Learn how to play the lyre!
The Only Online Series of Lessons
on How to Play an Ancient Lyre!
According to Michael, “The replica lyre I am playing, is the beautifully crafted “Lyre of Apollo III” model, handmade in Greece by Luthieros Ancient and Modern Music Instruments. My finished album (released in early 2015) with the title “Lyre of Apollo” was recorded as part of my collaboration with Luthieros, in their inspirational “Lyre 2.0 Project” – dedicated to reintroducing the beautiful lyre of antiquity as a divine artifact, back into our much aesthetically poorer, bland modern world.”
“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
The Ancient Greek Modes
“The musical system of ancient Greece evolved over a period of more than 500 years from simple scales of tetrachords, or divisions of the perfect fourth, to The Perfect Immutable System, encompassing a span of fifteen pitch keys (see tonoi below) (Chalmers 1993, chapt. 6, p. 99)” – source
Tuning to Just Intonation
“In antiquity, lyres were tuned either cyclically, in perfect 5ths, the 3rds & 6ths then being fine-tuned by ear(Pythagorean tuning) or divisively (using exact mathematical ratios to precisely divide a musical string into specific pitch ratios) to achieve what is called “Just Intonation”.” – Michael Levy
Some Basic Melodies
Today, there are some 60 ancient melodies that survives in fragments, upon which a modern musician can improvise and imagine how they could sound in total. What’s more, they can be used as an amazing starting point for composing your own ancient-inspired songs.
More Basic Melodies
Today, there are some 60 ancient melodies that survives in fragments, upon which a modern musician can improvise and imagine how they could sound in total. What’s more, they can be used as an amazing starting point for composing your own ancient-inspired songs, like the one you just heard.
Using Both Hands
Learn to play “Skolion of Seikilos”
“The Epitaph of Seikilos” was found inscribed on a tombstone, including the lyrics and the musical notation. It is dated back to the first century before Christ and, except the song, the tombstone was stating that “I am a tombstone… an image. Seikilos placed me here as an everlasting sign of deathless remembrance”. It is academically confirmed as the oldest surviving example of a complete musical composition around the world.
Learn to play “The Bellermann Fragment”
“Learn how to play the ancient Greek music fragment called “Bellermann Fragment”, a magical ancient Greek piece of music in the dreamy sounding ancient Greek Hypolydian mode. This piece also features in my albums “The Ancient Greek Lyre” & “A Well Tuned Lyre – The Just Intonation of Antiquity”.” – Michael Levy