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.


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.