Lira (hurdy-gurdy). Folk string instrument (see Folk musical instruments). It was introduced in Ukraine from the West and spread rapidly during the 15th century. The sound is produced by cranking a rosined wheel against strings within the instrument. Most frequently, the lira has three strings; the two lower strings are monotonic, and the higher string leads the melody. The instrument was played commonly in Ukraine until the 20th century by itinerant musicians called lirnyks.