The phorminx (in Ancient Greek φόρμιγξ) was one of the oldest ancient Greek stringed musical instruments, intermediate between the lyre and the kitharis (or kithara). It consisted of two to seven strings, richly decorated arms and a crescent- shaped sound box. It almost probably originated from Mesopotamia. While it seems to have been common in Homer’s day, accompanying the rhapsodes, it was supplanted in historical times by the seven-stringed kithara. Despite being a descendant of the lyre and a forefather of kitharis, it was the first ancient instrument that ancient Greeks introduced a basic spring mechanism for a richer sound and a “sweet” vibrato effect.
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