Rebirth of a Bronze Age Lyre! | Michael Levy


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Discovered in ancient Thebes & miraculously preserved in Leiden, is an actual surviving lyre from ancient Egypt, incredibly dating to circa 1,500 BC:

In 2018, from the actual dimensions of this lyre, Luthieros skillfully recreated a replica! For more of their magnificent modern recreations of ancient musical instruments, please visit:

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These types of distincitively Canaanite, asymmetrical lyres were almost certainly introduced into Egypt, during the reign of the Canaanite Hyksos kings from around 1,600 BC (prior to this time, only archaic arched harps are illustrated in ancient Egyptian art).

As these lyres were so common throughout Canaan & the ancient Near East, it is probably also about the nearest we can get to what the actual lyre of King David may once have looked like and sounded.

The distinctive buzzy timbre, is courtesy of the the flat-topped, grooveless bridge – this type of lyre bridge is the most common on most of the lyres still played throughout Africa today; where they were probably introduced in antiquity, via trade routes between the Ancient Near East, Egypt and the rest of the African continent. It therefore may be more likely, that the original ancient Near Eastern lyres also had this sitar-like timbre, rather than the pure harp-like tone we generally associate with these ancient instruments?

To hear more of this lyre, please check out my 2020 release, “Echoes of Ancient Mesopotamia & Canaan”:

Many thanks for watching!



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