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MMD > Archives > November 1997 > 1997.11.14 > 03Prev  Next

By Jan Kijlstra

I was asking if anybody knew about a mechanically playing hurdy-gurdy,
meaning the stringed instrument, not meaning a "Drehorgel".

This is the answer to your question, I think:  A hurdy-gurdy is a
"Drehleier", which is another instrument, not a "Drehorgel".  It's
clear that the English speaking people confuse themselves by using the
same name for both instruments, but in Germany this confusion is not
common amongst people with knowledge of musical instruments.

You wrote: "Well, of course there are mechanical-driven lyras, but all
I know are ones with a crank-and-a-pinned-barrel (like a "Drehorgel" If
you are talking about automatic lyras, well, the piano is one."

I must say, I do not know what you are talking about.

A lyra with a crank-and-pinned-barrel is unknown to me.  Where should
the pinned barrel be mounted?  If it might exist, it never can be
compared to a "Drehorgel".  A lyra is a member of the family of
string-instruments, the "Chordophones", while an organ (and a
"Drehorgel" still is an organ), happens to be a member of the family
of "Aerophones", as I did write earlier.

I'm not able to visualize a piano as a automatic lyra.  Although a
piano is a stringed instrument, and as such is a chordophone, it is
a chordophone of the psalter-group (which means that the strings are
brought to vibrate by hammering on them) and it usually is not played
by a bow, like a lyra, in which the strings are forced to produce sound
by rubbing them.

Apart from that, neither a "normal" organ, a "normal" piano, or a
"normal" hurdy-gurdy can be seen as automated or mechanical instrument
(but they are operated using a mechanism).

To end with: the comment by Robbie was clear, and correct.  The
hurdy-gurdy is an much older instrument, and appeared several hundred
years before the barrel-organ.

Jan Kijlstra

(Message sent Thu 13 Nov 1997, 23:24:05 GMT, from time zone GMT+0100.)

Key Words in Subject:  Hurdy-gurdy

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