I was reading an article where they said that the lute was derived from the oud, a fretless melodic Middle Eastern instrument. But they added frets to the lute in order to make it easier to harmonize multiple notes at the same time, that way it could better integrate with Western European music which was "harmonically-driven".
But it got me wondering what made Western European music based on harmony in the first place. This isn't the first article I've seen that mentioned this. Is it because Europe had instruments such as the harpsichord that had the ability to play multiple notes together. Is that the context that was going on in Europe before the lute hit the scene? Or is there another reason harmony was a big factor in Western Europe?
Edit: on second thought, there were instruments far before the harpsichord like the Lyre that could play multiple notes together too.