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Music dictionary in the stories. The Letter L

LIRA

Do you know what is the emblem of musical art? Since olden times it was used to draw a fine tool: curly angled frame, bonded on top of the crossbar to which stretch the strings. This lyre, a stringed instrument, known in Ancient Greece and Egypt.

The ancient Greek lyre
The ancient Greek lyre

Lyre held with the left hand while the right was the plectrum, which sounds were produced.

The ancient Greek lyre
Orpheus playing the lyre.
Red-figure vase painting (V century BC).
The Pergamon Museum, Berlin

Lira is the progenitor of many other stringed instruments, but to our time she lived only in their images. The name was extended to Ukraine and Belarus, since the XVII century, but belonged to another tool. Peasant or wheel lyre is a small keyboard instrument. The contractor with one hand pressed keys, playing the melody, and the other twisted the wheel, which, touching the strings, creating a constant accompaniment. With the wheel Lira roamed the roads traveling, often blind, musicians - the lyre.

Wheel lyre
Peasant, wheel lyre

Music dictionary in stories
Printed materials of the eponymous book by L. Mikheeva (Moscow, "Soviet composer", 1984)

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