Set of 3 Plectrums – Authentic Ancient Pick for Stringed Instruments – Top Quality Artifact
This listing is for three plectrums, a type of ancient pick that the ancient Greeks were using to play the lyre, the kithara, or other string instruments by plucking or strumming.
The first one is flat, and entirely made of wood, producing a very distinctive ancient-like buzzing sound. It was the most common type of plectrum used by the masses in ancient Greece.
The second one is also flat, constructed mostly of wood with a tip made of animal bone and crafted by our master luthiers’ skilful hands. It is ideal for producing clear notes, also with a following ancient-like buzzing sound.
The last plectrum, also handcrafted out of wood, is unique thanks to its round shape. This type of plectrums was probably crafted for the professional lyre and kithara players of ancient Greece, as it is ideal for using it with advanced lyre playing techniques such as harmonics, or hroes.
In this package you will find three authentic ancient Greek plectrums made by animal bone. What’s more, they come with a leather string to attach them to your ancient lyre or another stringed musical instrument.
Michael Levy, one of the most well-known ancient lyre players around the world, recently got his ancient plectrum by Luthieros and commented (among the others) in public:
“The extra mass of the plectrum, (compared with my not-so authentic guitar pick!) enables much better sounding ‘string stopping’ techniques at the bridge (using the plectrum as a fret at the top of the string to raise its pitch by either a semitone or microtone).
The extra mass of the bone plectrum enables it to be used as a fret at the top of the strings to create accidentals and microtones, or for really cool effects like sliding the plectrum along the length of a vibrating string to create portamento! Surprisingly, effects like a Simsimiyya style tremolo work even better with this plectrum than on a modern guitar pick, which I used on my other lyres. Block and strum technique with this plectrum provides extra volume than a guitar pick, but it is a little more difficult to rapidly change the direction of the strumming pattern with the lack of flexibility in the authentic bone plectrum.
The best thing about these authentic bone plectrums in the leather cord, attaching the plectrum to the lyre at all times – what a clever idea of the ancients… it is literally impossible to ever lose the plectrum!”
Historic Accuracy & Playability
It's not a battle. It's about finding the right balance.
^ A female oinochoe (wine pitcher) playing a barbiton lyre with 8 strings. Terracotta red-figure, 490-480 B.C. Ιnscription in Greek: "He is beautiful; She is beautiful." Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum.
< A female oinochoe (wine pitcher) playing a barbiton lyre with 8 strings. Terracotta red-figure, 490-480 B.C. Ιnscription in Greek: "He is beautiful; She is beautiful." Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum.
Bringing Ancient Artifacts Back to Life
To handcraft premium ancient-replicas with a focus to the modern musician, you have to research a lot, analyze hundreds of ancient depictions, build a lot of prototypes, test them with great musicians, etc.
And all of these, to conclude to meaningful compromises that have to be made, that are both deeply justified and make sense in terms of usability/playability. All in all, our ultimate goal is to serve the modern musician, and to bring ancient artifacts back to life as fully functional musical instruments.
This is true whether you handcraft a prominent musical instrument or a small part of it, an additional accessory for a lyre, or a revolutionary new part to further evolve it. Our master luthiers, along with our R&D team, pay attention to even the most minor of the details, and the big picture always takes care of itself.
Robinson, D.M. (1938). Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum U.S.A.: volume 3, The Robinson Collection, Harvard University Press.
Koumartzis et al. (2015). A New Music Instrument from Ancient Times: Modern Reconstruction of the Greek Lyre of Hermes using 3D Laser Scanning, Advanced Computer Aided Design and Audio Analysis. Journal of New Music Research. 44. 324-346.
Maas, M. & McIntosh Snyder, J. (1989). Stringed Instruments of Ancient Greece, New Haven.
Various authors (2012). Greek Musical Instruments: Research in visual and written sources (2000 B.C. - 2000 A.D.), Teloglion Foundation, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Our research is featured in major media:
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"All of these beautiful lyres, lovingly hand-crafted by Luthieros are indeed, divine artifacts, reintroduced into the modern world… " - Michael Levy, a world-renowned lyre player. Read his extended review here.
"Electric guitars are very often provided with vibrato, tremolo or whammy bars. That concept was in fact invented by the ancient Greeks twenty four hundred years ago. Kithara was a musical instrument very popular during the Golden Age of Ancient Greece. This is a reproduction that was made by the Greek master luthier Anastasios Koumartizis of Luthieros Music Instruments." - Peter Pringle, a professional Canadian musician, and well-known ancient instruments player. Watch his extended video review here.
"Can't be happier with my lyre! Learning how to play this amazing piece of art! The lyre has amazing finishes and you can feel it's made with love and skilfull hands." - Jaume Gual Bennàssar, Balearic Islands, Spain (verified review through Etsy.com).
Our family is world-renowned for its dedication, love and care. Here are some amazing reviews concerning our whole product range!
"It’s handcrafted with such care and the materials are fine and well chosen. It arrived to us safely all the way from Greece and we were able to track it all the way so we always knew what was happening." - Rachel Loeb, Los Angeles, U.S.A. (verified review through Etsy.com).
"Amazing company! I was very skeptical about ordering an instrument online but it was packaged very safely and arrived in such a timely manner! Luthieros also has some of the best communication skills I've ever encountered with a company, I had many questions that were all answered with great detail shortly after I asked them." - Batherus Batherus, New York, U.S.A. (verified review through Etsy.com).
"The Koumartzis familia have been making replicas of ancient Greek instruments for many years, used by famous lyre players. They also contribute to their musical passions through research and collaborations." - Ancient History Encyclopedia. Read the extended tribute here.
"My ancient Kithara, handcrafted by Luthieros Music Instruments, is for me a very interesting challenge. As an instrument is both old and new. It carries a history of many centuries and at the same time_ it is a very modern challenge that requires a creative approach to musical archetypes. After many experiments […] I discover that this instrument has but many extensions and features that are not noticeable at first glance. The construction is both sturdy and thin, and made of quality woods, which are eclectic, stylish and durable." - Ross Daly, a professional world musician of Irish descent.
"Absolutely fantastic! A truly wonderfully crafted instrument. I can’t put it down. It feels wonderful to play and is transporting me back in time." - Sarah Tilsley, West Sussex, U.K. (verified review through Etsy.com).