Reconstructed Ancient Greek
musical Instruments breathe again and bring archaic sounds back to life,
traveling us back to eras of innocence and harmony, when sounds like that
of the lyre ruptured the crowds, when rhythms like that of the diavlos
excited the people. The originality of the sound of the instruments
creates a highly evocative and atmospheric sound environment.
LyrAvlos under its leader
Panayiotis Stefos aims at reproducing Ancient Greek music in an accurate
and scientifically approved way. According to the ancient
Greeks, music has a divine nature as it assisted in healing both soul and
body. It purified and soothed people’s souls and it inspired, encouraged
and helped them relax.
THE CREATION OF LYRAVLOS
LyrAvlos is a
five member ensemble which lies emphasis on the Ancient Greek Music. It
was created in 2001 by the distinguished musician Panayiotis Stefos. He
approached a small group of experienced musicians who were willing to
assist in materializing his ambition which was to shed light on the
unknown field of ancient Greek music and to reveal the unique value of
this music through a systematic scientific research.
An important part of the group’s work is the reconstruction of ancient musical instruments based on scientific evidence and research concerning the way these instruments were played as well as the use of voice in this music. The ancient instruments manage to reveal unique, mystical sounds that convey the joy of life and motivate the artists to compose modern music thus confirming the inexhaustible wealth, the timelessness and the amazing dynamics of the Ancient Greek Music Tradition.
ancient kitharis, lyre, avlos, syrinx, sea shells
tympanon, seistra, stamna, percussion instruments, didgeridoo
Vangelis Maniatis: baritone
received significant musical education both in Greece and abroad. He had
an exceptional career as a leading Trombone player in the “Athens State
Orchestra” in the “Greek National Opera” and the “Orchestra of
Colors” created by Manos Hatzidakis. He has participated and worked with
many musical groups and has appeared in important music festivals in the
country or abroad. He has worked with the most important composers such as
Adamis, Antoniou, Karakatsanis, Kouroupos, Mikroutsikos, Savvopoulos, and
Hatzidakis etc. He has also written and still writes music for theatrical
plays and films.
Early on, he became
fascinated by ancient Greek music and after a detailed study he moved on
to the reconstruction of most of the ancient Greek instruments. He became
interested in studying the way these instruments were played and received
specialized training on the syrinx as a student of Sedje Hemon in Holland.
His work and
long-lasting research has enjoyed worldwide acceptance therefore he is
frequently invited by art and educational institutes to present his work
either in the form of a seminar or that of a concert. He combines many
skills as he is the researcher, the constructor and the musician; the
advantage of this unique combination is a holistic approach that
guarantees scientific accuracy and artistic sensitivity in his work.
The creation of the
ensemble LyrAvlos was the culmination and crowning of all this research.
OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
of musical instruments was what Panayiotis Stefos initially focused on,
this pioneering work gradually developed into a thorough, scientific study
on Ancient Greek Music. He made a detailed research in museums, collected
various sources of information, designed and reconstructed the ancient
instruments. The aim of this attempt was not just to create musical
instruments that would serve as attractive pieces for exhibition purposes
but as functional musical instruments that would present the surviving
ancient musical pieces in the best possible way.
The attempt was to
achieve the highest possible degree of accuracy in the reconstruction of
musical instruments therefore a combined scientific study of all
historical sources was required. This enabled P.Stefos to proceed in the
most creative part of his work which was to reconstruct the instruments.
He used the ancient technique and the original materials i.e. wood from
fir tree, box-wood, reed, intestines for the strings, tortoise shells,
leather, fish glue and wooden nails.
It is worth noting
that during any artistic festival as well as educational seminar the
public is allowed to see and touch the instruments.
In ancient Greece music was an integral part of people’s everyday
routine and due to the fact that music was a complicated form of art as
well as a cultural expression, it was highly regarded and present in all
private and public festivities.
