Citaras, zithers & salterios
Zithers are traditional plucked or hammered string instruments originally found in the middle eastern and mediterranean tradition. They are built on flat trapezoidal shaped boards, with strings on one of their sides. In Chile the most common zither were of germanic style with a fretted board on one of their sides similar to guitar to play melody whereas the remainder free board has strings as a harp to play harmony; using a pick on the strings while the zither rest on the knees or on a table. This version most common in Chile, was reintroduced by german colonists in southern Chile where they established through the later part of the XIX century.
Now, a little on the recorded story of these instruments in Chile. In June 28th 1864 German Loechner offered teaching and zither's sales in an ad published at El Ferrocarril newspaper. In those years there was even the Club de Cítara in my hometown, Valparaíso.
Later on, Federico Albert Faupp, perhaps the first chilean german ecologist who helped to save the town of Chanco from being covered by dunes did surprised the chilean society in Santiago when along with his son Tótila performed a zither concert at the Santiago's Teatro Municipal in 1920.
Another type of plucked zither proper of arabic folk music, the qanum is used by the Grupo Oriente from Santiago.
There are a few groups using old fashion zithers in Chile. One of them is In Taberna, and Miriam Gisella Ebert from the medieval band Calenda Maia, both from Santiago. The singer Magdalena Aménabar plays zither with her Coro Sacramentino. The cantautor Joe Vasconcellos used the zither sound in the song "Induce", recorded in the CD Transformación (Emi Odeon Chilena 1997), through oriental rhythms where the zither sound is striking.