Greek Lyre Everything you need to know about this amazing instrument 
Greek Lyre Known as the lyre (from the Greek «lyra», subsequently in Latin «lyra»), this ancient musical instrument is shaped like an abacus and has strings that are plucked (which implies that you have to squeeze the string to make it vibrate), similar to the violin. The lyre is closely associated with Greek culture, despite the fact that this instrument may be found in a variety of civilizations. With regard to the Lyre, we shall devote ourselves to its promotion inside the Greek world.
For many years, probably between the 8th century BC and the 4th century AD, the seven-stringed lyre was the most extensively used instrument, despite the fact that early forms only had three strings. The lyre is more than just a musical instrument; it is also a philosophical idea. Plato believed that music and harmony, represented by the Lyre, were identical with the establishment of order in the cosmos. The same rules that govern the world also govern the strings of the lyre, which are governed by the same laws.
It is the ancestor of many other subsequent string instruments, including the harp, the lute, and the guitar, among others.
Ancient lyre from Greece
The Lyre of Ancient Greece is a musical instrument that serves a greater purpose. It serves as a portal to the mystical, enigmatic, and mythological realms. The vibrations of its strings give us a sense of order and harmony, which is referred to as The Kosmos in Greek. One of the simplest instruments to learn to play, yet it has a profound and haunting sound.
The history of music has left us with a trove of riches that have been lost to the passage of time. The Greek civilization left behind a lovely legacy, the Lyre, which may still be found amid the ruins.
Plato, Pythagoras, Aristotle, and other philosophers have written extensively about the merits and consequences of music. They were well aware of the hidden power contained within the strings of the Lyre, and they recorded their knowledge in their writings. In fact, it is well known that the Pythagoreans were adept at healing via music and that they were the world’s first music therapists. Check read the book “Lives of Pythagoras” available on Amazon to learn more about the wonderful world of Pythagorean society.
Now, in the twenty-first century, you have the opportunity to reconnect with this old knowledge and benefit from it.
The advantages of learning to play the Greek lyre
- You will learn to compose music in a straightforward manner that produces virtually immediate results.
- Remembering those monotonous music courses will be a thing of the past, as will the unpleasant taste in your mouth after receiving classes, and possibly even the time when they informed you that you were not working. It is with the Lyre that you will learn that you can, in fact, play.
- You will learn about the impacts of musical harmony as well as the consequences of music therapy. Stress reduction, peaceful harmony of our emotional condition, states of peace and tranquillity, and other benefits are achieved by meditation.
- It is one of the most effective methods of introducing youngsters to music.
- Playing the lyre with reverence and grace, as well as the importance it merits, is essential. When you touch something, you will notice its elegance.
Parts of the Lyre
The following items were used in the construction of the Lyre in ancient Greece:
- A hollow turtle shell that used as a sound box to enhance the volume of the music.
- To shut the box, an animal hide was used. When the strings are played, the skin membrane vibrates in response to the sounds they produce. The soundboard then amplifies the vibration that has occurred.
- Two wooden pegs were used to secure this shell in place (sometimes even the horns of an animal). The length of the strings is determined by the length of these studs.
- They placed a crossbar, known as the “yoke,” at the top of each of these uprights, which connected them together to form the basic framework.
- Straps: formed of animal origin (tendons, intestines, and so on), they allow for the creation of high stress without breaking the string. It was necessary to position the strings with varying tensions from the yoke to the base of the shell in order to obtain the musical notes.
- Headstock: This is a system that allows the strings to have more or less tension depending on the situation. The higher the tension in the string, the louder the sound produced by the string. Each string may be adjusted individually to produce a precise scale in this manner.
Characteristics of the Greek Lyre
Originally, tortoiseshell, skin, and animal gut threads were used in the construction of the structure. Nowadays, the materials used to construct the soundboard are numerous and include wood, pumpkin, synthetics, and other materials.
Size: Lyres may be made in a variety of sizes, with the idea that they will be portable and can be played while the player is resting on one leg. Its size, which ranges between 30 and 80 cm, makes it easy to handle and move without problem. The sound of the Lyre, on the other hand, will be considerably different depending on whether it is 30 cm or 80 cm in length. It will be dependent on the purpose for which we intend to put it.
The form of the Greek lyre remains constant throughout history. Basically, a design that reminds us of a round or somewhat square form is what we’re talking about. A tiny soundboard linked to two vertical cross members serves as a source of the sound. A third horizontal crossbar (yoke) to connect the verticals was added. They go from the horizontal yoke to the bottom of the soundboard, where they are connected to the bottom of the box.
A number of strings: The Greek lyre can have as few as three strings or as many as eighteen strings, depending on the type. The more the number of strings available, the greater the possibilities for us to construct more complicated tunes. The most often used option is a string count of between 10 and 15 strings.
What is the proper way to play the Greek lyre?
Generally speaking, the most frequent approach to play our Lyre is to support your body on one leg and position it straight. We can play with one or two hands, and we can use our fingers as well as a plectrum or pick to make our music. In order to clamp the string and produce a higher-quality sound when playing with your fingers, it is quite beneficial to have your nails somewhat longer and well-filed.
Because we use the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers, it would be equivalent to having four picks at the same time when playing with our fingers. With the four fingers, we will be able to create a greater number of tunes that are more complicated. Because of its lesser length, the little finger is not commonly employed because it makes it harder to reach the rope with it.