The Marvellous Lyre of Terpander – Ancient Greek Lyre (Chelys – 11 strings) – Top Quality HandCrafted Musical Instrument
“He took the lyre upon his left arm and tried each string in turn with the key, so that it sounded awesomely at his touch. And Phoebus Apollo laughed for joy; for the sweet throb of the marvellous music went to his heart, and a soft longing took hold on his soul as he listened.” – Homeric Hymn to Hermes, line 414-435
If you ever thought of having a unique ancient artefact in your home or even learn how to play an ancient music instrument invented by a God itself, then you never had an opportunity like this before… This listing is for the most advanced models of our ancient Greek lyres, named after the great ancient musician Terpander, one of the two fathers of the Greek music in antiquity.
Terpander is regarded as the founder of lyric poetry. According to Strabohe, he increased the number of strings in the lyre. He is also said to have introduced several new rhythms, and to have been famous as a composer of drinking-songs (skolia).
[ Update! Check how our ancient Greek lyres sound! Listen to our first recordings with virtuoso Lina Palera at https://soundcloud.com/luthieros-musicinstruments/sets/ancient-greek-lyres-recordings-by-the-lyre-20-project ]
Manufactured at the premises of the ancient Europos (Northern Greece) by a family of musicians and luthiers, the “Lyre of Olympus” is made of (and only) natural materials available during the antiquity. This ancient artefact was evolved to become a modern music instrument ready to be used by both amateur and professional musicians (for example, a modern tuning method was chosen instead of the ancient hard-to-use one). For all the minor (but very important) alterations, latest technologies were used during the prototyping phase (such as 3d Scanning and 3d Modeling).
This lyre has 11 to 13 gut strings (a set of nylon stings are included too, for greater durability). The soundbox is made by wood manufactured with modern luthier techniques to have the deeper and richer sound possible, the sound-board by animal skin, the arm, the tailpiece, the crossbar, the bridge and tuning keys by maple wood, and the plectrum by animal bone. The lyre’s height is 80 cm with 50 cm width, while its soundbox dimensions are 32 x 24 x 7 cm.
Along with every lyre, a handbook is provided including all the different ancient Greek scales (for tuning the lyre) in the Aristoxenian tradition such as the Mixolydian, the Phrygian, the Dorian etc. What’s more, the oldest music melodies that had survived are also included such as the Hellenistic “Seikilos Epitaph” (2.000 years old, the oldest complete melody of the human kind), and further descriptions regarding what modes were used in the antiquity for evoking specific feelings such as sorrow, happiness, bravery etc. Last, a full-color 68-pages book (in the form of a .pdf file) will be given, with more than 100 photos, describing the research behind our lyres and the whole design process.
Since the beginning of 2015, every Luthieros lyre comes with a bone plectrum, an extra set of nylon strings and a unique hand-strap (in Greek: “τελαμών”). A premium package, for a premium and authentic music instrument! A beautifully handmade premium wooden case for storing and moving around the instrument is also available here.
The lyres available for purchase are very limited. Needles to say that no animals were harmed…
“So then, I will give you this lyre, glorious son of Zeus…” – Homeric Hymn to Hermes, line 490
| Learn how to play the ancient Greek lyre!
Michael Levy, the most well-known ancient lyre player around the world, put together for us 11 video lessons (available online at our website). No matter if you are a completely amateur or a professional music player, you can play the lyre following Michael’s steps: http://en.luthieros.com/learn-to-play-the-lyre
| Hear how our ancient lyres sound:
(1) Hear how the “Game of Thrones” theme song would sound like if it was played in Ancient Greece (must-see), hear audio recordinga from various of our lyres, or watch players around the world playing ancient melodies with Luthieros Music Instruments: http://en.luthieros.com/be-inspired-by-players-around-the-world
(2) Check the latest music album by world-known lyre player, Michael Levy, using Luthieros’ Lyre of Apollo! Support his music on iTunes or his website: http://www.ancientlyre.com/
| Check a short presentation of “The Lyre 2.0 Project”:
https://vimeo.com/85653759 (in English)
| Read the extended review of one of our lyres by the most well-known ancient lyre player around the world: http://www.ancientlyre.com/the_lyre_20_project/
* Dozens of music stringed instruments around the world are direct descendants of the ancient Greek lyre: gue (Scotland), rote (England), crwth (Wales), hearpe (Germanic or Anglo-Saxon lyre), giga (Norway), talharpa (Estonia), jouhikko (Finland), knar (Armenia), lutnia (Poland), kinnor (Israel), sarangi (Nepal), sammu or tanbura or zami or zinar (Iraq, Arabian peninsula, Yemen), barbat or ektara (Pakistan), ektara (India and Bangladesh), nares-jux (Siberia), chang (Iran), kissar or tanbura or simsimiyya (Egypt, Sudan), begena or dita or krar (Ethiopia), endongo or ntongoli (Uganda), kibugander or litungu or nyatiti or obokano (Kenya) and litungu (Tanzania).
** Minor alterations might be present in the final instrument (regarding the colour or the kind of wood that was used for smaller parts) that you will receive in comparison with the images. For this reason, every instrument from the Luthieros team is undoubtedly unique. In case though you want the exact model that was photographed, please state it during the checkout! 🙂
Materials: animal skin, wood, sheep guts, bone, natural glue, wool, maple