The Ancient Egyptian Lyre | Michael Levy


Provide your feedback to earn campaign promo points

“The Holy Nile” – track 7 from my 2020 album, “The Ancient Egyptian Lyre”. Available from all the usual digital music platforms, including Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music & iTunes; higher quality audio can also be directly downloaded from my website:

The album comprises of a series of 7 spontaneous improvisations on my magnificent replica of the 3,500 year old ancient Egyptian lyre; recreated from the original dimensions of the remarkably surviving ancient Egyptian lyre preserved in Leiden:

The lyre was custom made for me, by Luthieros:

first page

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.



Official Artist Links:

Official Website:
Facebook Page: