The term lute refers to a family of plucked string instruments with a round back and a the strings running in parallel to the soundboard. There are European and Eastern versions of the lute, which descend from a common ancestor. The various European lutes were widely used in instrumental music from the Medieval to the late Baroque periods, and were one of the most important instruments in secular music. The lute functioned most of the times as an accompaniment instrument, either plucking chords, following a written out line, or realizing the basso continuo. The lute eventually fell out of use, and much of its music was adapted for the guitar. The 20th century saw a revival of interest in this instrument.