Lyre of Apollo (11 or 13 strings) – ancient Greek lyre
“Apollo took the lyre upon his left arm and tried each string with the key. Awesomely it sounded at the touch of the god, while he sang sweetly to its note.” – Homeric Hymn to Hermes, line 500
This is a replica of the ancient Greek lyre, named after Apollo, the national divinity of the ancient Greeks. Apollo has been recognized as a god of music and dance, truth and prophecy, healing and diseases, the Sun and light, poetry, and more. What’s more, the invention of string music is attributed to him. Plato said that the innate ability of humans to take delight in music, rhythm, and harmony is the gift of Apollo and the Muses.
There are quite a few mythological and historical accounts regarding the lyre of Apollo. Among the most impressive ones can be found in Ovid’s work Heroides, where the walls of Troy were built by Apollo just playing his lyre.
LUTHIEROS Lyre of Apollo has 11 strings (a 13-string version is also available), and it is ideal for both amateurs willing to learn how to play an ancient musical instrument, and skilled musicians with harp, guitar or piano background. Thanks to its string number, this lyre can give a chromatic range of a full octave. With the use of harmonics and other advanced playing techniques, an 11-string or 13-string lyre can produce three to four full octaves, along with the sharps!
Historic Accuracy & Playability
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^ Apollo is depicted crowned with a wreath of myrtle-leaves, his left-hand fingers touch the chords of his lyre. Magnificent white-ground kylix, found in a tomb at Delphi, 480-470 BC. Delphi Archaeological Museum (Greece).
< Apollo is depicted crowned with a wreath of myrtle-leaves, his left-hand fingers touch the chords of his lyre. Magnificent white-ground kylix, found in a tomb at Delphi, 480-470 BC. Delphi Archaeological Museum (Greece).
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 Apollo is made exclusively using natural materials available during the antiquity. All parts are made of quality wood with great musicality, 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.
Boardman, J. (2001). The history of Greek vases: potters, painters and pictures, Thames & Hudson, London.
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.
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.
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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).