Kantele: characteristics, price, and history of the ethnic musical instrument


The kantele is one of Finland’s traditional musical instruments and is popular among players who don’t know what it is. There are many different forms and sizes of instruments, from the 5-string kantele to the concert kantele to the 39-string electric kantele, making them more diverse. Today, the music played by kantele can be anything from old-fashioned traditional music to children’s songs, contemporary music, improvisational music, and pop music. The kantele also appears in Finnish mythology, the Kalevala, and is a musical instrument that is considered a national symbol.


The kantele is a musical instrument that originated in Finland. It is now often used in classical music. Many people use it now. Anyone can play the same large instrument once they get used to the necessary experience and knowledge. They usually have a special design and a high-quality sound. To use it, hold the taut string firmly in your hand and operate it to play.

About the price

Prices range from tens of thousands of yen to hundreds of thousands of yen.

History of Kantere

Cantere is said to be an instrument that originated 1000 years ago and 2000 years ago. The origin of Kantele is described in the Finnish national epic Kalevala. In Kalevara, the sorcerer Väinämöinen creates the first cantere from the giant pike’s jawbone and a few hairs from the gelding of Hiishi. The music it makes attracts all the nearby forest creatures that wonder about its beauty. The oldest extant 5-string Kantele was made in 1698. Cantere has become an instrument used in traditional Finnish music. For a long time, the cantere was Finland’s main instrument, but it has declined due to the fiddle epidemic in modern times. However, in the 20th century, there was a worldwide interest in early music, and Kantere was once again in the spotlight. Electric cantels that can change the sound quality by connecting to an amplifier have also been developed and are being improved. In Finland, it has become a very familiar musical instrument as it will be incorporated into music education in elementary schools, kindergartens and nursery schools.

Features of Kantere

Cantere is a folk instrument that represents Finland and is a string instrument of the zither genus. Originally 5 strings, recently 12-46 metal strings are laid on a deformed trapezoidal plate or box. Poplar, pine, alder, and spruce are the materials for Kantere. Kantere is generally played by placing it on both knees or a small table, and there are two types of playing: plucking with your fingertips and muting by pressing the non-sounding strings with your fingers. The playing style has changed uniquely depending on the region. Similar instruments are found in Estonia and Latvia, and come in a variety of shapes.

Kantere song

Cantere is famous as an instrument used in traditional Finnish musical instruments.


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