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Ancient Sambuca-1
Ancient Sambuca-2

Ancient Sambuca – Ancient Harp like Lyre

Product Code: AN-SA-1
Ancient Sambuca – Ancient Harp like Lyre – Top Quality HandCrafted Musical Instrument (7strings)

350,00 €
Number of strings



Ancient Sambuca – Ancient Harp like Lyre – Top Quality HandCrafted Musical Instrument

“And Phoebus Apollo laughed for joy; for the sweet throb of the marvellous music went to his heart, and a soft longing took hold on his soul as he listened.” – Homeric Hymn to Hermes, line 414-435
If you ever thought of having a unique ancient artefact in your home or even learn how to play an ancient music instrument, then you never had an opportunity like this before… This listing is for a replica of the ancient Greek harp like lyre invented by the poet Ibycus.
Manufactured at the premises of the ancient Europos (Northern Greece) by a family of musicians and luthiers, the “Ancient Sambuca” is made of (and only) natural materials available during the antiquity. This ancient artefact is evolved to become a modern music instrument ready to be used by music students and teachers (for example, a modern tuning method was chosen instead of the ancient hard-to-use one). For all the minor (but very important) alterations, latest technologies were used during the prototyping phase (such as 3d Scanning and 3d Modeling).
Sambuca was considered to be an erotic stringed instrument (of Asiatic origin) that was used during symposiums and orgiastic worships. It was probably invented by the poet Ibycus (6th B.C.), and first played by a wandering woman called Sibyl. Sambuca consisted of an actual tortoise shell as a soundbox (or a wooden resonator made to look like a tortoise shell) and a wooden arm (or made by animal horn).
Its 7 to 9 strings was secured on a bridge hidden under its soundboard (made by animal skin), and on the other edge across its wooden arm. The Sambuca player (most of the times a woman) was using both hands while playing this ancient harp-like instrument. During the middle ages, the word sambuca was applied to a stringed instrument about which little can be discovered.
This lyre has 7 or 9 gut strings. The soundbox is made of wood or epoxy resin manufactured to look like a genuine tortoise shell, the soundboard of animal skin, the arm, the tailpiece of maple wood, the tuning keys of maple or ebony wood, and the plectrum of wood. The Sambuca’s height is 63 cm with 27 cm width, while its soundbox dimensions are 20 x 16 x 7-8 cm. The length of its vibrating strings varies from 30 to 46 cm.
We use only top quality kinds of wood, ideal for musical instruments, such as walnut, cherry, mahogany, mulberry, maple, ebony etc. In case you are interested to learn what specific kinds of wood we used for this specific lyre’s parts, don’t hesitate to ask us!
Along with every lyre, a handbook is provided including all the different ancient Greek scales (for tuning the lyre) in the Aristoxenian tradition such as the Mixolydian, the Phrygian, the Dorian etc. What’s more, the oldest music melodies that had survived are also included such as the Hellenistic “Seikilos Epitaph” (2.000 years old, the oldest known complete melody of the human kind), and further descriptions regarding what modes were used in the antiquity for evoking specific feelings such as sorrow, happiness, bravery etc. Last, a full-color 68-pages book (in the form of a .pdf file) will be given upon request, with more than 100 photos, describing the research behind our lyres and the whole design process.
Since the beginning of 2015, every Luthieros lyre comes with a wooden plectrum, an extra set of nylon strings and a unique hand-strap (in Greek: “τελαμών”). A premium package, for a premium and authentic music instrument! A beautifully handmade premium wooden case for storing and moving around the instrument is also available here.
The lyres available for purchase are very limited. Needles to say that no animals were harmed…
“So then, I will give you this lyre, glorious son of Zeus…” – Homeric Hymn to Hermes, line 490
| Learn how to play the ancient Greek lyre!
Michael Levy, the most well-known ancient lyre player around the world, put together for us 11 video lessons (available online at our website). No matter if you are a completely amateur or a professional music player, you can play the lyre following Michael’s steps:
| Hear how our ancient lyres sound:
(1) Hear how the “Game of Thrones” theme song would sound like if it was played in Ancient Greece (must-see), hear audio recordinga from various of our lyres, or watch players around the world playing ancient melodies with Luthieros Music Instruments:
(2) Check the latest music album by world-known lyre player, Michael Levy, using Luthieros’ Lyre of Apollo! Support his music on iTunes or his website:
| Check a short presentation of “The Lyre 2.0 Project”: (in English)
| Read the extended review of one of our lyres by the most well-known ancient lyre player around the world:
* Dozens of music stringed instruments around the world are direct descendants of the ancient Greek lyre: gue (Scotland), rote (England), crwth (Wales), hearpe (Germanic or Anglo-Saxon lyre), giga (Norway), talharpa (Estonia), jouhikko (Finland), knar (Armenia), lutnia (Poland), kinnor (Israel), sarangi (Nepal), sammu or tanbura or zami or zinar (Iraq, Arabian peninsula, Yemen), barbat or ektara (Pakistan), ektara (India and Bangladesh), nares-jux (Siberia), chang (Iran), kissar or tanbura or simsimiyya (Egypt, Sudan), begena or dita or krar (Ethiopia), endongo or ntongoli (Uganda), kibugander or litungu or nyatiti or obokano (Kenya) and litungu (Tanzania).
** Minor alterations might be present in the final instrument (regarding the colour or the kind of wood that was used for smaller parts etc.) that you will receive in comparison with the our website’s images. For this reason, every instrument from the Luthieros team is undoubtedly unique. In case though you want the exact model that was photographed, please state it during the checkout!


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