Instruments You Wish You Played: Cittern

The Cittern is a Renaissance instrument that was highly popular. It is easier to play than the lute, and foreshadows the modern guitar in that it uses metal strings, and its performers use a plectrum rather than fingers to pluck the strings. At first glance, the name cittern seems like it could have evolved into the word “guitar,” but it actually is etymologically closer to “zither.”

Here is a quick cittern performance to get you accustomed to the sound…

…and here is a Renaissance song about a farting contest:

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