Saunakantele (Old detuned zither)

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

The story

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!

  • Not really a fan...

    This little one has QUITE the character, but not in a much usable way this time. The Plucked patch is very out of tune, even the octaves themselves, which means you can't really play it, unless you use single notes somewhere just for the sake of creating an atmosphere. There is also some delay between pressing the note and hearing it, but it's not a major issue since you won't play fast or complicated melodies on this one. The Warped Pad is just a down-sliding sample stretched across the keybed, which I don't really enjoy if I'm being honest - which I always am by the way. The Arp Pad is interesting, but the arpeggios are fixed major or minor depending on what key you press. If you are familiar with music harmony, it's basically the harmonic sequence of C major.

    Alex Raptakis16 October 2021