Europe's oldest known stringed instrument

The bridge of an ancient instrument has been discovered in Scotland, and it's dated to 2,300+ years ago.  That's getting very close to the period I write.


The bridge is almost certainly from a lyre.  At the very least, it gives us the separation of the strings.  Ancient instruments are so rare that any little piece adds to our knowledge.

Here's a video about it, in which someone plays a reconstruction:



It's not clear to me that they've got the tuning right, though it was probably Pythagorean, and certainly the style of music is unknowable.  But even so, this is fascinating stuff.


3 comments:

stacy said...

Oh, cool. Love music history. I was a music major in college, and the Greek recordings that accompany my music history books sound pretty close to this.

Gary Corby said...

Hi Stacy. Aha! A music person. I really should do a post some time about the ancient modes. Problem is, it'd be a long post.

stacy said...

Yeah, but I would love to read it. Oddly enough, Greek music didn't fascinate me until I was out of school and started reading more general history and myths and began to see how it related to Greek culture.