The European lute is featured in instrumental music from the early Renaissance to the late Baroque periods. It's early origins are vague, but it's common ancestor is the Egyptian oud. There is evidence of the lute in Europe as early as the 12th century, but it really became popular in the 15th century, falling out of use around 1800. The lute enjoyed a revival with the early music movement of the twentieth century, and has grown in popularity.
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