The pandura(Ancient Greek:πανδοῦρα, pandoura) was an ancient Greek string instrument belonging in the broad class of the lute and guitar instruments. Musical instruments of this class have been observed in ancient Greek artwork from the 3rd or 4th century BC onward.
It was a wooden three-stringed instrument with a small soundbox and a long neck with frets for the production of different notes from each string (by the fluctuation of its palpitating length). It is the direct predecessor of the contemporary instruments in the lute family. It has survived until today with the name “tambouras”. The frets were possibly divided by movable leather cords so that the instrument would be used to produce the different genera of the ancient Greek music.
The player (usually a woman) held the pandoura horizontally with the neck of the instrument to the left, the left hand fingers pressed the strings on the frets and the right hand plucked the strings or struck them with the “plectrum”.
Manufactured at the premises of the ancient Europos (Northern Greece) by a family of musicians and luthiers, the Pandoura 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 Modeling).
With Each Order You Will Receive
Plus small gifts
40+ ancient melodies
Ancient lyre music album
Tuning and maintenance guide
A pack of extras
This Pandoura has 3 strings. The neck of the instrument is made by spruce wood, the soundbox is a replica of a real turtle shell, the tuning pegs are made by ebony and mulberry wood, the bottom part of the strings are attached to the animal skin, while the plectrum is manufactured by wood. According to the references, the frets were carefully placed at the brace of the instrument and are movable, a feature that makes pandoura uninhibited (ασυγκέραστη), in other words, the musician can move the frets and create numerous combination to make its sound unique.
The Pandoura’s height is 86.5 cm with 27 cm width. The length of the vibrating string is 66.7 cm while the soundbox measures 21,5 x 27.2 x 9.5 cm.
Along with every Pandoura, a handbook is provided including all the different ancient Greek scales (for tuning the harp) in the Aristoxenian tradition such as the Mixolydian, the Phrygian, the Dorian etc. What’s more, the oldest music melodies that had survived are also included such as the Hellenistic “Seikilos Epitaph” (2.000 years old, the oldest known complete melody of the human kind), and further descriptions regarding what modes were used in the antiquity for evoking specific feelings such as sorrow, happiness, bravery etc.
Since the beginning of 2018, every Luthieros Pandoura comes with a wooden plectrum and an extra set of nylon strings. A premium package, for a premium and authentic music instrument! A beautifully handmade premium wooden case for storing and moving around the instrument is also available here.
The Pandoura available for purchase are very limited. Needless to say that no animals were harmed…
|Number of strings|
86,5 x 27 x 9,5 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).
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