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sympathetic strings. Those str. on a bowed, plucked, or hammered instr. which vibrate (and thereby sound a note) in sympathetic resonance with the note sounded near them by some other agent. Certain instr., e.g. viola d'amore, were strung with sympathetic str., tuned to certain pitches, which vibrated because of proximity to bowed str. above them and thus enriched the tone.