Cretan Musical Instruments
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From generation to generation - The Father, the Son and the youngest son!

- Lires Papalexakis


This is a Lyra used by professional musicians. According to some old-time lyra musicians from Rethymno Gianni Papadaki – Karekla (son of Karekla a distinguished player) and Gianni Markogianni one of the greatest Lute players, the shape of the lyra has since that time changed and responsible for changing the shape was Giannis Papadakis – Kareklas who made Lyras and cousin of the above mentioned well-known lyra player. Giannis Papadakis during the war fought in Albania but unfortunately was never to return.
In fact, I have myself repaired one of Giannis Papadakis Lyras which had that particular shape. This lyra is tuned La – Re – Sol but can also be altered to a higher or lower note according to the musical abilities of the lyra singer.


In years before, the style of the Cretan Lyra was pear-shaped Lyra. The strings are tuned to La – Re – Sol and when played the sound of this type of Lyra reminds takes you back in time with the sounds of Sousta and Pendozali by Karaviti and other such musicians.


This is a professional lyra tuned Mi – La – Re – Sol giving the player an added possibility to play certain types of traditional Greek island so that the whole nature of playing has a different note to it.


This type of lyra is larger than the normal lyra and is also tuned La – Re – Sol and has a much deeper sound.


This is a professional lyra made from rosewood from the wild forests of Africa and for this reason it is very hard and heavy. It is a very difficult wood to work with but the finished product is quite amazing.


It is much the same as the professional lyra. The difference between these two lyras is the intricate design that the professional lyra has. However, the sound does not differ from a professional lyra.


The “Giant Lyra” as it has been named, does not in any way differ in the method of playing the normal Lyra. It is over one meter in height with a width of more than forty centimeters. The wood used for the base has been carved from one single piece of walnut wood and the cap is made from Oregon wood over five hundred years old. The “Giant Lyra” has been used in concert and was designed by a well-known musician, Babi Pramateftaki from Rethymnon


In this type of work you cannot rush, but you have to search yourself because art has no end and as you continue you see and meet new things

- Lires Papalexaki

How a Lyra is crafted

In our workshop you will find dozens of Lyres’ and other musical instruments. Create your own unique lyre or any other kind of Cretan musical instrument wish.

- Papalexakis workshop

contact us

Dimakopoulou 6,
Rethymno, 74100