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"PSALTERY -- Plucked Strings. Europe. An instrument first used by the Greeks. It has a sound-box like a dulcimer, but differs from it in that it is plucked with the fingers or a plectrum. In the latter part of the Seventeenth Century it was considered second to no other instrument when played by a skilled hand. It is considered as the predecessor of keyboard instruments with plucked strings. It is still made. The psaltery was usually trapeze-shaped or triangular and was portable, being often carried by means of a ribbon about the neck of the performer and deposited upon a table when it was to be played. In its outlines Praetorius found a likeness to a pig's head, referring to it in his writings as " instromento di porco." In German the name is Schweins-kopf. It is mentioned by Chaucer and from several con-temporary sculptures an idea of the original instrument may be found."

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