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lyre

lyre, generic term for stringed musical instruments having a sound box from which project curved arms joined by a crossbar. The strings are stretched between the crossbar and the sound box and are plucked with the fingers or with a plectrum. In ancient times Sumer, Babylonia, Israel, and Egypt had various sorts of lyres. Ancient Greece had two lyres—the kithara, which was the larger instrument used by the professional musician, and the lyra, the smaller instrument of the amateur. Each had from 3 to 12 strings, made of hemp. The tuning and playing techniques of modern lyres in E Africa are thought to be similar to those of ancient Greece and Egypt. After the 10th cent. the lyres of N European countries were bowed instead of being plucked. The bowed lyre that persisted longest was the Welsh crwth, known as early as the 11th cent. and still in use in the early 19th cent. At some time in its history a fingerboard was added, making it an early member of the violin family.

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lyre

lyre Ancient stringed musical instrument. Used originally by the Sumerians, it was introduced into Egypt and Assyria in the second millennium bc. In classical Greek times it had seven strings supported by a wooden frame and attached to a sound box at the base; the strings were plucked using a bulky plectrum. In Europe since the Middle Ages, they have more commonly been played with a bow. Today, the lyre also exists in various forms in e Africa and in Ethiopia.

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lyre

lyre / līr/ • n. a stringed instrument like a small U-shaped harp with strings fixed to a crossbar, used esp. in ancient Greece. Modern instruments of this type are found mainly in East Africa.

lyre

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"lyre." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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lyre

lyre XIII. — OF. lire (mod. lyre) — L. lyra — Gr. lúrā.
So lyric XVI. — F. lyrique or L. lyricus — Gr. lurikós. lyrical XVI.

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lyre

lyre. Ancient Gr. instr., like small harp, in which strings were fixed to a cross-bar between 2 arms and plucked by fingers or plectrum.

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lyre

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