A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Citole

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CITOLE. This word, used by poets in the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries, has been derived from cistella (Lat.) a small box, and is supposed to mean the small box-shaped psaltery, sometimes depicted in MSS. of the period in representations of musicians. Dr. Rimbault ('The Pianoforte,' 1860, p. 25) has collected several poetic references to the citole, including quotations from the 'Roman de la Rose," Gavin Douglas, Gower, and Chaucer ('Knight's Tale,' 'a citole in hire right hand hadde she'). According to the same authority (p. 22) the name was used as late as 1543. [See Psaltery.] A modern instance of the use of the name is in D. G. Rosetti's 'Blessed Damozelle,'

    'And angels meeting us shall sing
        To their citherns and citoles.'

[ A. J. H. ]