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The More Popular Instruments of the Medieval to Renaissance Period Music plays a vital role in human society It provides entertainment and emotional release and it accompanies activities ranging from dance to religious ceremonies Music is heard everywhere in auditoriums churches homes elevators sports arenas and on the street Recorded music through our technology can be heard almost anywhere at anytime Although we have the technology to listen to whatever kind of music we desire there is still an exciting sensation for people to watch music performed live The musicians on stage use their skills with their instruments to produce music that stimulates the mind excites the heart and takes the breath away Through the course of life humans develop the ability to identify most instruments either by being played or just seen up close What most people dont know is the history behind the more popular instruments of the world Some instruments can be traced back --in some form-- to as early as 4000 BC This paper will not discuss the history of instruments from the dawn of man just the late Middle Ages to the Renaissance Of all the instruments of the Middle Ages the most popular had to be what is called the lute Specifically the lute is a stringed instrument widely played in the 14th to 18th centuries that actually had a revival in the 20th century Generically the lute is any stringed instrument having strings that run in a parallel plane to the soundboard and along a protruding neck see figure one The modern guitar is basically the descendant of the classical lute The lute entered medieval Europe from Arabic culture as an instrument plucked by a plectrum or pick with four pairs of strings It was a version of the Arabic ud spelled oud by its modern Balkan players which today is an unfretted plectrum-plucked instrument with four to seven double courses The lute developed its
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