One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An ancient and medieval musical instrument like a dulcimer but played by plucking the strings with the fingers or a plectrum.
- ‘King Nebuchadnezzar commanded everyone that at the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, psaltery, dulcimer and all kinds of music they should fall down and worship the golden image.’
- ‘Visbec watched him from the back of the wagon, where he was fitfully fixing a broken string on his psaltery.’
- ‘Some of the Jaufre Rudel pieces are unaccompanied too, but even those in which the psaltery or harp make an appearance use these instruments most sparingly.’
- ‘The angels are playing a collection of musical instruments, including the harp, tambourine, cymbals, lyre and psaltery.’
- ‘The double psaltery had two ranks of strings, one on either side of the soundbox.’
Middle English sautrie, from Old French sauterie, from Latin psalterium (see psalter).
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