Music instruments
Old Town (Center)

Lyra Shop – Οργανοποιείο Παπαλεξάκης

He made his first ‘Lyra’ when he was around six years old and this he did using a piece of wood that looked a bit like a Lyra then he placed 3 nails on the top and 3 on the bottom and used some fine wire as strings. For the bow he took a branch and with some donkey tail hairs tied them to the top and bottom of the branch. After finishing elementary – high school George decided to move to Athens where he studied at the Sivatanideio – OTE School of telecommunications and then decided to further his education by studying at the SELETE – School of Technology and Education where he finished with a Teaching Diploma for Technology. During his time in Athens in his spare time he often went to Cretan Tavernas and gatherings where there was live music. Some years later when he returned to his home town of Rethymno, he had a desire and a passion to create and craft which as time went on increased within him. Today by the Great Gate of Rethymnon locals and tourists admire and listen to the sweet sounds of a newly finished Lyra by George Papalexakis.
«It is an art that requires great detail, fine craftsmanship and unending patience.»

how a lyra is crafted

The back and body of the Lyra is usually made from wood such as walnut, mulberry, wild pear, rosewood, cherry as well as other types of wood. You begin by outlining the shape of the Lyra onto a piece of wood and then cut out the shape. You then continue to empty the wood from the inside using different tools as you continues to a certain level. The top face of the Lyra is made from a special type of very old wood called Katrani found mainly as the beams used in old Turkish and Venetian houses in Crete
Another part of the Lyra is the rider and tongue – the soul of the instrument which only the correct type of wood can be used to create the right sound.

The strings are metallic and different qualities. In the latter days, strings were made from animal intestines which even today there are some old craftsmen do still use to make strings. The bow is that for a violin but we also make our own traditional handmade styled bows decorated with bells.
In general, this is basically how a Lyra is made using these materials. In earlier periods, where poverty was stricken, the Lyra was made using cheap materials even Articas.

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


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