One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A stringed instrument of the 16th and 17th centuries, resembling a bandora but tuned like an ordinary lute.
- ‘Other plucked instruments (e.g. chitarrone, mandolin, orpharion, theorbo) used reduced or expanded versions of French or Italian lute tablature.’
- ‘Part of the Bandora family, the Orpharion is a smaller wire-strung instrument with a similar scalloped body shape.’
- ‘The orpharion and bandora were very popular with lutenists of the Elizabethan and early Stuart periods.’
Late 16th century: blend of the names Orpheus (see Orpheus) and Arion, musicians in Greek mythology.
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