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This is a "rote", a lyre of Germanic origin. My reproduction is based on instruments found in burial mounds in Central Europe where soldiers and warriors were interred with their belongings during the early medieval period of 600-800 AD.

This one is a narrow, hollowed instrument of maple with a soundboard of 125+ year-old first growth Douglas fir salvaged from a Portland, Oregon, warehouse. It is 8" wide at the top, 6.5" wide at the bottom, and 30" long. The thickness of the body is a little over 3/4". The overall thickness with bridge and pegs is approximately 3".

This is a lovely sounding instrument that is popular for playing at Renaissance Fairs, SCA gatherings, medieval re-enactments, or just playing and having fun. The tuning is unknown and has been lost to history, so you can tune the six nylon strings any way you want. It can be played like a harp, or some strings can be dampened to produce chords.

Please contact me if you would like to hear a sound clip of this instrument.

Germanic Lyre "Tristan and Isolde"

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  • Handmade item
  • Materials: maple, douglas fir
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 17 reviews
  • Favorited by: 81 people