Saunakantele (Old detuned zither)

Saunakantele (Old detuned zither)


While rummaging through my grandfathers old instrument collection, I picked up this over 100 years old kantele. It has been laying around collecting dust and getting detuned for decades.

The instrument is a kantele, sometimes called the Finnish Zither for foreigners. It is a really old folk instrument in Finland and has also roots in the viking era.

One stroke of the strings created a beautiful yet eerie sound and I realized I must sample this somehow.

I picked the instrument and carried it to the closest quiet place I could find…a sauna of course. I set up my zoom there and started sampling.

The instrument is rather detuned and produces a very uneven sound (as you can hear in the instrument). I thought its still a pretty sound and I have no skill in tuning it.
I hope these sounds will someday be useful to someone.


Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

What a splendid idea!

5.0 rating
January 2, 2021

Amazing sound. It fit perfectly into an ambient mix. I used a second instance but used a Lexicon reverb emulation with a long sustain to get a wonderful mystical drone that evokes images of ancient forest shamans.
Heikki please consider recording an Impulse Response of the sauna if you can. I haven’t seen IRs of saunas.



A very old and very out of tune zither sampled in a sauna!

5.0 rating
5 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)
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