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About hungarian dulcimer, chromatic zither - citera

Hungarian citera is a chromatic instrument. There are two line of frets - one line for the diatonic scale and the other line for the semi tones. The number of bass strings usually  4-7 and there are pair of strings on the side heads.

More about frets system of citera.

The tuning is based on two notes: the key note and the fifth. So a citera in "C" is tuned in C and G. The melody strings tuned on the fifth and all strings are the same. The tuning of the bass strings depends on the thickness of the string but must be C or G. The longest side head tuned on key note (C), the middle one tuned on the fifth (G) and the shortest side head tuned in octave of key note (C).

But the structure of citera is very strong so you can use your own tuning system too. You can change the strings thicker or thinner, you can tune chords, scale etc. The only fixed part are the melody strings: those must be in the key note (or a second higher or lower) otherwise the second half of the fretboard will be out of tune.

Luckily the citera do not need special maintenance. You can clean it by any guitar cleaner. If the humidity is too high the tuning pegs can get stuck, and a bad case the instrument may be deformed (like any other wooden instrument). If the humidity is too low, the tuning pegs can slackened, and a bad case the citera may be crack (like any other wooden instrument).

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