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Lute

LuteFrom the Arabic - Al Oud - (or al 'Ud) meaning the wood to distinguish it from the instruments which were based on goat skin or other materials. The Arab Moors introduced it to Europe via Spain from the 8th Century onwards.

The Lute has a short Neck and a characteristic angled peghead. It has an vaulted oval body which is bulbous and made from thin wooden ribs. The number of Strings has varied from 4 to 12 or more and usually as double string Courses. It has always been Fretted although the parent instrument (al 'Ud) lost the frets in the intervening years. The frets began as tied gut and later became metal. The other characteristic of the Lute is that the strings are tied to the Bridge. It is played by fingertips or by Plectrum (which used to be quill)

Became many things but started as a Lyre. One of the most intriguing was the Theorbo. The largest was the Cittarone.