A flute player for instance would accompany the women with his music while
they were kneading, the workers during harvest, the oarsmen as well as the
soldiers on their way to battle. Music was closely connected with sports
and athletic games not only because they included music competitions but
because the music would encourage and motivate the athlete to achieve a
According to the ancient Greeks, music was divine as it assisted in
healing both soul and body. It purified and soothed people’s souls and
it inspired, encouraged and helped them relax.
In the following you will find programme proposals with Ancient Greek music.
If you prefer other combinations or pieces,
please let us know,
a solution will be found easily.
The Artists' Agency is looking foreward to your contact.
1. Πρώτο Στάσιμο από τον Ορέστη
αι. π. Χ - Pindar 5th century BC
3. Πρώτος Δελφικός Παιάνας
Αθήναιος, 127 π. Χ. -
Athinaios 127 BC
αι. μ. Χ - Sikilos 2nd century AD
5. Ύμνος στη Μούσα και Ύμνος στη Νέμεση
2ος αι. μ. Χ.
- Mesomidis 2nd century AD
6. Πυθικός Νόμος
5ος έως 3ο αι. π. Χ. -
after 5th to 3rd century BC
7. Ύμνος στον ¨Ηλιο
αι. μ. Χ. - Mesomidis 2nd AD
9. Οργανικά Γυμνάσματα
αι. μ. Χ. - anonymous 3rd century BC
10. Πρωτοχριστιανικός ύμνος στην Αγία Τριάδα
(το τελευταίο σωζόμενο με την αρχαιοελληνική γραφή)
One main music suggestion is to present
the surviving ancient Greek music pieces exclusively. Those music texts
are the only authentic music heritage that has survived in a fragmentary
form and unfortunately amount to only sixty-one music pieces.
enriched its repertoire by incorporating and presenting timeless melodies
and traditional songs played with the ancient musical instruments. Popular
music pieces and songs such as the Smyrneika, which were songs that
originated in Smyrna, a major centre in Asia Minor, acquire a different
potential as they are brought to life with the ancient Greek instruments.
compositions, which have been especially created for the reconstructed
musical instruments, combine with Modern Greek poetry and produce a unique
result. It is a particularly popular and attractive suggestion that
enchants the general public.
Very often the LyrAvlos ensemble achieves
a balanced combination of the above mentioned music kinds and puts
emphasis on a particular kind, depending on the occasion. The
awe-inspiring music fascinates the listener and familiarizes them with the
instruments. The creation of new compositions proves the potential and the
timelessness of the instruments as they enchant the listener by creating a
magical atmosphere with their music.
PARTICIPATION IN CEREMONIES AND
ON SPECIAL EVENTS
LyrAvlos is an ensemble which
mainly focuses on ancient Greek music and ancient Greek musical
instruments. It can create, in a particularly flexible and inspired way,
the musical background and provide suggestions for more specialized and
demanding ceremonies. The originality of the sound of the instruments
creates a highly evocative and atmospheric sound environment.
of the ancient Greek musical instruments and the revival of the ancient
Greek music are significantly assisting in the study of the multi-faceted
Greek civilization and culture as well as Greek art. Furthermore, it
enables the public to become acquainted with and achieve a better
understanding of the Greek culture. Music was connected with the lifestyle
and art in Ancient Greece. It enables people to approach and gain an
understanding of the esthetic and the essence in Ancient Greeks’ lives
and their way of thinking.
lecture on Ancient Greek Music, lecture on the evolution of the Greek
Music from antiquity to our days, seminars on the theoretical organization
and notation of the Ancient Greek Music.
involves the musical instruments as well as transparency slides projection
with pictures of ceramics and other sources that reveal the importance of
music and its role in Ancient Greece. It is worth mentioning that these
instruments span from a period of approximately twenty centuries (from
1700 BC to 300 AD).
WORLDWIDE ACKNOWLEDGED EXPERT: Due to his instruments and especially due to his knowledge in the field of Ancient Music, Panayiotis Stefos meanwhile is known worldwide. ... Today he is considered as an acknowledged expert in this field and he is invited by universities all over the world to give seminars, conferences and presentations and together with his ensemble LyrAvlos for concerts. ... Outstanding! Their audiences are always completely impressed.
from: NDR - Northern German radio and television station
PERFORMANCES / PARTICIPATIONS
IN GREECE & ABROAD
SUMMER 2001 / Theatrical play “The Bacchae” by Euripides organized by the Thessaly Theatre presented in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Direction: Vassilis Nikolaidis Leading Actor: Marios Fragoulis
NOVEMBER 2001 / Participation in the Lighting of the Olympic Flame for the Winter Olympics in SALT LAKE CITY.
