Cithara of the Golden Age – Enhanced Ancient Greek Cithara (9 strings) with cedar wood – Collector’s edition
| Watch a short video about “Cithara of the Golden Age”, and here how this amazing instrument sounds: https://youtu.be/MFkAIXpmY7s
“Solon of Athens heard his nephew sing a song of Sappho’s over the wine and, since he liked the song so much, he asked the boy to teach it to him. When someone asked him why, he said: ‘So that I may learn it, then die.’ “ – Florilegium (3.29.58) of Stobaeus
This a “Cithara of the Golden Age Collector’s edition”, an advanced string instrument invented by the Ancient Greeks able to produce vibrato and tremolo effects while it is played.
The “Cithara of the Golden Age” (Greek: κιθάρα, kithāra, Latin: cithara) was an advanced relative of the more popular lyre. As opposed to the simpler lyre, which was a folk-instrument, the cithara was primarily used by professional musicians, called kitharodes.
Most vase paintings show cithara with seven strings, in agreement with ancient authors, but these also mention that occasionally a skilful kitharode would use more than the conventional seven strings.
The cithara was played primarily to accompany dances and epic recitations, rhapsodies, odes, and lyric songs. It was also played solo at the receptions, banquets, national games, and trials of skill. It is considered to be an invention of Terpander. Aristotle said that these string instruments were not for educational purposes but for pleasure only.
The cithara was the virtuoso’s instrument, generally known as requiring a great deal of skill.
Manufactured at the premises of the ancient Europos (Northern Greece) by a family of musicians and luthiers, the “Cithara of the Golden Age Collector’s edition“ 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).
Cithara of the Golden Age has 9 strings (a set of nylon strings are included too, for greater durability). The soundbox, the arm, the tailpiece, the crossbar, the advanced spring mechanism, the tuning keys, the plectrum and the bridge are made of wood. The Cithara’s height is 80-90 cm with 40-50 cm width, while its soundbox dimensions are approximately 45 x 45 x 9 cm. What’s more, Luthieros’ “Cithara of the Golden Age Collector’s edition” comes with a simple but very effective system for adjusting the “flexibility” of the upper part (crossbar) and therefore the level of the vibrato effect!
We use only top quality kinds of wood, ideal for musical instruments, such as walnut, cherry, mahogany, mulberry, maple, ebony etc. In this particular one of a kind piece, we used cedar wood for its soundboard, adding a natural resonance on its sound and extra clarity on its high frequencies.
Along with every Cithara, 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 upon request, with more than 100 photos, describing the research behind our ancient string instruments and the whole design process.
Since the beginning of 2015, every Luthieros lyre comes with a wooden 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 Citharas available for purchase are limited but this particular is one of a kind collector’s edition, meaning that the first to place an order, will the only one to have it.
| Learn how to play the ancient Greek lyre or cithara!
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:
| 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 recordings from various of our ancient instruments, 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 albums 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/