THE GOLDEN LYRE OF UR, presented by Jennifer Sturdy

This month’s Arts Society Horsham lecture is the story of making a replica of the oldest known stringed instrument, the Gold Lyre of Ur, a Mesopotamian lyre dating from 2,500 BC. A lyre is the precursor of the harp. We have made a playable instrument, using authentic materials from the Middle East: cedar wood, mother-of-pearl, pink limestone and lapis lazuli. The crowning glory is the bull’s head on the front, which is covered in gold.

The lecture is illustrated with pictures of all the stages of the making, and then of musicians performing with it, with a sound clip so that you can hear what it is like.

Jennifer Sturdy, a former teacher of German and English, became involved with the Golden Lyre of Ur project in 2003, initially as a researcher and administrator, but as it progressed, she also gave talks about how they managed to build a magnificent instrument, with the help of volunteers from around the world. She has spoken at academic conferences, universities, churches, schools, U3A and other similar meetings.

Later when the instrument was completed she became a performer, dressing in Mesopotamium costume and reciting poetry from Sumerian times, such as from the epic of Gilgamesh, accompanied by the lyre. The instrument is playable, but it is also a work of art, being covered in precious metals and semi_precious stones. Its name derives from the spectacular bull’s head which adorns the front of the lyre.

Free to Arts Society Horsham members. Non-members £8 on the door.
No Booking required.