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theorbo

[thee-awr-boh] /θiˈɔr boʊ/
noun, plural theorbos.
1.
an obsolete bass lute with two sets of strings attached to separate peg boxes, one above the other, on the neck.
Origin
1595-1605
1595-1605; < Italian teorba, variant of tiorba, special use of Venetian tiorba, variant of tuorba traveling bag ≪ Turkish torba bag; so called from the bag it was carried in
Related forms
theorbist, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for theorbo

theorbo

/θɪˈɔːbəʊ/
noun (pl) -bos
1.
(music) an obsolete form of the lute, having two necks, one above the other, the second neck carrying a set of unstopped sympathetic bass strings
Derived Forms
theorbist, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Italian teorba, probably from Venetian, variant of tuorba travelling bag, ultimately from Turkish torba bag
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for theorbo

large bass lute, or archlute, used from the 16th to the 18th century for song accompaniments and for basso continuo parts. It had six to eight single strings running along the fingerboard and, alongside them, eight off-the-fingerboard bass strings, or diapasons. Both sets of strings had separate pegboxes connected by an S curve in the instrument's neck. On 18th-century theorbos all but the two top courses of strings were double.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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