Lute vs. Lyre - What's the difference?

Wikipedia

  • Lute

    A lute () is any plucked string instrument with a neck (either fretted or unfretted) and a deep round back enclosing a hollow cavity, usually with a sound hole or opening in the body. More specifically, the term "lute" can refer to an instrument from the family of European lutes. The term also refers generally to any string instrument having the strings running in a plane parallel to the sound table (in the Hornbostel–Sachs system). The strings are attached to pegs or posts at the end of the neck, which have some type of turning mechanism to enable the player to tighten the tension on the string or loosen the tension before playing (which respectively raise or lower the pitch of a string), so that each string is tuned to a specific pitch (or note). The lute is plucked or strummed with one hand while the other hand "frets" (presses down) the strings on the neck's fingerboard. By pressing the strings on different places of the fingerboard, the player can shorten or lengthen the part of the string that is vibrating, thus producing higher or lower pitches (notes). The European lute and the modern Near-Eastern oud descend from a common ancestor via diverging evolutionary paths. The lute is used in a great variety of instrumental music from the Medieval to the late Baroque eras and was the most important instrument for secular music in the Renaissance. During the Baroque music era, the lute was used as one of the instruments which played the basso continuo accompaniment parts. It is also an accompanying instrument in vocal works. The lute player either improvises ("realizes") a chordal accompaniment based on the figured bass part, or plays a written-out accompaniment (both music notation and tablature ("tab") are used for lute). As a small instrument, the lute produces a relatively quiet sound. The player of a lute is called a lutenist, lutanist or lutist, and a maker of lutes (or any similar string instrument, or violin family instruments) is referred to as a luthier.

Wiktionary

  • Lute (noun)

    A fretted stringed instrument of European origin, similar to the guitar, having a bowl-shaped body or soundbox; any of a wide variety of chordophones with a pear-shaped body and a neck whose upper surface is in the same plane as the soundboard, with strings along the neck and parallel to the soundboard.

    "guitar"

  • Lute (noun)

    Thick sticky clay or cement used to close up a hole or gap, especially to make something air-tight.

  • Lute (noun)

    A packing ring, as of rubber, for fruit jars, etc.

  • Lute (noun)

    A straight-edged piece of wood for striking off superfluous clay from earth.

  • Lute (verb)

    To play on a lute, or as if on a lute.

  • Lute (verb)

    To fix or fasten something with lute.

  • Lyre (noun)

    An ancient stringed musical instrument (a yoke lute chordophone) of Greek origin, consisting of two arms extending from a body to a crossbar (a yoke), and strings, parallel to the soundboard, connecting the body to the yoke.

  • Lyre (noun)

    A lyre-shaped sheet music holder that attaches to a wind instrument when a music stand is impractical.

  • Lyre (noun)

    A composer of lyric poetry.

Oxford Dictionary

  • Lute (noun)

    a plucked stringed instrument with a long neck bearing frets and a rounded body with a flat front, rather like a halved egg in shape.

  • Lute (noun)

    liquid clay or cement used to seal a joint, coat a crucible, or protect a graft.

  • Lute (noun)

    a rubber seal for a jar.

  • Lute (verb)

    seal, join, or coat with lute

    "they were luted with a heavy coating of calcined chalk and eggshells"

  • Lyre (noun)

    a stringed instrument like a small U-shaped harp with strings fixed to a crossbar, used especially in ancient Greece. Modern instruments of this type are found mainly in East Africa.

Webster Dictionary

  • Lute (noun)

    A cement of clay or other tenacious infusible substance for sealing joints in apparatus, or the mouths of vessels or tubes, or for coating the bodies of retorts, etc., when exposed to heat; - called also luting.

  • Lute (noun)

    A packing ring, as of rubber, for fruit jars, etc.

  • Lute (noun)

    A straight-edged piece of wood for striking off superfluous clay from mold.

  • Lute (noun)

    A stringed instrument formerly much in use. It consists of four parts, namely, the table or front, the body, having nine or ten ribs or "sides," arranged like the divisions of a melon, the neck, which has nine or ten frets or divisions, and the head, or cross, in which the screws for tuning are inserted. The strings are struck with the right hand, and with the left the stops are pressed.

  • Lute

    To close or seal with lute; as, to lute on the cover of a crucible; to lute a joint.

  • Lute

    To play on a lute, or as on a lute.

  • Lute (verb)

    To sound, as a lute.

  • Lyre (noun)

    A stringed instrument of music; a kind of harp much used by the ancients, as an accompaniment to poetry.

  • Lyre (noun)

    One of the constellations; Lyra. See Lyra.

Princeton's WordNet

  • Lute (noun)

    a substance for packing a joint or coating a porous surface to make it impervious to gas or liquid

  • Lute (noun)

    chordophone consisting of a plucked instrument having a pear-shaped body, a usually bent neck, and a fretted fingerboard

  • Lyre (noun)

    a harp used by ancient Greeks for accompaniment

Popular Comparisons
Recently Compared
46 minutes ago
3 hours ago
3 hours ago
5 hours ago
7 hours ago
11 hours ago
11 hours ago