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A lyre is a stringed instrument used in classical antiquity, from which the harp is probably descended. It is similar in style to the Celtic crwth.


The invention of the lyre is credited in legend to the Greek God Hermes (the Roman Mercury).

In spite of the fact that it was no longer used as a musical instrument, many medieval and renaissance poets made reference to it for its classical associations. Petrarch made constant references to the instrument, most notably in his sonnet His Lyre is now Attuned only to Woe.

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