Kolyosnaya lira

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Kolyosnaya lira
Other names Kolisna lira
Classification String instrument (bowed)
Playing range
Related instruments

The kolisna lira (Ukrainian: колісна ліра) (the same of Lira (instrument)), is a Ukrainian variation of the hurdy-gurdy - came to Ukraine from Western Europe, has one melodic string, which is shorten by keys and few other strings which are tuned in definite note, sound comes from the friction of wooden wheel against the strings.


The kolisna lira is an antique violin-like musical instrument that was originated in Europe. First recorded appearance was more than 1000 years ago.


The sound is produced from the friction of wooden wheel against the strings which is turned with a crank. The violin bow replaced by the wheel which is rosined. Usage of the wheel instead of the bow allows for the contiguous and uninterrupted production of the sound. One or two strings that are tuned in unison are serving to perform a melody. The keys are pressed to shorten those strings which results in sound of a deferent pitch. Up to five other strings are fixed and can produce only one predefined tone.

Playing techniques[edit]

The fingers of the left hand are used to press the keys and right hand is used to rotate the handle of the wheel, which is touching all the strings at once.

Historical references[edit]

By the end of 17th century the performing buffoons were replaced by itinerant artists. They have performed their songs accompanied by the mournful sounds of the kolisna lira and reading spiritual poetry.

See also[edit]