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cord made from the intestines of various animals (especially sheep and horses, but not cats). The membrane is chemically treated, and slender strands are woven together into cords of great strength, which are used for stringing musical instruments such as the violin and the harp. Roman strings, imported from Italy, are considered the best for musical instruments. Catgut is also used for stringing tennis rackets and for some surgical sutures.



cord made from the intestines of small cattle; a surgical sewing material. Catgut is used for internal sutures and for ligating blood vessels during operations. Catgut sutures are sometimes used externally under plaster casts. Catgut is absorbed by the tissues after seven to 30 days. [12–191–]


A thin cord made from the submucosa of sheep and other animal intestine; used for sutures and ligatures, for strings of musical instruments, and for tennis racket strings. Also known as gut.
References in periodicals archive ?
When you hear the tone of a gut string, a real gut string, struck across a hollow body with stretched skin on it, and it resonates, then you know what the blues are.
feel than typical monofilament or synthetic gut strings.
Despite feeling the frequent holes in the texture left by the missing vocal parts, there were so many good things here that the whole bizarre exercise proved decidedly worthwhile: the choice of gut strings imparting an almost basset-horn pastel quality to the sound, the use of authentic "classical" bows permitting a directness of contact which brought an almost operatic intensity to articulation (the "Dies Irae" sounded like a storm from Idomeneo, and the passage where Mozart laid down his pen for the last time was given an extra passion).
As always, the Musicians of the Old Post Road (10 strong for this concert) performed on original or facsimile instruments, so that the authenticity of gut strings and precursor versions of flute, oboe and bassoon, the sounds of traverso and violone, made it seem, in the words of veteran concertgoer Donald Berth, that "we had been transported to Hampton Court.
Violinist Catherine Scott's seven-piece ensemble often seemed to have difficulty reconciling musical expressivity with the unfamiliarity of, among other things, playing on gut strings with little or no vibrato.
One of the oldest surviving violins in the world, this lovely artefact with its mellow gut strings, produces a warmly communicative sound - sometimes melancholy, sometimes ironic - with an almost infinite capacity for nuance and colour.