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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

kinnor

ancient Hebrew lyre, the musical instrument of King David. According to the Roman Jewish historian Josephus (1st century AD), it resembled the Greek kithara (i.e., having broad arms of a piece with the boxlike neck), and kinnor was translated as "kithara" in both the Greek Old Testament and the Latin Bible. Medieval writers often mistakenly called it a harp. The kinnor had from 3 to 12 gut strings, in late antiquity usually 10. It was played with a plectrum when accompanying singing or dancing but was apparently plucked with the fingers when used as a solo instrument. The term sometimes referred generically to stringed instruments.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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