The phorminx (in Ancient Greek φόρμιγξ) was one of the oldest of the Ancient Greek stringed musical instruments, in the yoke lutes family, intermediate between the lyre and the kithara. It consisted of two to seven strings, richly decorated arms and a crescent-shaped sound box. It mostly probably originated from Mesopotamia. While it seems to have been common in Homer's day, accompanying the rhapsodes, it was supplanted in historical times by the seven-stringed kithara. Nevertheless, the term phorminx continued to be used as an archaism in poetry.
The term phorminx is also sometimes used in both ancient and modern writing to refer to all four instruments of the lyre family collectively:
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The lyre is a string instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later periods. The lyre is similar in appearance to a small harp but with distinct differences.
A chordophone is a musical instrument that makes sound by way of a vibrating string or strings stretched between two points. It is one of the four main divisions of instruments in the original Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification.
Gusli is the oldest East Slavic multi-string plucked instrument, belonging to the zither family, due to its strings being parallel to its resonance board. Its roots lie in Veliky Novgorod in Novgorodian Rus'. It may have a connection to the Byzantine form of the Greek kythare, which in turn derived from the ancient lyre, or might have been imported from Western and Central Europe during the Middle Ages, when the zither had immense popularity. It has its relatives in Europe and throughout the world: kantele in Finland, kannel in Estonia, kanklės in Lithuania, kokles in Latvia, Zitter in Germany, citera in Czechia, psalterium in France and so on... Furthermore, the kanun has been found in Arabic countries, and the autoharp, in the United States. It is also related to such ancient instruments as Chinese gu zheng, which has a thousand-year history, and its Japanese relative koto. A stringed musical instrument called guslim is listed as one of the Me in ancient Sumer.
An aulos or tibia (Latin) was an ancient Greek wind instrument, depicted often in art and also attested by archaeology.
The chelys, was a stringed musical instrument, the common lyre of the ancient Greeks, which had a convex back of tortoiseshell or of wood shaped like the shell. The word chelys was used in allusion to the oldest lyre of the Greeks, which was said to have been invented by Hermes. According to the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, he came across a tortoise near the threshold of his mother's home and decided to hollow out the shell to make the soundbox of an instrument with seven strings.
The barbiton, or barbitos, is an ancient stringed instrument known from Greek and Roman classics related to the lyre. The barbat or barbud, also sometimes called barbiton, is an unrelated lute-like instrument derived from Persia.
Kitara can refer to:
The music of ancient Greece was almost universally present in ancient Greek society, from marriages, funerals, and religious ceremonies to theatre, folk music, and the ballad-like reciting of epic poetry. It thus played an integral role in the lives of ancient Greeks. There are significant fragments of actual Greek musical notation as well as many literary references to ancient Greek music, such that some things can be known—or reasonably surmised—about what the music sounded like, the general role of music in society, the economics of music, the importance of a professional caste of musicians, etc. Even archaeological remains reveal an abundance of depictions on ceramics, for example, of music being performed.
The music of ancient Rome was a part of Roman culture from the earliest of times. Songs (carmen) were an integral part of almost every social occasion. The Secular Ode of Horace, for instance, was commissioned by Augustus and performed by a mixed children's choir at the Secular Games in 17 BC. Music was customary at funerals, and the tibia, a woodwind instrument, was played at sacrifices to ward off ill influences. Under the influence of ancient Greek theory, music was thought to reflect the orderliness of the cosmos, and was associated particularly with mathematics and knowledge.
Plucked string instruments are a subcategory of string instruments that are played by plucking the strings. Plucking is a way of pulling and releasing the string in such a way as to give it an impulse that causes the string to vibrate. Plucking can be done with either a finger or a plectrum.
The cythara is a wide group of stringed instruments of medieval and Renaissance Europe, including not only the lyre and harp but also necked, string instruments. In fact, unless a medieval document gives an indication that it meant a necked instrument, then it likely was referring to a lyre. It was also spelled cithara or kithara and was Latin for the Greek lyre. However, lacking names for some stringed instruments from the medieval period, these have been referred to as fiddles and citharas/cytharas, both by medieval people and by modern researchers. The instruments are important as being ancestors to or influential in the development of a wide variety of European instruments, including fiddles, vielles, violas, citoles and guitars. Although not proven to be completely separate from the line of lute-family instruments that dominated Europe, arguments have been made that they represent a European-based tradition of instrument building, which was for a time separate from the lute-family instruments.
The Museum of Ancient Greek, Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Musical Instruments is a museum in Thessaloniki, Greece. The museum opened in 1997 in a restored three-storey building in the Ladadika district in the centre of Thessaloniki.
The nevel or nebel was a stringed instrument used by the ancient Hebrew people. The Greeks translated the name as nabla.
The cithara or kithara was an ancient Greek musical instrument in the yoke lutes family. In modern Greek the word kithara has come to mean "guitar", a word which etymologically stems from kithara.
The Byzantine lyra or lira was a medieval bowed string musical instrument in the Byzantine Empire. In its popular form the lyra was a pear-shaped instrument with three to five strings, held upright and played by stopping the strings from the side with fingernails. Remains of two actual examples of Byzantine lyras from the Middle ages have been found in excavations at Novgorod; one dated to 1190 AD. The first known depiction of the instrument is on a Byzantine ivory casket, preserved in the Bargello in Florence. Versions of the Byzantine lyra are still played throughout the former lands of the Byzantine Empire: Greece, Crete, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Croatia, Italy and Turkey.
A musical instrument of the chordophone family, the lyre-guitar was a type of guitar shaped like a lyre. It had six single courses and was tuned like the modern classical guitar, with a fretboard located between two curved arms recalling the shape of the ancient Greek lyre.
Greek musical instruments were grouped under the general term of "all developments from the original construction of a tortoise shell with two branching horns, having also a cross piece to which the stringser from an original three to ten or even more in the later period, like the Byzantine era". Greek musical instruments can be classified into the following categories:
A kollops is a tuning device for a string instrument which consists of a strip of leather wrapped around the instrument's crossbar, tightened by a wooden peg trapped in its wrap. The device is mentioned as early as the 7th century BC, used metaphorically in the Odyssey. The material itself, usually the hard materia the back of the neck of an ox, was known as "kollops", and thus the term was also used for the tuning device.
Mechanical music technology is the use of any device, mechanism, machine or tool by a musician or composer to make or perform music; to compose, notate, play back or record songs or pieces; or to analyze or edit music. The earliest known applications of technology to music was prehistoric peoples' use of a tool to hand-drill holes in bones to make simple flutes. Ancient Egyptians developed stringed instruments, such as harps, lyres and lutes, which required making thin strings and some type of peg system for adjusting the pitch of the strings. Ancient Egyptians also used wind instruments such as double clarinets and percussion instruments such as cymbals. In Ancient Greece, instruments included the double-reed aulos and the lyre. Numerous instruments are referred to in the Bible, including the horn, pipe, lyre, harp, and bagpipe. During Biblical times, the cornet, flute, horn, organ, pipe, and trumpet were also used. During the Middle Ages, hand-written music notation was developed to write down the notes of religious Plainchant melodies; this notation enabled the Catholic church to disseminate the same chant melodies across its entire empire.
Yoke lutes, commonly called lyres, are a class of string instruments, subfamily of lutes, indicated with the code 321.2 in the Hornbostel–Sachs classification.