Check out a video of our Phorminx being played by the most well-known ancient lyre player around the world, Michael Levy…
650.00 €–725.00 €
“He sang the story of the deathless gods and of the dark earth, how at the first they came to be, and how each one received his portion.”
– Homeric Hymn to Hermes, line 414-435
If you ever thought of having an authentic magnificent ancient artefact in your home or even learn how to play it, then you never had an opportunity like this before… This listing is for a “Phorminx”, an advanced string instrument invented by the Ancient Greeks able to produce vibrato and tremolo effects while it is played.
The phorminx (in Ancient Greek φόρμιγξ) was one of the oldest ancient Greek stringed musical instruments, intermediate between the lyre and the kitharis (or kithara). It consisted of two to seven strings, richly decorated arms and a crescent- shaped sound box. It almost probably originated from Mesopotamia. While it seems to have been common in Homer’s day, accompanying the rhapsodes, it was supplanted in historical times by the seven-stringed kithara. Despite being a descendant of the lyre and a forefather of kitharis, it was the first ancient instrument that ancient Greeks introduced a basic spring mechanism for a richer sound and a “sweet” vibrato effect.
Luthieros’ Phorminx has 7 or 9 gut strings (a set of nylon strings are included too, for greater durability). The soundbox is made of wood, shaped to produce rich sound, the arm, the tailpiece, the crossbar, the soundboard, the bridge, the plectrum and tuning keys of maple wood.
The lyre’s height is 75 cm with 43 cm width, while its soundbox dimensions 43 x 42 x 7-8 cm. Smaller versions are also being constructed.
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 Phorminx’s parts, don’t hesitate to ask us!
Along with every Phorminx, 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 Phorminx available for purchase are limited.
| 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: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 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/
* 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 our website’s images. For this reason, every instrument from the Luthieros Workshop is undoubtedly unique. In case though you want the exact model that was photographed, please state it during the checkout!