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theorbo

theorbo (Fr. théorbe, Ger. Theorb, It. tiorba; possibly from Arabic tarab). Renaissance instr., a larger type of lute (but not so large as chittarone). Used as accompanying instr., but solo repertory exists. Resonant lower register, caused by longer fingerboard and greater str. length. Probably developed in It.; first mentioned 1544. Had between 14 and 16 courses, plus extra bass str. Gut str. Often used for continuo instead of organ and hpd. in Eng. 17th-cent. songs. Handel scored for it in Esther (1732) and Athalia (1733). Modern revivals for early mus. perf.

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theorbo

theorbo (thēôr´bō), large lute of the baroque period. It had an extra set of bass strings, not stopped on a fingerboard as the regular set are but plucked as open strings. These made it more suitable for playing baroque music than was the lute. It originated in the late 16th cent. and survived until the end of the 18th cent. Its name was also spelled theorbe, theorboe, or tiorba.

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theorbo

theorbo kind of lute. XVII. — It. tiorba, of unkn. orig.

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