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cittern

cittern (sĬt´ərn), stringed musical instrument of the guitar family having an oval body, a flat back, and a fretted neck. Its strings, made of wire and varying in number, were plucked. It was first made in the Middle Ages and at that time was usually called citole or sitole. The name cittern was given it in the 16th cent. in England, where, as in all western Europe, it was very popular until the early part of the 18th cent. It has also been called cister, cistre, cithern, cithren, citharen, cetera, cither, cithara, gittern, and sittron.

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cittern

cittern. Renaissance instr. something between a lyre and a guitar, but with metal str., a flat back, and pear-shaped body. Played with a quill plectrum. Name derived from Gr. kithara (lyre), and the cittern was known as cistra (Fr.), Cister (Ger.), and cithren (Eng.). In It. where it was developed it was called the cetra. Used as a solo instr. and in broken consort. Not to be confused with gittern. From late 17th cent. gave way to guitar but survived into early 20th cent. as folk instr. in Switz. and Ger.

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cithern

cithern, cittern instrument of the guitar kind. XVI. — L. cithara (see above), crossed with GITTERN.

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cithern

cithern: see cittern.

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cittern

citternadjourn, astern, Berne, burn, churn, concern, discern, earn, fern, fohn, kern, learn, Lucerne, quern, Sauternes, spurn, stern, Sterne, tern, terne, Traherne, turn, urn, Verne, yearn •Bayern • Blackburn • heartburn •Hepburn • Raeburn • Swinburne •Gisborne, Lisburn •sideburn • sunburn • Bannockburn •lady-fern • Vättern • extern •cittern, gittern •Comintern • taciturn •nocturn, nocturne •U-turn • upturn

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