A string instrument whose strings are attached to a yoke which consists of two arms and a crossbar. The yoke lies in the same plane as the soundtable (unlike a harp, whose strings are at right angles to the soundtable).

The earliest known lyres, dating from the 3rd millennium BCE, were found in Mesopotamia (Iraq). Lyres appeared in several ancient Mediterranean cultures and spread throughout medieval Europe.

Lyres were also played in the East African kingdoms of Kush (c650 BCE–325 CE) and Aksum (c100–350 CE), a tradition which has survived unbroken in modern Ethiopia.

Subcategories 1

Lyre of Ur
A project to reconstruct a lyre - 4,750 years old (predating the Great Pyramid by 750 years). Includes technical information about construction, with details of the project.
The Saxon Lyre
History, construction, and playing techniques.
Sumerian Bull Lyre
An account of a reconstruction (for Smith College Museum of Ancient Inventions, Massachusetts) of a lyre, developed by the Sumerians of ancient Iraq around 3200 BCE.
The Sumerian Gold Lyre
An account of one of the Sumerian stringed instruments discovered at the ancient site of Ur in 1927 by Sir Leonard Woolley. Includes a history, details of construction, and information about music of the time.
[Mozilla Piper]
Last update:
May 1, 2015 at 6:15:11 UTC
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