[13] The remains of what is thought to be the bridge of a 2300-year-old lyre were discovered on the Isle of Skye, Scotland in 2010 making it Europe's oldest surviving piece of a stringed musical instrument. The Celtic Lyre: A Collection of Gaelic Songs With English Translations... Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. It was held in the right hand to set the upper strings in vibration; when not in use, it hung from the instrument by a ribbon. [citation needed], The so-called lyres of Ur, excavated in ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), date to 2500 BC and are considered to be the world's oldest surviving stringed instruments.[12]. When children, they were left to die on Mount Cithaeron but were found and brought up by a shepherd. Gods & Goddesses. License. The lyre was played either alone or as an accompaniment to singing or lyric poetry at all manner of occasions such as official banquets, symposia (private drinking parties), religious ceremonies, funerals, and in musical competitions such as those held at the great Panathanaia, Pythia, and Karneia festivals. The Lyre. [5] In classical Greek, the word "lyre" could either refer specifically to an amateur instrument, which is a smaller version of the professional cithara and eastern-Aegean barbiton, or "lyre" can refer generally to all three instruments as a family. In reference to design, the lyre is a tool of transformation meant to correspond with the symphonic tones/frequencies of a vibratory universe. He was considered the best musician and poet of all, and he perfected the lyre. (In Euripides’ lost Antiope the two young men He could charm rocks and rivers with his music. Greek Heroes A Greek hero was a brave and strong man that was favored by the gods. Locales in southern Europe, western Asia, or north Africa have been proposed[by whom?] Lyra represents the lyre played by Orpheus, musician of the Argonauts and son of Apollo and the muse Calliope. Seven strings (neurai or chordai) of equal length but varying thickness (usually made from sheep gut) stretched between the crossbar and a fixed tailpiece (chordotonon) and were played by strumming or plucking by hand, usually using a plectrum made of wood, ivory, or metal. Plato considered only the lyre or kithara as suitable instruments for musical education. A classical lyre has a hollow body or sound-chest (also known as soundboxor resonator), which, in ancient Greek tradition, was made out of turtle shell. Examples of that difference include a piano (a keyed zither) and a violin (referred to by some as a species of fingerboard lyre). They were called Olympians because, according to tradition, they resided on Mount Olympus. Apollo was furious, but after hearing the sound of the lyre, his anger faded. A sarcophagus from Hagia Triada depicts a seven string lyre, a wall-painting from Mycenaean Pylos has a five string lyre and a krater from Tiryns depicts a three string version. The lyre—which is perhaps his most well-known symbol—signifies that Apollo is the god of music. According to a source, his music had the ability to charm the animals and make the trees dance. They are connected near the top by a crossbar or yoke. From the entrails, he created the lyre. [9], A classical lyre has a hollow body or sound-chest (also known as soundbox or resonator), which, in ancient Greek tradition, was made out of turtle shell. Slightly later, across the Aegean in the 14th century BCE, lyres develop S-shaped arms and are frequently decorated with water-birds. Greek Vase Paintings 2. Lyres from various times and places are sometimes regarded by organologists as a branch of the zither family, a general category that includes not only zithers, but many different stringed instruments, such as lutes, guitars, kantele, and psalteries. Amphion and Zethus, in Greek mythology, the twin sons of Zeus by Antiope. It is a bird associated with love, music, poetry; it is often pictured singing to a lyre. An additional crossbar, fixed to the sound-chest, makes the bridge, which transmits the vibrations of the strings. holds that many modern stringed instruments are late-emerging examples of the lyre class. Cartwright, Mark. Apollo also taught that other great mythical musician, Orpheus, how to play the instrument which would become his emblem. He played the lyre and was said to be able to tame lions and tigers with his music. It was the god Apollo who taught Orpheus how to play the lyre when he was an adolescent. Ancient History Encyclopedia. In addition, Minoan hieroglyphs had a unique symbol for musicians, and a Linear B tablet from Thebes (1250-1200 BCE) mentions lyre players as members of the Mycenaean palace staff. SEARCH THEOI. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Lyre/. The lyre (Greek: λύρα, lýra) is a string instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later periods. [13][14] Material evidence suggests lyres became more widespread during the early Middle Ages,[citation needed] and one view[whose?] ... T61.7 Marsyas. It was closely related to the other stringed instruments: the chelys which was made from a tortoise shell, the four-stringed phorminx, and the seven-stringed kithara. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. His parents were the king of Thrace Oeagrus and the muse Calliope. Pitch was changed on individual strings by pressing the string firmly against the fingerboard with the fingertips. The sarcophagus was used during the Mycenaean occupation of Crete (c. 1400 BC). Last modified December 16, 2012. "Lyre." Apollo offered to trade the herd of cattle for the lyre. Ancient History Encyclopedia. The name kissar (cithara) given by the ancient Greeks to Egyptian box instruments reveals the apparent similarities recognized by Greeks themselves. For example, the silver stater of Calymna in Caria (600-550 BCE) had a tortoise shell lyre on its reverse side. Bestiary. There came to be two broad classes of bowed European yoke lyres: those with fingerboards dividing the open space within the yoke longitudinally, and those without fingerboards. "Lyre." The lyre is similar in appearance to a small harp but with distinct differences. His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common. 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