Lyre of the Blind Bard (Homer) – Ancient Greek Lyre (Chelys – 9 strings) – Top Quality HandCrafted Musical Instrument
Remember me in after time whenever any one of men on earth comes here and asks of you: “Whom think is the sweetest singer that comes here?” Then answer, each and all, with one voice: “He is a blind man, and dwells in rocky Chios: his lays are evermore supreme.” – Homeric Hymn to Apollo (3, 165)
This is an anniversary lyre named after the well-known Homer, the blind bard of the ancient times to whom are attributed so many hymns and poems (many of them helped us manufacture our lyres, thanks to his descriptions). So, in a great extent, we are able to manufacture lyre replica todays thanks to Homer’s hymns and ancient poems.
Homer (Ὅμηρος in ancient Greek) is best known as the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and he was considered by the ancient Greeks as the first and greatest of the epic poets. Author of the first known literature of Europe, he had a lasting effect on the Western canon.
The importance of Homer to the ancient Greek world is described in Plato’s “Republic”, which portrays him as the “first teacher” of the tragedians, the “leader of Greek culture”, and the “teacher of [all] Greece”. Fragments of Homer account for nearly half of all identifiable Greek literary papyrus finds in Egypt.
Manufactured at the premises of the ancient Europos (Northern Greece) by a family of musicians and luthiers, the “Lyre of the Blind Bard” 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 9 strings. 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 wood, and the plectrum by wood. The lyre’s height is 67 cm with 40 cm width, its soundbox dimensions are 25 x 21 x 7 cm, while the length of its vibrating strings is 54 cm (the lyricist can adjust it by 3-5 cm).
We use only top quality kinds of wood, ideal for musical instruments, such as walnut, cherry, mahogany, mulberry, maple, ebony etc. In case you are interested to learn what specific kinds of wood we used for this specific lyre’s parts, don’t hesitate to ask us!
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 upon request, 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 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 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!
Out of stock