Monochord of Pythagoras
“There is geometry in the humming of the strings. There is music in the spacing of the spheres. ” – Pythagoras, Greek philosopher (570 – 495 B.C.)
This is a replica of the Monochord of Pythagoras, named after the famous Greek philosopher from Samos, who reinvented it during the sixth century B.C. As Aristotle once wrote, “the Pythagoreans construct the whole universe out of numbers”, and this is why “music, mathematics, and astronomy were inexorably linked in the monochord” (Siemen, 1993).
The monochord is an ancient sonometer, musical, and scientific laboratory instrument that is ideal to demonstrate the relationship between the frequency of the sound produced by a plucked string, and its length. “With its single string, movable bridge and graduated rule, the monochord straddled the gap between notes and numbers, intervals and ratios, sense-perception and mathematical reason” according to Dr. Creese, Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia.
LUTHIEROS Monochord of Pythagoras consists of a rectangular soundbox with a wooden soundboard, one fixed bridge, and one movable bridge, along with a single gut string. According to modern lyre instructors, it is the ideal educational instrument to deeply understand how the harmonics are produced. What’s more, it is an excellent pedagogical tool for demonstrating mathematical relationships between intervals.
Historic Accuracy & Playability
It's not a battle. It's about finding the right balance.
^ The monochord was reinvented by the Greek philosopher Pythagoras during 6th century B.C. This is the monochordum mundanum illustration (1617) from Robert Fludd's "Utriusque Cosmi, Maioris scilicet et Minoris, Metaphysica, Physica, Atque Technica Historia" ("Tomus Primus").
< The monochord was reinvented by the Greek philosopher Pythagoras during 6th century B.C. This is the monochordum mundanum illustration (1617) from Robert Fludd's "Utriusque Cosmi, Maioris scilicet et Minoris, Metaphysica, Physica, Atque Technica Historia" ("Tomus Primus").
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.
Manufactured at the premises of the ancient Europos (Northern Greece) by a family of musicians and luthiers, the LUTHIEROS Monochord of Pythagoras is made exclusively using natural materials available during antiquity. All parts (including the soundbox) are made of quality wood with great musicality, the soundboard is made also of wood, while the tuning peg is made by ebony and mulberry wood. What’s more, a gut string is used, along with bone for the two bridges.
This ancient artifact was evolved to become a modern educational musical instrument ready to be used by both amateur and professional music teachers or musicians. For all the minor (but very important) alterations, top-notch technologies were used during the prototyping phase (such as 3d Modeling and rapid prototyping) as part of University-based research by members of the LUTHIEROS family. Key collaborations include the International Hellenic University and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Creese, David (2010). The Monochord in Ancient Greek Harmonic Science, p.vii. Cambridge.
Iamblichus, De Vita Pythagorica (On the Pythagorean Life), c. 300 AD.
Terpstra, Siemen (1993). "An Introduction to the Monochord", Alexandria 2: The Journal of the Western Cosmological Traditions, Volume 2, p.137-9. David Fideler, ed. Red Wheel/Weiser.
Zhmud, Leonid (2012), Pythagoras and the Early Pythagoreans, translated by Windle, Kevin; Ireland, Rosh, Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
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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 Luthiers 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).
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"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).
Monochord of Pythagoras