Lyre of Aphrodite (7 strings) – ancient Greek lyre
Shimmering-throned immortal Aphrodite,
Daughter of Zeus, Enchantress, I implore thee,
Spare me, O queen, this agony and anguish,
Crush not my spirit – Ode to Aphrodite, Sappho
This is a replica of a chelys lyre, named after Aphrodite, the goddess of love and procreation according to Greek mythology.
Because of her beauty, other gods feared that their rivalry over her would interrupt the peace and lead to war, so Zeus married her to Hephaestus, who, because of his ugliness and deformity, was not seen as a threat. Aphrodite had many lovers—both gods, such as Ares, and men, such as Anchises.
Whatsmore, she played a role in the Eros and Psyche legend, and later was both Adonis’s lover and his surrogate mother. Many lesser beings were said to be children of Aphrodite.
LUTHIEROS Lyre of Aphrodite has 7-strings, and it can be considered as a base instrument for anyone willing to learn how to play it, as many top-players and lyre instructors use 7-strings lyres for their courses. With the use of harmonics and other advanced playing techniques, a 7-strings lyre can easily produce three to four full octaves, along with the sharps!
Historic Accuracy & Playability
It's not a battle. It's about finding the right balance.
^ Aphrodite consorting with Adonis, who is seated and playing the lyre. Attic red-figure squat lekythos, ca. 410 BC, The Musée du Louvre, France.
< Aphrodite consorting with Adonis, who is seated and playing the lyre. Attic red-figure squat lekythos, ca. 410 BC, The Musée du Louvre, France.
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 Lyre of Aphrodite is made exclusively using natural materials available during the antiquity. All parts are made of quality wood with great musicality, the soundbox is a reproduction of an actual tortoiseshell, while the tuning pegs are made by ebony and mulberry wood. The bottom part of the strings is attached to animal skin, while the plectrum is manufactured by wood.
This ancient artifact was evolved to become a modern musical instrument ready to be used by both amateur and professional 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 LUTHIEROS family. Key collaborations include the International Hellenic University and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
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.
West, M.L. (1992). Ancient Greek Music, Oxford.
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 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).
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).
Lyre of Aphrodite (7 strings) – ancient Greek lyre