KISSAR, or GYTARAH BARBARYEH, the ancient Nubian lyre, still in use in Egypt and Abyssinia. It consists of a body having instead of the traditional tortoiseshell back a shallow, round bowl of wood, covered with a sound-board of sheepskin, in which are three small round sound-holes. The arms, set through the sound-board at points distant about the third of the diameter from the circumference, have the familiar fan shape. Five gut strings, knotted round the bar and raised from the sound-board by means of a bridge tailpiece similar to that in use on the modern guitar, are plucked by means of a plectrum by the right hand for the melody, while the left hand sometimes twangs some of the strings as a soft drone accompaniment.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)