The music could be played by solo instruments such a lutes, harpsichords or virginals, by small groups of instruments of the same family or a group of varied instruments from different families. In England, a consort was the name given to a group of instruments of the same family playing together.
It was also a common practice to perform music with a 'broken consort', a collection of different instruments which blended together. This was really the forerunner of the Baroque orchestra which developed during the 17th century.
Rennaissance music performed by a broken consort.
- Renaissance (AH)