5 String Kantele:
This is a beautiful sounding simple instrument, Made of Spruce with an open back. This model still has the maple inserts inside the head of the more expensive models.
Tuned to D major or Minor with Steel Strings, A major or A minor in Brass/Bronze
very easy to play.
It comes with just the Tuning key and a spare string should you need it.
These 5 string Kantele's measure 25" by 4.5" and are 2" in-depth
Kanteles can be played by anyone, are great for simple improvisation and yet are still offer a challenge if you want to play the ancient repertoire or modern tunes.
The 5 string is the oldest type of Kantele, 2000 plus years at least! and is an integral part of the Finnish epic poem The Kalevala.
Modern interpretations of these instruments have found use in Schools, Music Therapy and Meditation work.
For historical information have a read at this thesis by Carl Rahkonen
It is strung with steel strings tuned to a Diatonic scale in D. ( D, E, F#,G, A) Or D minor tuning D, E, F G A
For Music Therapy The Pentatonic D tuning can be used D, E, G, A, C
These instruments are of the open-backed variety which has a great sound that can be modified depending wherever you play it, for example on a table, lap, upright, closed-back ones tend to sound the same regardless.
Standard instruments are Open-backed models made of Tulip Poplar
but my specialty, the Custom Instruments are usually Walnut and cedar as pictured, or Cherry and Cedar, Spruce can also be used. Other timbers are available to order.
available to order from my etsy shop 4-5 months.
This instrument was featured on my Kantele playing series on Youtube:
I occasionally make instruments from recycled timbers or from locally felled trees, these are sometimes available on special offer.
Instruments with a backboard on a 5 string are £50 more, These have thin soundboards and backboards and sides that are slightly tapered. On these instruments, I offer the option of a sound hole on the front or back. (Patrick wolf plays an antique Black finished instrument with a backboard and rear soundhole.)
Bronze Strung version
For traditional Finnish styles of playing these instruments see here:
For contemporary playing check out Patrick Wolf's work.
And also check out my links section for other sources
** If you are interested in 6 string, Horsehair/ re-enactment Kanteles then please visit my Fellow Luthier Corwen's site here: His instruments are very reasonable priced for UK/europe buyers. For US Customers there is Gerry Henkel at www.kantele.com
Walnut 10 String Kantele
(Please also see my 11 string model which is my new standard Kantele, 10 String instruments are still popular for strumming accompaniment,
This instrument is made of beautiful dark American
Walnut, with plain inlay on the soundboard.
On these instruments, you can play the older repertoire, minor and major without changing the tuning and you can play a far wider range of music. The perfect instrument for a frustrated Harpist, or a guitarist looking for a harp/zither instrument.
This Instrument has a shimmering bell-like tone and when played un-damped it is similar to wire-strung Irish harp, very magical. It has an established repertoire of Finnish folk music, but it is a very personal instrument, you can play whatever music you want to! Being diatonic there are no discordant note combinations, just interesting harmonies!
They are finished with organic oil varnish and wax to a matt finish. It measures approximately 29" by 6.5" and is 2" in depth. It It is strung with steel strings tuned to a Diatonic scale in D. ( A, B C#,D, E, F#, G, A, b, then high D) It comes supplied with a tuning wrench
First Chords for the 10 String Kantele
Standard models in Black Walnut or Ash, for other woods please inquire.
Books are available for tunes and learning in the USA from www.kantelemusic.com
Piezo pickups can be added, Price depending on model of pickup, I can also make a pure electric model.
The instrument in the picture is for illustration only, the choice of decoration including decorative timbers on head and tailstocks or letter inscriptions in Latin, Anglo Saxon, Finnish/Icelandic/Elvish texts.
(these are applied using a combination of Kolrosing, inlaid wood, mastic, and other black pigments.