This is just one of a number of stringed instruments used in the distant past to play Celtic music. Specifically, the cittern is a stringed instrument of the lute family which traces its origins to the Renaissance. It was one of the very first metal-strung and plectrum-plucked instruments. Up to that point, almost all stringed instruments used gut strings. The cittern is also unusual in that it has a range of only a major 6th between its lowest and highest notes.