An instrument of the harpsichord family which has significance in the development of the instruments of the Middle Ages is the spinet (from spina, “thorn”; it had leather points up to 1500), first made by Johannes Spinctus, Venice, 1500. It was a harpsichord with a square case, the strings running diagonally instead of lengthwise. When the spinet was of very small dimensions it was called a virginal; when it was in the shape of our modern grand piano, it was, of course, a harpsichord; and when the strings and sounding board were arranged perpendicularly, the instrument was called a clavicitherium. As early as 1500, then, four different instruments were in general use, the larger ones having a compass of about four octaves. The connecting link between the harpsichord, the clavichord, and the piano, was the dulcimer or hackbrett, which was a tavern instrument.