8 String Lyra, 5th century B.C. replica
shell of sea-tortoise, wooden arms, leather stripes for tuning
length 61 cm, width 39 cm, depth of sound box 9 cm
cased in a handmade beech wooden box 67 x 50 x 13 cm
This is an instrument, which according to mythology, was invented by the god Hermes, son of Zeus and Maea. The lyra was the most popular instrument in ancient times. It was used to teach young people and it was admired in particular because it was the instrument most directly associated with the worship of the god Apollo.
It underwent several phases in the course of its development. The shell of the tortoise (both sea tortoise and land tortoise) was used as the sound box of the lyra. There were also references regarding shell replicas made of dug-up wood. The arms consisted of a pair of horns or tree branches usually in vertical or arched position.
The string holder is usually made of wood but string holders made of bronze are also known to have existed in the form of a “Π”, attached to the back of the shell.
private collection, Cyprus
Michalis GEORGIOU began his musical education at the age of 12 when he started clarinet lessons at Lemesos Municipal Music School.
In 1977 he followed a course in education at Athens University. In 1979 he received his diploma in clarinet performance from Trinity College of Music in London and was appointed to the post of music tutor in secondary schools in Cyprus, a position from which he retired in 2010.
In 2017 he teaches ancient Greek music and ancient Greek musical instruments in the University of Nicosia.
For the past thirty years he has been specialising in the research of ancient Greek music and reconstruction of ancient Greek musical instruments.
He has held two exhibitions with reconstructions of ancient Greek instruments and taught at a series of seminars and lectures in various Universities in Cyprus and abroad.
Articles by Michalis Georgiou can be found in various scientific journals. The Ministry of Education in Greece awarded him with an honorary diploma for all the work and dedication he put into creating a youth ensemble with ancient Greek musical instruments which was awarded the first gold medal of the Pan-Hellenic Music Competition for Secondary Schools.
In 2007 he received the “award of the ten Wise” in Athens for his contribution to the reconstruction of ancient Greek musical instruments and for his research on ancient Greek music.
In the year 2000 he founded the “Terpandros Ensemble of Ancient Greek Musical Instruments”. The main objectives of ” Terpandros ‘ are the study, revival and promotion of ancient Greek music and the creative use of the elements of antiquity, i.e. the reconstructed musical instruments and ancient music style for contemporary music composition and a longitudinal approach to Greek music from antiquity up to our days. To achieve these objectives, “Terpandros” gives lectures and seminars at universities and publishes articles in scientific journals. The main activity is concerts given in Cyprus and abroad.
phone: +357 22 341122
phone: +357 97 673876