One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A stringed instrument like a small U-shaped harp with strings fixed to a crossbar, used especially in ancient Greece. Modern instruments of this type are found mainly in East Africa.
- ‘There are models of the first musical instrument that originated in Africa, the Pan flute, and the lyre, a string instrument which is said to have been used by the Spanish in 2,600 BC.’
- ‘The angels are playing a collection of musical instruments, including the harp, tambourine, cymbals, lyre and psaltery.’
- ‘In a way it was a cross between a lyre, violin and a guitar.’
- ‘His distinctive voice resonates like polished grit over a combination of searing strings, Hawaiian lap steels, mellotrons and even enchanted lyres.’
- ‘I wondered what he was thinking as we swayed to the melody of softly playing lutes, harps, and lyres.’
- ‘The mosaics depict a range of fabulous creatures, gods, and heroes, including the four seasons, Orpheus playing a lyre, Perseus and Andromeda, an astrologer, and a Medusa head.’
- ‘He preferred his social life and his poetry and his lyre.’
- ‘What - to go back to very first principles - is at the heart of an art that is underwritten by no mere etymological coincidence: lyre as musical instrument; lyric as literary text?’
- ‘Thus, only two instruments, the lyre and the zither, are needed.’
- ‘And indeed she did, for as she entered the meadhall, a tremendous sound of multiple lyres and harps greeted her.’
- ‘She could see it now; musicians years from now would sing of the grand exploits of the amazing Adrianna while plucking at their lyres and mandolins.’
- ‘These include harps, lyres, whistles, horns, pan-pipes, bones, psalteries and some form of drum.’
- ‘In Ireland, however, images of harps show quadrangular instruments, possibly lyres.’
- ‘We also had this ‘wind harp,’ a lyre with gut strings, that we'd de-tuned and stuck out in the wind on the truck.’
- ‘It is probable that Fortunatus was here alluding to different varieties of the same plucked string instrument, essentially a lyre.’
- ‘Many of the riffs are righteously medieval in tone, but they rework those tripping arpeggios for a scorched-earth rock setting, without a lute, zither or lyre within earshot.’
- ‘Yes, there is, and some people may not realise that yes, that there was an ancient constellation of the lyre, which was originally called the Lyre of the Pleiades.’
- ‘This double album is a celebration of the lyre, centuries old, and traditionally the favourite instrument of the Sudan.’
- ‘There was a fief, a tambourine, lyres and lutes.’
- ‘Materials for the Rebec would be much the same as for the harp or lyre, although the Rebec has only three strings.’
Middle English: via Old French lire and Latin lyra from Greek lura.
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