental played as individual strings.  There are some Monochords like my instruments above which add some of those overtones by placing individual chessman bridges on some of the strings of a rectangular instrument giving you those higher pitches and shorter vibrating lengths. What I designed was a synthesis creating an instrument more akin to a plucked bowed psaltery.

 
Construction

This version I offer in either Walnut or Cherry back and sides with Redwood or Cedar soundboards and Maple pin blocks

  • 16 strings spaced 3/8″ apart.

  • Dimensions: 36" x 9 1/2" x 2 3/4"

  • Weight: approx. 5 lbs

  • Included with the instrument is an Owner's Sheet and Tuning Wrench

$425 plus $40 shipping
 

Monochord in C Overtones

cherry back and sides, a sitka spruce soundboard with ebony bridge 

James Jones Instruments

1384 Coltons Mill Rd

Bedford, VA 24523-5259

540-586-6319 

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