Kemenche - Lyra

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Kemenche - Lyra is your Passion?

Music lightens your mood, cheers you up, gets you moving and gives you positive energy! Making music is one of the most motivating and healthy activities in life! The repertoire which you find the most personal to you is where we will focus our attention.

Beginner or advanced?

If music is your passion and classical, baroque, jazz, pop, latin, world music or any other kind of music is where you find the most inspiration, you're welcome to sign up for a trial lesson. Select your teacher!

Face to Face Kemenche lessons!

We are looking forward to meeting you face to face in our cosy lesson locations or in the comfort of your own home!

Online Kemenche lessons?

In some situations it would be beneficial to meet with your kemenche teacher online. If you wish to follow online lessons, you can contact the teacher of your choice directly and discuss the possibilities.

Lesson Packs

Lesson time and place are arranged individually between you and the teacher. This means maximum flexibility for both of you. Choose the lesson pack that suits you best. We offer one-on-one kemenche lessons of 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and 60 minutes. Discuss all details about location, prices and frequency of the lessons during your trial kemenche lesson.

Kemenche - Lyra

Kemenche or Lyra

Kemenche of Istanbul/ Classical Kemenche or Lyra is a traditional bowed string instrument based on the city of Istanbul. Before the 19th century it was mainly used by Greek society of the Ottoman Empire for popular and entertainment music.

Cultural Background

In the Ottoman music, until the 19th century, the Persian-derived word kemence, meaning "small bow" or "small bowed instrument," was used for the spike fiddle known today as rebab. Also called keman, the kemance was the only bowed instrument used in Turkish classical music until the late 18th century. The kemanche gave way first to the viola d'amore and later to the European violin. The classical kemenche first entered to the Ottoman music by having a place in the incesaz fasil ensemble, in the mid-19th century. Since then, it has been become the part of the Classical Ottoman\Turkish Art Music.

Cross over

Since the classical kemenche has a very uniqe and deep sound, it has became a popular instrument for cross-over projects after 1950's. After this period it has been used in difeerent kind of music genres, such as early Western, jazz, contemporary and world music. 

Way of playing

The 3 strings of the Lyra or Kemenche are being played with the finger nails. The finger tips are placed between the strings. A wonderful and specific tone quality is the result! Subtle glissandi can be made. The tradditional bow is quite archaic, yet effective. Nowadays a violin bow, or even better a viola da gamba bow, are being used.


The classical kemence is 40-41 centimeters in length and 14-15 centimeters wide. All its strings are of gut; only the lower string is silver-wound. Today some musicians use synthetic racquet strings, aluminum-wound gut or artificial silk strings, or chrome-wound steel violin strings. The sound post, which transmits the strings' vibration to the back of the instrument, is fixed between the bridge and back of the instrument under the A string. A small hole, 3-4 mm in diameter, is drilled in the back of the instrument directly under the bridge.

Demonstration of the Classical Kemenche by Neva Ozgen:


Private Music Teachers

Music moves and enriches the soul! Enjoy in person music and singing lessons in a relaxed and healthy atmosphere. We offer also online music lessons. Making music is about feelings, connection, growth, joy, developing skills, discovering ways of learning and expressing yourself. Stay connected!

"This will be our reply to violence: to make more music intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before'' - Leonard Bernstein