The most lyrical of all instruments and the one, with its dulcet tones, that blends in most sublimely with the human voice is the lute.
In small company nothing has surpassed the lute songs of composers such as Dowland and the Bach-like compositions of Weiss. Throughout the Renaissance the lute was as ubiquitous as the electric guitar is today. It was played all over Europe and, significantly, played as much by women as by men, as witnessed in hundreds of painting sfrom the era.
It’s eventual demise — and takeover by the guitar family — came from its low volume, not for any lack in the sweetness of its voice.