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The kantele is the national instrument of Finland, and it belongs to a large family of string instruments called “zithers“. Zithers have a resonating body with a variable number of strings, which can be plucked, strummed, struck, or bowed. In the case of the kantele, the strings are plucked or strummed and the smallest kanteles can be held in the player’s lap. There are kanteles of many sizes: 5-string, 10-string, 11-string, all the way up to the 36-string concert kantele, like the one we recorded.