©2021 MICHAEL LEVY
IONIATE POWER RUBRIC
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A spontaneous improvisation for a replica ancient Egyptian lyre – dating back to circa 1,500 BC! The lyre I am playing, is the Luthieros replica of an actual surviving ancient Egyptian lyre, preserved in Leiden:
The lyre was custom made to the original proportions of this miraculously surviving lyre, by Luthieros:
These type of distinctively asymmetrical shaped lyres almost certainly were introduced into Egypt during the reign of the Canaanite Hyksos kings, from circa 1,600 BC – these type of lyres were very common throughout the ancient Near East.
Fascinatingly, this type of lyre is also probably about the nearest we can get to what the lyre of King David might have actually looked like – there is an almost identical form of lyre depicted on an ivory carving from Megiddo from circa 1,300 BC; just a few centuries from before the traditional Biblical period of David!
The buzzy timbre of my lyre is due to the flat, bench-shaped grooveless bridge. Since almost all the lyres still played throughout the African continent today have this buzzing timbre (in particular, the Ethiopian begena), it is far more likely, that the first lyres introduced into Africa from the ancient Near East (probably via trade routes with Egypt), also had this distinctive timbre.
For more of my ancient Egyptian-themed albums, please see:
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