Lute is a plucked stringed instrument, that came to Europe from Arabia. Unlike the modern guitar, it has got courses, not single strings. Lutes are entirely made of wood. There is a rostte on their soundboard. It's either fretted, or unfretted. The frets are made of guts, that are tied around the neck. A person who plays on lute is called lutenist (often confused with luthier, a person who makes musical instruments).
As there is no "standard" tuning for the lute, the lute has been tuned to fit the needs of player, although the most common tuning for medieval lute (with six courses) was GCFADG.
Evolution of luteEdit
Lute evolved by the years. At the beginning, the lutes got 4 or 5 courses. They were plucked y quill, that was used as a plectrum. Lutes were changing to fit the needs of players. Evolution of lute lead to creating such instruments like archlute, theorbo and torban.