Definition and background:
A stringed instrument consisting of a wooden frame across which are stretched several (about thirty) strings. Five of these strings are used for the melody, they are above a fretted fingerboard. The rest of the strings are used for harmony and are not fretted. A flat-backed plucked instrument, played on the lap or a table. originating in central Europe, it is particularly linked with the Tyrol and northern Italy
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary