The Lute was the most respected instrument in the medieval times. This instrument is best known for the many pictures that contain it…tapestries, wall hangings, etc. all contained pictures of the lute. Early lutes were made of wood, bone, ivory and exotic woods. They were stringed instruments similar to a guitar. The strings were plucked either with a “plectrum” or by the use of the fingers.
This instrument was played with a bow, usually held on the lap or between the legs. The French name for it is viola da gamba, which means leg viol. It was similar to a modern day cello, as it tone was quiet and sort of nasal in quality.
The rebec is another bowed instrument somewhat like a miniature
violin. It originated in
The Hand Drum
A hand drum was a versatile instrument. It was used by the Irish and the Scots, and a form of it was used by most cultures at one time or another.
A lot of cultures had them…the Irish, Scots, even the Germans had a form of bagpipe. They were used in battle as well as every day life. The Bladder Pipe is a form of a bagpipe and they used the stomach of a sheep to make the “bag”. Today they use rubber to form the membrane. A modern day bagpipe has more pieces to it. The country they were from determined the distinctive features.
The gemshorn was a medieval flute made from the horn of an ox or
a chamois. By that time,
bisons no longer existed in
It was one of the most popular instruments of the 13th through 16th centuries. Similar to the modern day organ in sound, it was held on the lap and keys allowing air to escape were pushed down (bellows) to make sounds. It was probably the predecessor to the accordion.
This instrument is shaped like a flattened letter S. The tone of it is rather foggy, and the s shape helps the player cover the finger holes which are positioned closer to the player. The Lizard is also called a tenor cornett.
There were many other instruments, and we have highlighted those we believe to be the most common.