History, Facts and
interesting information about Medieval music,
Description of the Gittern
Definition and description of the
Gittern: The Gittern can be described as being similar to a modern
guitar. Description: An instrument like a small guitar, the gittern was
a relatively small, quill-plucked, gut strung instrument. Its back was
rounded like that of a lute ,however, the gittern was much smaller, and
had no clear division between the body and neck. "Harps, lutes, and
giternes" is a quote taken from the writing of Geoffrey Chaucer.
Family of Instruments: The
Gittern belongs to the family of String instruments.
Medieval Musical Instruments
Medieval Musical instruments, including the Gittern, would be used by the musicians
of the period including the Waits,
Troubadours. There were three categories of musical instruments in the Middle Ages - wind, string and
percussion. Terms of description were Bas instruments and Haut instruments. Bas
referred to soft instruments (literally, "low," but referring to volume,
not pitch) which were suitable for the chamber which
included the vielle, rebec and other bowed strings, the lute and other
plucked strings. Haut referred to loud instruments
(literally "high" but referring to volume, not to pitch) which were
suitable for outdoors which included the shawm,
sackbut, pipe and tabor. Read the above history, facts and information about the Gittern.
The Medieval Times website provides interesting facts, history and information about the
musicians and styles of music which scatter the history books including
Gittern. The Medieval Life and Times Sitemap provides full
details of all of the information and facts about the
fascinating subject of the lives of the people who lived
during the historical period of the Middle Ages. The content
of this article on Gittern provides free educational details, facts and information for reference and research for schools, colleges and homework for history courses and history coursework.