The New Student's Reference Work/Lute
Lute, a musical instrument not now used, introduced into Europe by the Arabians, from whose language it derives its name. The Arabian lute was made from 21 pieces of maplewood; and the strings, eight in number, were tuned in pairs. In order to accommodate the lute to the chromatic scale, the number of strings was gradually increased to 24. The lute is represented on the sculptures of the Egyptian tombs. So its antiquity is great.