The Lyre of Pluto – The Lyre of the Underworld – Ancient Greek Lyre (Chelys – 9 strings) – Top Quality HandCrafted Musical Instrument
“Hades gives not way, and is pitiless, and therefore he among all the gods is most hateful to mortals.” – Homer, Iliad 9. 158
This is a replica of an ancient Greek lyre, named after Hades (ᾍδης in ancient Greek) who was the ancient God of the Underworld, and his name came to designate the Realm of the Dead. Later on, ancient Greeks started referring to the god Hades as Plouton, and the Romans Latinized the name as Pluto.
Manufactured at the premises of the ancient Europos (Northern Greece) by a family of musicians and luthiers, the “Lyre of Hades” or the “Lyre of the Dead” 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).
Ancient Greek mythology narrates that he and his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, were they who defeated the Titans and claimed rulership over the cosmos, ruling the underworld, air, and sea, respectively. Even later on (but not during the antiquity), Hades was associated with the Helm of Darkness.
“[God Poseidon speaks:] We are three brothers born by Rhea to Kronos, Zeus, and I, and the third is Hades, lord of the dead men. All was divided among us three ways, each given his domain. I when the lots were shaken drew the grey sea to live in forever; Hades drew the lot of the mists and the darkness, and Zeus was allotted the wide sky.” – Homer, Iliad 15. 186
This lyre has 9 strings. The soundbox is made by wood shaped to produce rich sound, the arm, the tailpiece, the crossbar, the bridge and tuning keys by maple wood, the sound-board by animal skin, and the plectrum by wood. The lyre is physically painted in the colour of darkness (black), with a thin layer of varnish to protect the wood and make the whole instrument even more imposing on the eye.
The lyre’s height is 65 cm with 40 cm width, while its soundbox dimensions are 28 x 28 x 9,5 cm. Last, the length of the vibrated strings is 47 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 included such as the Hellenistic “Seikilos Epitaph” (2.000 years old, the oldest known 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.
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!