Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

“Queen's Lyre of Ur. Recreated in the Baghdad museum from pieces found in 1929 (vandalised 2003)”

The Lyre of Ur. I just found out about it from Songlines Magazine. Approximately 4,750 years old. People are building a new one to play.

In ‘99 my beloved then-not-yet-spouse traveled in East Africa. She brought me back a 5-string lyre from Ethiopia, not unlike the Ur model though orders-of-magnitude less fancy. I have no idea how to tune it, so I pluck 5-note riffs in the cardamom-flavored tuning it seems to settle itself most comfortably in. I wrote a song based on one of those randomly-tuned riffs (I play it on guitar); you will be able to hear it on my band’s recently completed (and soon-to-be-available) album.

This human music tradition goes back beyond the written record, beyond the birth of any living language.

Play it, brothers and sisters.

Ur party.
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