Nursery Rhymes

Cittern

Medieval life and Times

Definition and Description of the Cittern
Definition and description of the Cittern: The Cittern can be described as being similar to a modern guitar. Description: An instrument shaped like a lute, but strung with wire and played with a quill or plectrum.

Family of Instruments: The Cittern belongs to the family of String instruments.

Medieval Musical Instruments - Cittern
Medieval Musical instruments, including the Cittern, would be used by the musicians of the period including the Waits, Minstrels or Troubadours. There were three categories of musical instruments in the Middle Ages - wind, string and percussion. Terms of description were Bas instruments and Haut instruments. Bas referred to soft instruments (literally, "low," but referring to volume, not pitch) which were suitable for the chamber which included the vielle, rebec and other bowed strings, the lute and other plucked strings. Haut referred to loud instruments (literally "high" but referring to volume, not to pitch) which were suitable for outdoors which included the shawm, sackbut, pipe and tabor.

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