Ancient Greek Mythology – with Ancient Greek Lyres! | Michael Levy


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A ‘live’ performance of “The Lamentions of Linus”; track 7 from from my new album, “The Scented Gardens of Alcinous”; available from all major digital music platforms, higher quality 320kbps MP3’s of the album can also be purchased direct from my website:

Linus, in Greek mythology, was the personification of lamentation; the name derives from the ritual cry ailinon, the refrain of a dirge. Two principal stories, associated with Argos and Thebes, respectively, arose to explain the origin of the lament.

According to the Argive story, recounted by the 2nd-century-AD traveler Pausanias, Linus, the child of Apollo (god of light, truth, and prophecy) and Psamathe (the daughter of Crotopus, king of Argos), was exposed at birth and torn to pieces by dogs. In revenge, Apollo sent a Poine, or avenging spirit, which destroyed the Argive children. The hero Coroebus killed the Poine, and a festival, Arnis, otherwise called dog-killing day (kunophontis), was instituted, in which stray dogs were killed, sacrifice offered, and mourning made for Linus and Psamathe (who was killed by her father).

In the Theban version, according to Pausanias, Linus was the son of the Muse Urania and the musician Amphimarus, and he was himself a great musician. He invented the Linus song but was put to death by Apollo for claiming to be his equal…

To reflect these dark and tragic characteristics of Linus, this improvisationis in the mournful & poignant ancient Greek Phrygian Mode. enhanced by the use of justs intonation (misnamed the ‘Dorian’ mode in the MIddle Ages, this mode was the equivalent intervals as D-D on the white notes of the piano).

The lyre I am playing, is the marvellously mythological looking ‘Lyre of Thamyris” – handmade in modern Greece, by Luthieros:




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