Name: The kantele is a chordophone originating from Finland, played by plucking or strumming its strings
Classified as: Hornbostel-Sachs 314.122
Description: The kantele is composed of a wooden body with anywhere from five to forty strings attached (the oldest variations have five to six strings, while the modern kanteles can have up to forty). It is tuned to the diatonic scale.
Origin: The kantele was created in Finland about 2,000 years ago (exact inventor unknown)
History: The older kanteles consisted of five horsehair strings and a wooden body made from a single piece of wood. In the 19th century, larger kanteles (box kanteles) were developed to play modern music. Paul Salminen created a kantele with halftone mechanics in the 1920’s.