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Construction information and Plans

Lyre Meditation No.1

Sheet music now available on Amazon

Sheet music and tabs for kravik lyre, with blank pages for writing your own music 

  Order book has a few spaces for 2025   Email/Message me if you are interested in ordering

  Check out my shop page here:


Welcome to the Kravik lyre section of my website, scroll down for pricing, pictures, videos and information.

The Norwegian Kravik Lyre (or Kraviklyra) 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, and Kati Ran, 
The original instrument was believed to date to the 14th Century but was carbon dated to the 16th,  even still it represents the late continuation of the plucked lyre in Northern Europe possibly at the end of the plucked lyre use locally before finally giving way to  multi stringed harps and various Bowed instruments.   These are wonderfully warm and enchanting instruments to play with more depth than the earlier lyres.   

kravik lyra/lyre custom model with celtic/viking soundholes. Spruce/Birch wood
Originally carved of pine wood the original had been hanging in a farmhouse in Numedal Norway. The Kravik Lyre was restored a couple of times as the peg section had split off, first as an eight string but now corrected to a seven string lyre. No soundboard survived, so we have some freedom of interpretation here.
Pine lyre bridges from the right time period in Norway have been found that work well, though I have now switched to maple for longevity. 

Kravik Lyre in case,  silver birch, spruce, ebony custom modelbirch wood kravik model, customback of kravik lyre in figiured silver birch,   one off customclose up-Kravik lyre soundboard with two celtic/viking soundholeskravik lyre custom model, 2023kravik lyre  in caseback view of lyre in casekravik lyre in caselyre in caselyre in caseVegvisir pattern soundhole kravik lyre in its case

kraviklyra in case

with casekravik lyre kraviklyra
  Kravik lyre

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 soundboard 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 still a possibility, 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.  The majority of these lyres have the pegs fitted in reverse and its my preference too.  ( If you are making your own Lyre note this doesn't work well at all if your lyre is built flat!)

I amback of kravik lyre offering either options,  videos showing both on my Youtube.  (Note: Most players are opting for Sverre Heimdal's style reverse fitting pegs)            

lyre in green lined case

Keeping as close to the original, but built a little stronger and less likely to crack,  making them from two sections of pine with the grain as the original but then a quartersawn piece for the head is dovetailed into the body.,    hollowed out as one with a German spruce Soundboard and Cherry or Plum wood pegs(Ebony pegs now available as well).  These lyre are carved out buy hand with bowl carving gouges,  spoon carving tools and whittled with knives.  Finished to an antique brown colour.   the decoration is simple rustic chip carving and knife-work, These go through a process of antiquing by staining and sanding back and finishing to create a natural antique patina that reflects the age of the instrument,  but with a warm sound that improves with playing and time.

Prices 2024-25: 

£POA (My wait time is at least 12-18 months at the moment)

 shipping costs for the Kravik Lyre depending on location,    I hand build the Kravik Lyres and the made to measure cases,   usually takes 6 weeks of work in total including building a handmade case to fit, more time is needed if the hardwood options, from 2025 I will be building 4 a year at the very most,  waiting times will vary depending on my order book backlog,  usually booked up well in advance, message me through Etsy or email me for more information,  

The instrument comes in a simple handmade pine and plywood hardcase, painted antique black.   Lined in chenille or a crushed velvet fabric. supplied with tuning key

Strings are Fluorocarbon as standard (sold on my etsy shop) Great trouble free strings that last years.  I am also happy to fit Aquila Nylgut or all Gut Strings and tailpieces as an additional extra.  I use gamut Lute strings on these currently. Instruments  come with a fitted hard case in pine and plywood, usually painted antique black and lined with chenille or a crushed velvet fabric.  

Do check out my cheaper  "viking" lyre  7 string option with the Kravik lyre stringing for playing the same repertoire.   

from mid 2025 I will be building these in small batches a few times a year then making these available on etsy, .  If you are interested in reserving one of these please contact me via my etsy shop below or email me.


Lyre Shop

Also see my standard 7 STRING VIKING MODELS on Etsy,  usually available on 6-9 months waiting time by keeping  down the options and materials,    Also available accessories and supplies for these instruments,

Kravik lyre back
vegvisir kravik lyrekravik lyre custom vegvisir model kravik lyre with vegvisir soundholekravik lyra

carving on kravik lyre


Kravik Lyre (Spruce top/Tulipwood body)

Kravik Lyre introduction  Tuning of A c d e f g a

Kravik Lyre Chords: playing the Lyre


Reverse 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:

Lyre Mediation for 7 string Lyre 



Tha mi sgith - Nordic Lyre, Celtic Harp & Welsh Crwth

Chord chart for this piece(with thanks to Jean-Luc lenoir):

chord chart with kind permission  from Jean-Luc lenoir

 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 f    Tuning

Valgaldr - Háleygir (Lyre)

Gut Strung Kravik Lyre:

back of lyre

I currently build these by double dovetailing the arms/head section,  this is so i can
use one piece of Scandinavain pine for the bowl, which is half a log but keep the quartersawn grain on the peg section.  (kravik lyres are vulnernable to cracking if the grain is flatsawn in the peg area)    I can also build these lyres in two halfs (like sverre heimdal does) or one piece but these will cost extra and take more time to do.
Currently only carving out of softwood like the original.  may consider hardwoods in the future.  

construction, inside the

If you are interested in making your own,   Kravik lyre plans are included on my  Lyre Making DVD and are also available as a download.  

DVD Lyre making disc

Plans are to be found on my  Lyre making DVD-ROM here:

PDF digital plans  also available as a direct download here:

I will add more information as time allows,   please feel free to email if you have any questions.

lyre in box, close up