What Is A Lyre Harp And Why Do Children Like It?

Buying a child an instrument can help them discover their musical talent and show them just what they can do with a little bit of imagination. In this post, we will look at one instrument your child may love, the lyre. It’s a type of harp that has quite a history to it.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

What Is A Lyre?

A lyre is an instrument that’s best known as being an instrument of the ancient Greeks. Chances are, you’ve seen a depiction of an ancient Greek playing lyre. This is because the lyre was quite important, along with the other stringed instruments of the time. Other instruments include the chelys, the kithara, and the phorminx. In Greek legends, Hermes created these instruments from a tortoise.

In Greek times, the lyre is played by itself or with a singer. The instrument itself is seen in many depictions, as Greeks valued music. Music was a big part of education. We definitely need more of that type of education in our schools. You can find depictions of the lyre on coins and even in modern times.

While you won’t be able to summon a Greek god with a modern lyre, it makes for a great instrument and a good way to introduce your kids to the world of music.

Source: publicdomainfiles.com

Fun Facts About Lyres

Lyres have quite a few fun facts about them. Let’s look at a few of these facts.

The word “lyre” comes from the word “lura.” Lura means a stringed instrument that has a tortoise shell sounding board.

Indeed, the original lyres did come from tortoises. Not only that, but sheep guts were used to make strings. Nowadays, no animals are harmed in the making of lyres.

The amount of strings a lyre has is always changing. Some depictions of lyres have had four strings, others seven, as some as many as ten.

In order to play a lyre, you need to pluck it. This can be done via a pick.

When you look at a classic lyre, it has a body that’s hollow.

Many lyre players of ancient Greek times were male, but a few female players do exist.

The oldest lyre that has survived in modern times was found in Scotland back in 2010. This lyre is supposed to be over 2,300 years old. This lyre has definitely been through a lot.

A lyre can be a part of the zither family, but not all people consider that to be the case.

The lyre is called by more than just the lyre, particularly in Europe. There, it can be referred to with names such as gue, cruit, rote, crwth, and much more. No matter what language you pick, however, the lyre is still a lyre.

The lyre is known by other names in other countries as well.

In Beowulf, they do mention a lyre. As you know, Beowulf is a classic epic poem that is an example of early storytelling.

While not played that often anymore, some places in northeast Africa still play with it.

So, is a lyre a harp? While they may be classified as one and the same, there are differences. Most notably how the strings are. With a lyre, the strings go over a bridge. With a harp, the strings stay inside the body of the harp. Think of a lyre as more of a guitar than a harp.

Source: en.m.wikipedia.org

Why A Child Might Like A Lyre

When your child gets older, they may express interest in learning an instrument. There are quite a few instruments they can learn, such as a guitar or a piano. But if you want something different, a lyre may be one to consider. Here are a few reasons why your child may like a lyre.

The Lyre Is Portable

With your kid’s lifestyle, they may need an instrument more portable. A lyre is quite portable and you can bring it wherever you go. Try the lyre out today and you’ll see your kid take it with you.

It’s Easy To Learn

A lyre is a little less complex to learn than a guitar, but still requires some skill. Your talented kid will pick it up fast, yet take a good time to master it. Give your kid a lyre today and watch them learn and grow. Chances are, they will pick it up fast and then they will be a prodigy.

They Are Inexpensive

You can find quite a few lyres online. Some only cost around $20. If you want a wooden, more authentic lyre, it still doesn’t cost that much. It’s a small price to pay for a great instrument. Replacing the strings shouldn’t be hard at all, either.

It Sounds Great

Kids may like lyres due to their beautiful sounds. They can be a great addition to a band or as a solo act.

Great For Practicing Singing

Your kid can be a master bard by grabbing a lyre and singing along. If you’re ready to show off your kid’s vocal cords, a lyre can teach them both skills easily.

They Are Decorative

These lyres also look good as a decoration piece when your kid is not using it. It goes well in any household, guaranteed. If you’re interested, try it out and see what it can do for you.

Source: flickr.com


The lyre is an instrument with an amazing history and many chances for you or your kid to show off what it does. If your kid needs a lyre, you’ve come to the right place. Look at a few lyres and see which one is a right fit for your kid. It’s not only a great way to unlock your kid’s potential for music, but also a great way for them to learn more about the history of Ancient Greece. Try a lyre today and see what it can do for you and your entire family.


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