The Norwegian Kravik Lyre has been popularised by makers such as Sverre heimdal who has made over a hundred of these instruments and players such as Einar Selvik
in the band Wardruna.
The original instrument was believed to date to the 13th Century and represents the late continuation of the plucked lyre in Northern Europe before multi stringed harps and various Bowed instruments took over.
Carved of pine wood the original which had been hanging in a farmhouse in Numedal Norway had been restored a couple of times as the peg section had split off, first restored as an eight string but now corrected to a seven string lyre. No soundboard survived.
Front fitting Pegs or reverse fitted pegs?
Sverre Heimdal worked this out first and others have also found they can get a greater break angle over the strings by running the strings to the back of the instrument, fitted the other way they are parallel to the sounboard and there is less break angle, My Instinct on this is while reverse fitting the strings works well I feel the pegs fitted from behind with the strings in front is far more likely given the way other similar instruments are set up, other lyres, Jouhikos for example, The forward bending arms are also similar to a Welsh Crwth which also has strings that are parallel to the soundboard. See the video samples below to see the differences.
I am offering either options, videos showing both on my Youtube
This year I will likely be making around 4- 5 of these Instruments, selling through etsy. These should be available 2-3 months from ordering
Keeping as close to the original, but a little stronger and less likley to crack, making them from two sections of pine dovetailed then hollowed out as one with a German spruce Soundboard and Cherry or Plum wood pegs. These are carved out with Bowl carving gouges, Spoon carving tools and whittled with knives. Finished to an antique brown colour. decoration is simple rustic chip carving and knifework, These go through a process of staining and sanding back and finishing to create a natural antique patina with a warm sound that improves with playing and time
Starting prices: £1125 / $1400 / 1300 euros shipping costs for the Kravik Lyre, front or rear pegs, supplied with tuning key ands a spare set of strings.
Strings are Fluorocarbon as standard but I am happy fit Gut Strings as an additional £40 extra. These instruments now come with a simple hard case in pine and plywood, usually painted antique black and lined with chenille or a crushed velvet fabric
To order a Kravik Lyre see my etsy pages:
Kravik Lyre introduction Tuning of A c d e f g a
Kravik Lyre Chords: playing the Lyre
attached tuning pegs example
Selection of Kravik Lyre tunings with examples
Tuning of A c d e f g a again:einar selvik uses this tuning in some of his performances with Wardruna:
A B c d e f# g Tuning with Maj-Lis Bogstrand Mogen
G Bb c d eb f# g Tuning with LEIF
G Bb c d eb
can always have a go at making your own,
plans are included on my 2016 Lyre Making DVD
Plans are to
be found on my 2016 Lyre making DVD-ROM here:
plans also available as a direct download here:
I will add more
information as tme allows, please feel free to
email if you have any questions.