Quality feature of
ways in lyre building
Before we started with the manufacturing on a
commercial basis at Lira
Aurelio, we had to do some serious thinking:
lesser sound quality was out of the question for me, a musician and
So we had to look hard to new ways to simplify and economize.
The resulting fact was amazing. What in fact was tought of to be simplification and facility to construct, turned out to be a big advantage for the sound!
So let us
explain some things:
of one piece of wood, without glued unions to hinder the sound
The advantage is clear: with the smallest building effort we obtain
a pure full flow of sound, not broken from glued unions.(Generally
five or more pieces of wood are glued together, a lot of hard and precise
work, so that the veins of the wood touch on a right angle, the worst
imaginable situation for an unbroken sound transport!)
Why no superior bridge at
Some European manufacturers of lyres put a metal
bridge on the superior part of the lyre, where the vibration of the string
ends, from there it gets to a metal pin to finish at the tuning peg.Our
experience shows us that this way does not improve the sound, or in any
case there is no relation between the additional
workload and the sound
improvement. And it
is easy to explain: The longitudinal vibrations of the strings are better
conducted into the wood with all their tension if they arrive directly at
the peg, inserted two to three cm in the framewood. Even the fundamental
principle at instrument building, to avoid materials alien or antagonistic
to the sound (in this case metal) advocates for the cost reducing solution.
The tuning is not affected, there are other factors to consider, such as
fluctuations of temperature and humidity or shake.
design of our lyres
we looked a long time for the best and balanced
form for our lyres, to come nearest to the ideal sound we sought. The
tendency of the last 3 decades, to give the lyre an angular, crystalline
form, starting at the frame, could be let aside after some studies, as
unsuitable or as a simple mode. The instruments lose fullness and deepness
of sound. Even the heavy weight (little wood, much metal at the head, so
as the extravagant high form) did not look to healthy to
us (the lyre is applied after all, mostly in pedagogic and therapy).
The quality of sound has first rank!
decks and bottoms of resonance
All our lyre models have curved
decks and bottoms, what is known to improve the
quality of sound considerably. This of course, requires in every sense
trained and precise workmanship, not to get with a machine. This is the
reason why you do find curved decks and bottoms only on some few European
lyres. It is understandable: modern machines to work wood tend to work
with a quick, plain workflow
and the high general and salary costs, obliged to low cost building
systems. Consequence: a flat, thin sound, without warmth and richness.
our lyres are treated with sound improving, smooth feeling shellac. Patient work by hand
to give a mate finish.
workforce in our country is so cheap, that we can easily afford all the
additional work, that quality requires!
No compromise with quality of material ! -
Tuning pegs and
keys, also strings are imported from Germany. There exists an century old,
large tradition and experience in the manufacture of strings, specially
lyre strings: The thin steel strings, tin covered, and the thicker
ones, covered with plated
copper wire. Also all the fittings on the cases
are imported from Germany.
All our lyres are equipped with strings that
are the same as the corresponding models from CHOROI, the leading lyre
brand from Europe, with workshops or stores in most countries in Europe,
also in the USA and Japan.
If you consider, that
Aurelio is considered a “newcomer” within the Lyre
builders, then you would be surprised at the resulting sound. No
sound of little toy musical boxes, nor a modern, harsh, thin,
disagreeable sound. (The connoisseur will know which renowned brand of
lyres I mean, but courtesy forbids me to say the name).
balance between elements of warmth and light in the sound,
It may look pretentious if I mention it, but it is a often had experience, that a well cared for instrument improves in purity, delicacy and sensibility, if handled with care and love! The experienced lyrist knows this, it is easy to understand too, but not everybody cares about it:
the hands before playing, strings keep their argentine “new” sound
much longer and do not get dull so quickly.
In one opportunity I was flabbergasted as I
heard a Small Soprano Lyre, from
a client, that had been played about a year. The purity and delicacy of
sound had improved remarkably. The touch had such a sensibility, really
incredible. This woman cherished and protected her lyre as a truly
treasure. (The other face of the coin have I seen too, it’s a pity…)