Liras da Braccio
I have long thought about building a lira da braccio, an instrument that served as a transition to the violin from medieval and Arabic instruments. I was particularly interested in the possibilities that open drone strings could add to an instrument for jazz, folk, contemporary and world music. During August, I made a large lira based on the 1563 Francesco Linarol lira at the National Music Museum. This instrument has carved sides from solid wood rather than bent ribs. Learning how to do this was another new experience for me. I’m now working on a smaller, more practical lira based on the 1561 Gaspar da Salò instrument at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.
The Gaspar da Salo Lira is pictured below.
Both Liras are varnished, set up and ready to play.