Playing the Striffertines

To play this instrument, you stroke the fine vertical strings with rosined fingers or high-traction gloves. This indirectly activates the tines attached below. The tines are the main sounding element, determining the pitches by their lengths. Still, the tone has a lot of unpitched friction noise from the strings mixed with the clear pitch from the tines. The layout of the tines is deliberately irregular to avoid a potential problem of destructive interference: two adjacent tines which are close in pitch might interact in ways that prevent one another from sounding clearly, so the tines are arranged so that no very close pitches are next to each other.

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