Experiencing Tones

Musical experiences with the Lyre
by Elisabeth Gärtner, music teacher and Eurythmist

child who plays the Lyre The tones
become progressively
deeper, warmer and fuller
sounding indeed you
may experience the tones
in relation to your own
body: reversing the
movement upwards
towards the head, the
tones become increasingly
light, precise, cool and
brilliant. Next strike each
note with a fingertip,
giving yourself time to
listen to it you may
initially be able to perceive
the modulation and
movement of the
individual tone, perhaps
like a drop of water
forming. A higher tone
may open up like a flower,
or if it is a lower tone, it
may expand to envelop
and warm. Experiencing
tone qualities of the Lyre
in this way can be felt as
relaxing and healing.

Interplay of two hands

When we breathe
there is an interplay of
breathing-in and holding
the breath before we
release it again. We might
try to transpose this into
a way of playing up and
down, playing higher and
lower tones in a lively
interchange. Music
lightens, overcomes
bodybound heaviness.
This phenomenon can be
experienced with
each tone we play. If now you also
use the fingers of the left hand
playing either the closer lying
chromatic notes or by reaching
through to the strings in front,
you can produce an even flow
of tones by playing with both
hands in sequence. Or alternatively
the hands may counter the
movement and produce an echo.
So now the movement and interplay
between the hands inspires
melodic form.

Music as an
inward experience

When a small easily
repeated tone sequence of two to
three notes is played with the right
hand, the left hand may help to
continue the flow over the whole
instrument extending the sequence
by further notes or perhaps to play
a changed or reversed, echoing
sequence. Beat and rhythm may
add further elements to forming
a melody. Pleasure and awareness
may be roused in this activity as
the variety of musical possibilities
are appreciated. One does not need
to learn complicated techniques to
play the Lyre. Hence there is no
distraction to let the modulation of
ones playing arise from inner
perception and participation in
musical experience. Playing the Lyre
can therefore also be meditative.

Forgett all
you know about
music and
begin to
make music as innocently
as a child.

A recommended way
Leto play the Lyre.

The organic
shapes may indicate
what might be encouraged
when playing this
instrument But in order
to experience this
inherent life it is good to
begin with, if one can
leave aside all previous
knowledge about music.
Live with the Lyre quite
innocently, making music
like an uninhibited child.
Receive each tone as it
arises, hear it, unite with it
and savour its particular

of Tones

To play the Lyre,
hold it on your lap
cradled in your left arm.
Its strings are so arranged
that, as the hand glides
over the strings from the
higher notes down toward
the lower ones, it moves
toward your feet.