Etienne de Lavaulx


Zither Highlights

Strings of Love

Timeless Melodies

Christmas Music for Zither and Guitar

Caravan of Love


Etienne has been playing the guitar-zither since 1973, and has a playing style and instrument layout which makes excellent use of the instrument in its natural architecture. He uses a five-chord zither, similar in construction to the Menzenhauer & Schmidt #2 1/2. Its nominal tuning uses 5 major chords and 3 accidentals in each of the 2 octaves of melody strings. His tuning of the chords yields 3 majors and 2 minors, giving him great flexibility in C and the ability to modulate to F. He also retunes the melody section to yield 2 1/2 octaves, including only Bb's for accidentals, to support playing in F. This approach gives the "elbow room" to play most melodies completely in either octave, a major advantage for providing variety in solo work.

On the How do you play it? page is a brief description of some of his playing technique.

Etienne also teaches zither playing, and is presently at work on a book and videotape of instructions.

The music on his recordings is quite lovely, both his own compositions and the music of others, and of course is quite unique - no other instrument produces such a sound. I highly recommend these discs. You can find information on ordering them at


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This page was last updated 8 Aug 03.