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The original Cittern was an instrument with characteristics of both the guitar and a large mandolin.

The name is now generally used for an instrument with five pairs of strings, otherwise similar to the Irish Bouzouki.

 

Tunings such as FCFCF , GDGDG, and ADADA are popular and result in the familiar rich sound, with several strings often being left unfretted orĀ  “open”

Other tunings are possible, but restricted in range by the string length of the particular instrument.