Complete method of the ancient Greek lyre (Bilingual edition)

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The image is magical: Apollo plays his golden lyre on a slope up on the peaks of Olympus, and under his divine hands the sounds urge the rhythm upon the violet-haired Muses who dance. Even the warlike thunderbolt of Zeus is quenched before the celestial music. The eagle of the Father-God, perched on his scepter, has let his wings fall left and right, relaxed from the sweet sounds. Ares leaves aside the ferocious instruments of war and calms down, fascinated by the art of Leto's son. But those whom Zeus does not love are stunned with terror when they hear the cry of the Pierian Muses, on earth or on the irresistible sea; among them is he who lies in dread Tartarus, that enemy of the gods, Typhon with his hundred heads.

With this image, Pindar begins his first Pythian Ode shortly after 500 BC. I do not know if a greater praise for music has been written to date. Music's impact upon gods, mortals, and animals is absolute and decisive. And all this is done by the Lyre, the instrument that the god Apollo uses to convey the divine harmony. Harmony exists everywhere, it is around us, but it is revealed only to the one who will truly hear it, and will seek it through action. The lyre has been the "national" instrument of the Greeks for more than a thousand years. The simplicity of its construction, combined with its divine sound, helped to disseminate it widely and thus became the main instrument for the education of young people. Although education in Ancient Greece was basically artistic (music and gymnastics were the main subjects), in contrast to today which is mainly scientific (science and mathematics are the main priorities), the lyre is still the instrument-model and never truly came down from its pedestal, even when it disappeared from the forefront of music history. However, it appears to have wandered into the collective unconscious of the European world as the "symbol" of Music: Cupids play iyres on Renaissance ceilings.


Εκδόσεις Ορφέως

English, Greek

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