It was popular and widely used in Europe from about the 12th century AD until well into the 18th century. After a period of disuse lasting more than a hundred years, interest in it revived during the 20th century.
Lutes are made almost entirely of wood. The soundboard is a teardrop-shaped thin flat plate of resonant wood (usually spruce). European lutes have a large, circular sound hole cut into the belly and ornamented with a perforated rose carved from the belly's wood.The back/shell consists of thin strips of hardwood joined edge to edge to form the deep rounded body.