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Lyra House

House Colour: Canary Yellow

Named after the Constellation of Lyra

Together as One

The Story of Lyra

The lyre is one of the most ancient of musical instruments.

In Greek mythology, the lyre was invented by Hermes. When only a child, he pulled a cow-gut across a tortoise shell, and thereby created the lyre. Hermes gave this lyre to his half-brother Apollo (both were fathered by Zeus). As the god of music, Apollo became associated with the instrument and has now become the symbol of our new House logo.

Orpheus (musician of the Argonauts and son of Apollo) was given the instrument by his father when only a child and the Muses taught him to use it. They say that even Nature herself would stop to listen, enraptured by his musical charm. The name 'Lyra' is taken from this instrument 'the lyre' played by Orpheus.

There are several versions about the death of Orpheus. In the most widespread version Dionysus invades Thrace, home of Orpheus, and the female followers of Dionysus (the Maenads) tear Orpheus from limb to limb. His head is thrown into the river Hebrus, where it floats to Lesbos, singing the entire time.

The lyre of Orpheus is also thrown into the river, and it too floats to Lesbos, beached near the temple of Apollo. Apollo then convinces Zeus that the instrument should become a constellation. Zeus agrees, and places the lyre of Orpheus between Hercules and Cygnus.

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Louth Academy

Philip C Dickinson
BA (Hons) MA PGCE.