The Flute Lyre and Its Importance in Marching Bands
The flute lyre is an important piece of equipment for marching band musicians. It holds their music while they march and play, keeping it secure and positioned at the correct distance to read.
The Flutists Friend marching lyre is made from black ABS to eliminate glare and has arm straps that are fully adjustable to fit all players and uniforms. It includes a flip folder with five clear windows and two plastic rings.
The lyre may have originated in Mesopotamia or ancient Egypt and was adopted by the Greeks. In classical Greece the lyre was a major instrument in musical competitions. It was played by cradling it in the arms and plucking it with the thumb, first finger, and middle finger of the left hand. The strings were tuned with a tetrachord, the interval of four notes. As time went by, however, there was a trend towards tuning the strings with chromatic and even enharmonic pitches.
The lyre was used for accompaniments to vocal music or recitations of lyric poetry during official banquets, private drinking parties (symposia), religious ceremonies, and musical contests. It is a very versatile instrument. Its popularity lasted until the 5th century of classic Greece, when it was replaced by other string instruments. The lyre was eventually introduced to Rome, where it remained a popular instrument in musical competitions. The Latin word lyra came to mean a variety of stringed instruments, including the lute.
The flute lyre is an accessory designed to allow musicians to keep their music in view during situations where using a music stand is impractical, such as during marching band performances. It clips to a specific spot on the instrument, or even the player’s arm, and adjusts to the desired viewing angle.
The lyre is associated with Apollo, the god of music, light, dance and theater. It symbolizes the rational, orderly side of the human spirit as opposed to Marsyas’ aulos, which is linked to Dionysus, the god of wine, vegetation, excess and ecstasy.
The lyre is also the inspiration for the whistle song of local lyrebirds in the cool forests of Werrikimbe in New South Wales, Australia. The lyrebird’s unique melody is reminiscent of the sound of a flute played in a certain way. The lyrebird’s song is so similar to the sound of a flute that people sometimes think they are hearing a flute player!
Marching band is a thrilling experience as musicians play music that they have memorized while marching in an intricate pattern. While there are many different attachments for holding the music during marches, few of them fit the unique needs of the flute and piccolo player. Lyres provide a convenient solution for these instruments, enabling players to keep the music where they can easily see it.
The DEG Flute Lyre w/Flip-Folder is made from black ABS, making it durable and lightweight. The molded design eliminates glare and the flip folder is reinforced at stress areas. The arm straps are fully adjustable to fit all players and any type of uniform. Spring holds windows for easy flipping and comes with 5 music windows.
The holder attaches to the instrument by loosening the wing nut and wrapping the strap around the player’s wrist or upper arm. The holder is then tightened to secure it. The holder can also be fastened to the ring of the trumpet’s lower joint or to the horn bell.
There are several different styles of flute lyres to choose from. Some attach to the end of a woodwind instrument or to a snare drum’s tension screw, while others feature straps that can be tightened around an arm or wrist. The choice of a lyre style depends on the specific needs and preference of the musician.
A flute lyre that attaches to the player’s arm can be easily adjusted for positioning and features clear sleeves for holding music. This type of lyre is ideal for marching bands that frequently perform in locations where using a music stand would be impractical.
Another popular choice is the Griega large bore trombone lyre, which clamps on to an instrument’s upper leadpipe receiver. This lyre fits Getzen 3047 and Edwards T350 tenor trombones, as well as the B502 and B454 series basses. A securing ring allows for easy adjustment for the optimum reading distance, and it is nickel plated.