Highland King

January 1, 1999

Little is known of the earliest history of the Lute in Scotland, though it was clearly an important instrument for centuries before the first lute manuscripts appeared. Crusaders, for example, returned from the East with lutes, among other musical instruments. As early as the thirteenth century, and for centuries thereafter, there were frequent references to the "tinkling" and the "melodious sound" of the "jolie lute" in Scottish poetry, and poets always included it in inventories of then fashionable instruments. Joyful, doleful, even diabolical - all of the many moods of the lute inspired Scottish poets over the years, suggesting it was an instrument with which the educated classes were intimately familiar - Kevin Bazzan