The Ancient Egyptian Lyre

Michael Levy - Composer for Lyre

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The Ancient Egyptian Lyre

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A series of 7 spontaneous improvisations on my magnificent replica of the 3,500 year old ancient Egyptian lyre; recreated from the original dimensions of the remarkably surviving ancient Egyptian lyre preserved in Leiden:

http://manniche.daes.dk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2006LeidenLyre.pdf

The lyre was custom made for me, by Luthieros:

https://www.luthieros.com

These type of distinctively asymmetrical shaped lyres almost certainly were introduced into Egypt during the reign of the Canaanite Hyksos kings, from circa 1,600 BC - these type of lyres were very common throughout the ancient Near East.

Fascinatingly, this type of lyre is also probably about the nearest we can get to what the lyre of King David might have actually looked like - there is an almost identical form of lyre depicted on an ivory carving from Megiddo from circa 1,300 BC; just a few centuries from before the traditional Biblical period of David!

The buzzy timbre of my lyre is due to the flat, bench-shaped grooveless bridge. Since almost all the lyres still played throughout the African continent today have this buzzing timbre (in particular, the Ethiopian begena), it is far more likely, that the first lyres introduced into Africa from the ancient Near East (probably via trade routes with Egypt), also had this distinctive timbre.

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    The Death of Osiris

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    Passage to the Afterlife

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    The Wings of Isis

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    Invocation to Nephthys

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    Ancient Egyptian Sorcery

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    Ancient Egyptian Dance (Feat. Nick Vest)

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    The Holy Nile

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