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.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Middle English sautrie, from Old French sauterie, from Latin psalterium (see psalter).
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