One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A lute-like medieval stringed instrument, forerunner of the cittern.
- ‘Some iconographic citoles have tailpieces, while on others the strings attach directly in the trefoil area.’
- ‘The Cittern, a Renaissance instrument that may be a descendent of the citole, is equipped with metal strings.’
- ‘There is definite documentary evidence that both the citole and the gittern were normally strung in gut.’
- ‘The citole is the medieval guitar, known only from pictures in manuscripts and statues on churches.’
- ‘The proliferation of bagpipes suggests that drone accompaniment was popular, as does the depiction of fiddle and citole players plucking their lowest string with the left thumb while using a bow or plectrum in the other hand.’
Late Middle English: from Old French, based on Latin cithara (see cittern).
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