Lute

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Classical antiquity (early lutes)

Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck (either fretted or unfretted) and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes.

The European lute and the modern Near-Eastern oud both descend from a common ancestor via diverging evolutionary paths. The lute is used in a great variety of instrumental music from the early Renaissance to the late Baroque eras. It is also an accompanying instrument, especially in vocal works, often realizing a basso continuo or playing a written-out accompaniment.

The player of a lute is called a lutenist, lutanist, or lutist, and a maker of lutes (or any string instrument) is referred to as a luthier.

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