Lyre of Thamyris (11 strings) – ancient Greek lyre
This is a replica of an ancient lyre, named after a legendary Thracian singer, Thamyris (Θάμυρης in ancient Greek). According to Greek mythology, Thamyris was so proud of his skill that he boasted he could challenge the Muses. But when he competed against them, he lost and as a punishment for his arrogance, the muses blinded him. The story demonstrates that poetic inspiration, a gift of the gods, can be also taken away by the gods. According to Pliny the Elder, Thamyris was the one who invented the Dorian mode.
LUTHIEROS Lyre of Thamyris has 11 strings, giving a range of a full octave, making it ideal for amateurs and professional musicians willing to get involved with ancient music. With the use of harmonics and other advanced playing techniques, a 9-strings lyre can produce three to four full octaves, along with the sharps! It is also ideal for learning, as many top-players and lyre instructors use lyres with fewer strings for their courses.
“So then, I will give you this lyre, glorious son of Zeus…” – Homeric Hymn to Hermes, line 490
Historic Accuracy & Playability
It's not a battle. It's about finding the right balance.
^ Orpheus seated playing the lyre, while Thracian soldiers listening to his music. Krater found in Gela (Sicily), 5th century B.C.. Antikensammlung Berlin collection.
< Orpheus seated playing the lyre, while Thracian soldiers listening to his music. Krater found in Gela (Sicily), 5th century B.C.. Antikensammlung Berlin collection.
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 (Greece) by a family of musicians and luthiers, the LUTHIEROS Lyre of Thamyris is made exclusively using natural materials available during the antiquity. All parts are made of quality wood with great musicality, the tuning pegs of ebony and mulberry wood, while the soundboard is made of animal skin. The arms are beautifully carved to resemble birds.
This ancient artifact evolved to become a modern musical instrument ready to be used both by amateur and professional musicians. For all the minor (but very important) alterations, top-notch technologies were applied 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.
Maas, M. & McIntosh Snyder, J. (1989). Stringed Instruments of Ancient Greece, New Haven.
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.
Our research is featured in major media:
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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).
Lyre of Thamyris (11 strings) – ancient Greek lyre