Documenting the curious world of the hurdy-gurdy.

La Furstemberg in one of its many guises. This tune first appears in 1696 called ‘St. Martin’s Lane’ in Playford’s 6th edition of the English Dancing Master. Corrette’s version from 1783 is probably the last of its kind and his book shown here marked the end of printed works for baroque hurdy gurdy.

Opto-electronic hurdy-gurdy

Derek Holzer creates noise-making contraption using a hurdy-gurdy like object attached to some painful electronic circuitry.  Don’t think this is going to catch on.  Very arty though.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all hurdy-gurdy players around the world!  May all your dreams come true … and may you achieve the coup gras you always wanted!

Halsway Carol (composed by Nigel Eaton) performed by duo Carlos Quintá on accordian and Óscar Fernández on hurdy-gurdy.

French 1780’s hurdy-gurdy from the V&A collection.  More here.

French 1780’s hurdy-gurdy from the V&A collection.  More here.

More funky fiddle and hurdy-gurdy goodness from Gregory Jolivet.

For Sale - hurdy-gurdy virtuoso Robert Mandel is selling one of his baroque vielles.  Photograph attached.  Asking price is $1750. SOLD

For Sale - hurdy-gurdy virtuoso Robert Mandel is selling one of his baroque vielles.  Photograph attached.  Asking price is $1750. SOLD

A clip of Pep Massana and Ramon Elias’s organistrum in action with an octaved violin.  A free improvisation about Los Set Gotxs of Libre Vermenl at Sant Pau Vell, Montserrat.

Interesting short video on an organistrum by Pep Massana and Ramon Elias.  It shows a new organistrum system can plays 20 strings with 44 notes.

Dante Ferrara plays Purcell Minuets, from ‘Musick’s Hand-maid’ printed in 1689.

Steve Tyler, virtuoso hurdy gurdy plays Belicha, 14th century medieval art music.

The Big Hurdy-Gurdy Workshop Weekend

A workshop weekend for hurdy-gurdy players of all ages and abilities with Gregory Jolivet (France), Steve Tyler, Claire Dugue giving workshops on technique and repertoire.

8-10th February 2013 Halsway Manor, Somerset

For more info and booking, see here.

Hurdy-gurdy Saturday courses - Netherlands

Saturday Courses - November 2012 to May 2013

The Dutch association for hurdy-gurdies and bagpipes has announced the next series of Saturday courses for the hurdy-gurdy and bagpipes, running from November through to next May.  Courses are available for beginners and advanced players of both instruments, as well as joint sessions.  Beginner’s instruments are available to hire.


  • Hurdy-gurdy beginners: Joop Aalbers. Discover the possibilities of the instrument and experience the fun.
  • Hurdy-gurdy advanced: Roald Keuning. Elaboration and refinement of melodic and rhythmic techniques.
  • Drone Music in bandstands: Ine Blom. Development of a joint repertoire to be played at the end of the course at a number of bandstands.
  • Bourbonnais Revival: drone with a capital D: Jonneke Jorissen and Cor Westbroek. Joint course for D-tuned hurdy gurdies and bagpipes.

Information and registration

See for more information.

Hurdy-Gurdy music show

On 31 August, Dutch streaming music site, Concertzender, had an hour-long show devoted to hurdy-gurdy music.  An archived recording of the show is available on their site here (click the small speaker link towards the top of the page).

They say “This episode of Metamorphoses about unusual instruments is an hour long focus on the hurdy-gurdy. Often the instrument has been maligned as a simple melody instrument that was merely suitable to accompany dancing. However, the instrument was in the distant past used by the troubadours to accompany their songs and classical works were composed for it. The hurdy largely disappeared from the stage, afterwards remaining only in some countries like France. In recent decades there has been a revival, in which the construction of the instrument, the playing technique and repertoire went through a revolution.

The show features the following set:

  1. Malicorne - Le Branle des Chevaux (trad)
    Le Bestiaire - Ballon Noir  082303
  2. Blowzabella - The New Hornpipes (D Shepherd)
    A richer dust - Osmosys  OSMOCD010
  3. Emilio Cao - Estreaba o horizonte (Coa)
    Cartas Marinas - BOA Do FolDF005
  4. La Ciapa Rusa - Suite di Monferrine (trad, Martinotti)
    Antologia - Robi Droli RDC015
  5. Vizöntö - Springdance (Kiss)
    Best - Pan Records 145 CD
  6. Hölderlin Express -  Jumping Eggs (Olav Krauss)
    Hölderlin express - Akku Disc ADCD 3025
  7. Garmana - Varulven (The Werewolf)  (Gotte Rinqvist)
    Guds spelemän - Xource XOUcd 113
  8. Wolverlei - Malbroek/Wilhelmusdans/Swart laat ‘m scheren (trad)
    Wolverlei - Munich 7445
  9. Appellation controlee - Basso Pomade (Blaine L Reiniger, Steven Brown)/Marchand de Féraille (Blaine L. Reiniger)
    Tiz - Dig it 567914-2
  10. Gilbert Isbin & Iep Fourier - Avoid a Void (Isbin, Fourier)
    Avoid a void - Tern006
  11. Gilles Chabenat - Carmin (Chabenat)
    Je vois venir - Roseau ROS101.02
  12. Trame trio - Awin Awin (Nass el Ghawin)
    Changer d’air - Buda Musique 3017907
  13. Valentin Clastrier - El Castel (Bernard de Ventadorn, Clastrier)
    Hérésie - Silex Y225402
  14. Trio Patrick Bouffard - Mazerier/Chevreulis (trad, Bouffard)
    Revenant de Paris - Boucherie Production 49502.2

The Duellists.  A tune written and played by Nigel Eaton, performed here on a double keyboard Hurdy Gurdy in G by Chris Eaton.