Scholeion Psaltikis
Sholeion Psaltikis

Cretan lyra

The lyra is a stringed bowed (basically three-stringed), pear-shaped instrument popular throughout the Balkans, Lower Italy and the scholarly music of Constantinople. A special feature of the instrument is that it is played by pressing the strings with the fingernail from the sides, unlike the violin and the Pontic lyre.

In Greece it is popular in Northern Greece, the Dodecanese and especially in Crete where it has undergone the greatest changes during the last century, adopting violin elements both in construction and playing.