2003 / Concerts and seminars are given in BOSTON UNIVERSITY USA and
CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY in Montreal, Canada.
2003 / Concert in Brussels at the “Museum of Musical Instruments” and
at the “Royal Museum of Art and History” organized by the Greek
Ministry of Culture.
2003 / Concert and seminar at the International Stockholm Early Music
Festival. For the first time the Ancient Greek Music ensemble meets with
the Renaissance and Middle Ages ensembles.
2003/ PNYKA. Festival on the Greek Language under the auspices of the
President of the Greek Republic and organized by the cultural organization
“Elliniki Glossiki Klironomia” with the participation of
representatives from the Ministry of Culture from all European countries.
2003/ Concert in Montreal, Canada.
2003/ MEGARON - ATHENS CONCERT HALL “Ancient Greek Music in Myths and
History”. An event organized within the scope of the festivities SUNDAY
MORNINGS IN MEGARON.
2004 / Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony for the Athens Olympic Games 2004.
Panayiotis Stefos, in cooperation with George Chatzimichelakis the
composer of the music for the ceremony, creates the sound environment with
the use of conch-shells and the priestesses brandish the seistron in the
final part of the ceremony.
2004 / Educational concerts in Greek and Swedish schools in Stockholm and
Ursa. Presentation of Ancient Greek Music during the painting exhibition
of works by Gianni Karydakis at the cultural club in the city of Ursa.
2004 / Brussels. Concerts in different venues such as the European School,
the Anderlecht Cathedral and the historic hall Senghor. The events were
organized by the Ministry of Culture, the Hellenic Cultural Institution,
the Greek embassy etc.
2004 / WARSAW. Concert in the Opera House of Warsaw and the Historic
Museum. The concerts were organized to celebrate the entrance of Poland in
the European Union in the festival ‘Ode to Europe’ under the auspices
of the Polish government, the Greek ministry of Culture and the Greek
Embassy in Warsaw.
2004 / SORBONNE, PARIS. Concert
at the central, historic amphitheatre of the University of Sorbonne in
order to celebrate 110 years from the revival of the Olympic Games by
Baron Pierre de Coubertin and Dimitrios Vikellas. The event
took place under the auspices of the French ministry of culture and
athletics, the French Municipality, Athens Municipality, the Greek Embassy
in Paris, the president of Sorbonne Mr. Jean Robert Piget and was
organized by Mr. George Archimandrites, the representative of the
French-Greek Culture club ‘Delphos’.
2004 / Participation in the festivities for the Olympic games in the
Olympic Athens on the 15-16-20 August. Concerts were given in Plaka, at
the ‘Hellenic Association for the Protection of the Environment and
Cultural Heritage’. 23-24-26-27-28 at the ‘Museum of Folk Musical
2004 / ZAPPEIO MEGARON ATHENS. A music composition composed by Theodoros
Antoniou during the opening of the art exhibition with works from
Efthimios Varlamis under the title ‘Mother Olympias – the power of
love’ was presented by a small group with Ancient Greek instruments and
was directed by Mr. Panayiotis Stefos.
2004 / VOLOS. A Multi-show ‘Argonauts’. A big production of art events
for the Athens Olympics. Production: The Centre of Music Theatre of the
town of Volos and ‘Athens 2004’The music was by Dimitrios Maragopoulos
and the Czech Theatre Laterna Magica. Lyravlos was one of the music
ensembles that participated in this big event.
2004 / Ceremony for the Athens Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium of
Athens. Panayiotis Stefos participates with his group ‘Anemos’.
Music Short Cuts