Kithara of the Golden Age (9 strings) with cedarwood
“Solon of Athens heard his nephew sing a song of Sappho’s over the wine and, since he liked the song so much, he asked the boy to teach it to him. When someone asked him why, he said: ‘So that I may learn it, then die.’ “ – Florilegium (3.29.58) of Stobaeus
This is a replica of an ancient Kithara, an advanced musical instrument of Classical Greece used mainly by professional musicians. Kithara (Latin: cithara) was used in competitions and public performances, including recitations of epic poetry, rhapsodies, odes, lyric songs, etc.
It bears an advanced spring mechanism that enables the instrument to produce vibrato/tremolo and portamento, giving to kithara players the ability to add expression to their music, use sharps and flats, allow every version of the diatonic scale to start at any point on the chromatic scale, etc. In this particular instrument, cedarwood is used for its soundboard, adding extra volume and clarity on kithara’s high frequencies.
LUTHIEROS Kithara of the Golden Age – Collector Edition has 9 strings and the range of a full octave, and it is ideal for anyone willing to awe his audience and demonstrate how advanced ancient musical instruments could be. Whatsmore, it is perfect for anyone willing to learn how to play it, as many top-players and instructors use instruments with fewer strings for their courses. With the use of harmonics and other advanced playing techniques, a kithara can produce three to four full octaves, including sharps and flats!
Historic Accuracy & Playability
It's not a battle. It's about finding the right balance.
^ Young musician playing a kithara. While the situation is probably a competition, the subject is the music itself. It transports the performer, determines his pose, and causes the cloth below the instrument to sway gently. Terracotta red-figure amphora, Berlin Painter, ca. 490 B.C., Late Archaic, MET Museum, New York.
< Young musician playing a kithara. While the situation is probably a competition, the subject is the music itself. It transports the performer, determines his pose, and causes the cloth below the instrument to sway gently. Terracotta red-figure amphora, Berlin Painter, ca. 490 B.C., Late Archaic, MET Museum, New York.
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 Kithara of the Golden Age – Collector Edition is made exclusively of natural materials available during the antiquity. All parts are of quality wood with great musicality, and the tuning pegs are of ebony and mulberry wood. This particular version of LUTHIEROS Kithara has a soundboard made of cedarwood, adding to its sound outstanding brightness and depth, along with an extra premium feeling in terms of aesthetics.
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.
Landels, J.G. (1999). Music in Ancient Greece and Rome, London / New York.
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).
Kithara of the Golden Age (9 strings) with cedarwood