Ken Longfield


Location: Reedsville, PA
Country: US

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Landis Valley Zitter

musician/member name: People & Blogs
Duration: 00:01:06
I play a Pennsylvania German zitter I made based on one in the Landis Valley Museum.
12/29/23 12:01:40PM @davisjames:

Thanks for your reply,Ken.My crowd settled in the Hudson Valley...I've never seen or heard of the instruments that were in use there...but that's a long time ago-1709.

12/28/23 06:18:53PM @davisjames:

That is so cool!I wonder if my Palatine German ancestors would have played it.A lot of things got lost in the sea crossing but maybe it was easier to replicate in the new world than the violin,etc.

Ken Longfield
06/24/19 09:15:08AM @ken-longfield:

Yes, Jeffrey.


"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

jeffrey charles foster
06/24/19 07:40:48AM @jeffrey-charles-foster:

Hello was that Simple Gifts Ken?

Norm Williams
03/09/18 10:59:40AM @norm-williams:

Great job all around Ken... really appreciate you, your building and playing too.

Steven Berger
03/03/18 11:19:05PM @steven-berger:

Very nice!

Cynthia Wigington
03/01/18 06:28:49PM @cynthia-wigington:

Very nice building job Ken - and it sounds in tune too. So I guess this was a precursor to the dulcimer as we know it?

Ken Longfield
03/01/18 02:41:35PM @ken-longfield:

Thank you, Jennifer. I still tune in on Friday nights as long I can stay awake. You folks are doing a great job out there.


"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Jennifer Ranger
03/01/18 11:56:44AM @jennifer-ranger:

Hello there my friend!  This is soooo cool!

Ken Longfield
02/28/18 11:35:30PM @ken-longfield:

Anytime we meet and I have it with me you are welcome to play it Robin.


"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Robin Thompson
02/28/18 11:10:20PM @robin-thompson:

Wow, would I love to strum that critter you built, Ken!  

Ken Longfield
02/28/18 10:29:15AM @ken-longfield:

Lisa, I thought I had posted photos of this zitter, but I did not. I just posted three photos. I have more if anyone is interested.


"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

02/28/18 10:12:03AM @strumelia:

Ken i ADORE this!!

Your zitter has a marvelous hollow 'old' tone, like a bell. The instrument in the museum is now reborn to sing again in a whole new life.  It's a wonderful precious thing you made!

Did you post photos of it?  I wish you had held it up to the camera on all sides a bit in the video, to let us see it 'in the round'.

Terrific job!!!!

Ken Longfield
02/27/18 09:43:03PM @ken-longfield:

Yes, Jeff, that was simple gifts.


"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

jeffrey charles foster
02/27/18 09:02:10PM @jeffrey-charles-foster:

Nice Job on that Zither Ken was that Simple Gifts


David Bennett
02/27/18 09:00:25PM @david-bennett:


Jim Fawcett
02/27/18 08:57:21PM @jim-fawcett:

Not bad at all, Ken. Like the sound of it.

Rob N Lackey
02/27/18 07:34:59PM @rob-n-lackey:

Way to go, Ken.  Sounds good


Ken Longfield
02/27/18 04:09:38PM @ken-longfield:

When visiting the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum to photograph, trace, and measure the Pennsylvania German zitters in their collection that are in L. Allen Smith's A Catalogue of Pre-Revival Appalachian Dulcimers, I was told that they had another one in the collection. I photographed, measured, and traced that one as well. This is the zitter I made based on that prototype. Both the playing and the video are a little rough, but I hope you will get a sense of how these instruments sound. This is not the zitter which I hold in my avatar. That one is a copy of one in the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA.