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MMD > Archives > July 1996 > 1996.07.28 > 08Prev  Next

Re: Hurdy-Gurdy
By Brian Thornton

On Tue, 23 Jul 1996, Philip Jamison <> wrote:

> Subject: Hurdy-Gurdy
> Remember: a Hurdy-Gurdy is not a barrel organ or a street organ. It's a
> stringed instrument played with a rosined wheel and keys.

I would like to add a few comments if I may:

As a side line to my rebuliding, I build various kinds of stringed folk instruments. Over the years I have made a few Hurdy-Gurdies and have done a great deal of research on them.

By the 18th century, the Hurdy-Gurdy ( Vielle a Roue in Fr.) was wide spread though out Europe. For the most part it was the street music of is day , the instrument of peasents, beggars, ant other itinerant musicians. In the mid 1700s, a pastorial craze swept France, and the Vielle became much favored by the ladies of the French royal court and many fine instruments were made during that period. Also, many variations and additions were made. First, was the floating bridge or "Dogue", which obtained, by a special method of turning the crank, a raspy rythmadic accompanyment to the played melody. In the early 18th century, some instruments were fitted with a bellows and a small rank of stopped flute pipes. I've seen one of this type with a pinned cylinder to actuate the keys. I can only surmise the next step was to ditch the stringed section and go with the pipes, as the Hudy-Gurdy itself is as fussy as any other stringed instrument.

So you see, They are closely related

Brian (Goatboy) Thornton Short Mtn. Music Works 109 North Cannon St. Woodbury, TN 37190 615-563-5814

(Message sent Sun 28 Jul 1996, 22:44:56 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Hurdy-Gurdy

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