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Directory of Cittern Resources

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A large and complex family of stringed instruments which developed from the 16th through to the 18th centuries. While the lute and guitar families were strung with gut, the citterns were wire-strung and played with a plectrum.

Two members of the cittern family have retained their importance - the Spanish Bandurria and the Portuguese Guitar (the latter particularly associated with Fado).

In the latter years of the 20th century, the word "cittern" came to be applied to a bewildering range of instruments of the mandolin family, and, in Celtic music, to the Irish bouzouki.


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