Cithara of the Golden Age (9 strings) with cedar wood
Available on backorder
“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 a “Cithara of the Golden Age Collector’s edition”, an advanced string instrument invented by the Ancient Greeks able to produce vibrato and tremolo effects while it is played.
The “Cithara of the Golden Age” (Greek: κιθάρα, kithāra, Latin: cithara) was an advanced relative of the more popular lyre. As opposed to the simpler lyre, which was a folk-instrument, the cithara was primarily used by professional musicians, called kitharodes.
Most vase paintings show cithara with seven strings, in agreement with ancient authors, but these also mention that occasionally a skillful kitharode would use more than the conventional seven strings.
The cithara was played primarily to accompany dances and epic recitations, rhapsodies, odes, and lyric songs. It was also played solo at the receptions, banquets, national games, and trials of skill. It is considered to be an invention of Terpander. Aristotle said that these string instruments were not for educational purposes but for pleasure only.
The cithara was the virtuoso’s instrument, generally known as requiring a great deal of skill.
Manufactured at the premises of the ancient Europos (Northern Greece) by a family of musicians and luthiers, the “Cithara of the Golden Age Collector’s edition“ is made of (and only) natural materials available during the antiquity. This ancient artifact was evolved to become a modern music instrument ready to be used by both amateur and professional musicians (for example, a modern tuning method was chosen instead of the ancient hard-to-use one). For all the minor (but very important) alterations, latest technologies were used during the prototyping phase (such as 3d Scanning and 3d Modeling).
With Each Order You Will Receive
Tuning and maintenance guide
Every lyre handcrafted by Luthieros is shipped with premium sugar cane strings, produced to match the needs of our ancient-inspired musical instruments by the world-renowned string supplier “Aquila Corde Armoniche”. We choose sugar cane strings as a default due to their superior sound, brightness, and durability. Additionally, you can order premium gut strings, produced specifically for Luthieros musical instruments!
40+ ancient melodies
Ancient lyre music album
A pack of extras
Including a wooden plectrum and a unique hand-strap (in Greek: “τελαμών”), along with extra small gifts to say "thank you" for making our family's dream possible!
Cithara of the Golden Age has 9 strings. The soundbox, the arm, the tailpiece, the crossbar, the advanced spring mechanism, the tuning keys, the plectrum, and the bridge are made of wood. The Cithara’s height is 80-90 cm with 40-50 cm width, while its soundbox dimensions are approximately 45 x 45 x 9 cm. What’s more, Luthieros’ “Cithara of the Golden Age Collector’s edition” comes with a simple but very effective system for adjusting the “flexibility” of the upper part (crossbar) and therefore the level of the vibrato effect!
We use only top quality kinds of wood, ideal for musical instruments, such as walnut, cherry, mahogany, mulberry, maple, ebony, etc. In this particular one of a kind piece, we used cedarwood for its soundboard, adding a natural resonance to its sound and extra clarity on its high frequencies.
Golden Age of Greece (Classical Period), 5th and 4th centuries B.C.
|Number of strings||
cedar wood, ebony, bronze
80-90 x 40-50 x 9 cm
45 x 45 x 9 cm
Minor alterations might be present in the final instrument (regarding the color or the kind of wood that was used for smaller parts) that you will receive in comparison with our website's images. For this reason, every Luthieros musical instrument is undoubtedly unique.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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).
"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).
"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).
"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).
A 2-minutes look to an on-going R&D project: The Lyre 2.0 Project
Hear how our ancient lyres sound: Professional and amateur musicians around the world play, compose and experiment with our full range of ancient musical instruments. Be inspired by them by hearing audio recordings and watching them playing ancient melodies!
Learn how to play a lyre-like instrument: Michael Levy, one of the most renowned ancient lyre players around the world, put together a course of 11 video lessons (available online at our website). No matter if you are a complete amateur or a professional music player, you can play the lyre following Michael's steps.
Learn how to play an advanced string ancient Greek instrument, the cithara of the Golden Age (with a vibrato & tremolo feature): Michael Levy put together for us 11 video lessons (available online at our website).
Don't hesitate to ask: Luthieros team is proud for its great reputation in terms of customer service and customer satisfaction. If you need further clarifications or need someone to guide you to the perfect musical instrument for your personal needs, here is how to get in touch with us: Get in touch with Luthieros team
Dozens of music stringed instruments around the world are direct descendants of the ancient Greek lyre: gue (Scotland), rote (England), crwth (Wales), hearpe (Germanic or Anglo-Saxon lyre), giga (Norway), talharpa (Estonia), jouhikko (Finland), knar (Armenia), lutnia (Poland), kinnor (Israel), sarangi (Nepal), sammu or tanbura or zami or zinar (Iraq, Arabian peninsula, Yemen), barbat or ektara (Pakistan), ektara (India and Bangladesh), nares-jux (Siberia), chang (Iran), kissar or tanbura or simsimiyya (Egypt, Sudan), begena or dita or krar (Ethiopia), endongo or ntongoli (Uganda), kibugander or litungu or nyatiti or obokano (Kenya) and litungu (Tanzania).
Add a premium case for your instrument
This is a must-have for your musical instrument. These are top-quality handcrafted wooden cases that will protect your musical instrument against any (small or moderate) impact and humidity.
Designed specifically for each instrument
Each one of our handmade wooden cases is crafted from scratch to meet the dimensions of our musical instruments.
Ready to Own Something Truly Unique?
Cithara of the Golden Age (9 strings) with cedar wood
Available on backorder