The Gittern

During the 13th - 16th century in Western Europe, the gittern was a popular court music instrument, played by amatuers and minstrels alike. Rounded and hollow, and strung with gut strings, gitterns were small enough that they could be carved out of a single piece of wood.


It is usually depicted to have been played using a quill plectrum (pick) with three, but usually four sets of double strings, also known as courses. It featured a rosette (intricate wood carving) over the sound hole, similar to the lute and oud.

Temple Anthropology Laboratory and Museum 

Gladfelter Hall- Lower Level, Temple University

1115 Polett Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19122


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