Anton Karas, Third Man and the Zither

by guitarkadia on May 11, 2010

in Non-Guitar Dosage

I say “The Third Man” and half of you will say “Orson Welles” and the other half “Zither.” The film’s music theme by Anton Karas is memorable and unmistakable. The story of “Man” director Carol Reed finding Karas at a wine garden in Vienna and then inviting him to score the movie is well known, at least, I think, to film buffs. May not be known that Karas accused Reed of keeping him “like a slave” during the 12-week, 14-hour days, scoring session. Bad Carol, bad!

What’s the history of Zither, homey and cousin of the guitar?

According to Wikipedia:
“The word “citara” is derived from the Greek word kithara, an instrument from classical times used in Ancient Greece and later throughout the Roman Empire and in the Arab world; the word “guitar” derives from “kithara” as well.”

Makes sense to do covers of ‘The Third Man” on the guitar. Even our favorite boy wonder, Sungha Jung, has done it too. There’s the Ska version. The Beatles messed with, er payed tribute to, it. The Band’s version is nice.

Zither-fied: Ekim Beau plays a 126 string Zither. Bradley Fish plays a 21-string Chinese Zither.

How to play: Austrian Lotte Landl has made a series of video tutorials you might like.

But wait! There’s more!!

Nick Barbery posted a link to Ruth Welcome’s ‘Zither Magic’ album (1959) on his great blog Ghostcapital.

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