Lirone - Lira da gamba

The Lirone is a special interest of mine!

The lirone or the lira da gamba served especially as chordal accompaniment in the time of Monteverdi. Due to the very flat bridge, 3 to 5 strings are played simultaneously.

My lirone is based on an instrument by Antonius Brensius, Bologna 1592, which is in the Musikinstrumenten Museum in Leipzig. This instrument I find ideal as a starting point for a lirone because of it's wide, but short, body. I arrived at a string length of about 54 cm by examining the remains of another lirone, which is in the same museum. 

I have build this instrument with between 12–15 strings, according to personal preference. With or without the two strings running of the fingerboard.

 

Body length 62.8 cm, string length approx. 54cm. 

 

' Henner's is the fourth lirone that I have owned over the past 20 years and it is definitely the most beautiful and flexible one that I have ever played; it easily responds to all variations of pressure and bowspeed, making the mesa di voce, the esclamazione, the piano and all other nuances effortless and three-dimensional. Especially unique to this instrument is its 'throaty' quality, as if it has a real voice, something that is essential for an instrument whose main role is to accompany singers.' [Erin Headley]

 

Erin Headley