Documenting the curious world of the hurdy-gurdy.

Puit d’Amour/Tiennet
Whirling Pope Joan

Great track from the album Spin by Whirling Pope Joan - the duo with Nigel Eaton and Julie Murphy.

Nice photo-diary of the making of a hurdy-gurdy for a school project, with the music of the finished instrument playing in the background.  Very impressive.

Polska efter Omas Ludvig Larson
Oscar Fernández 

One for the diary - Halsway Manor hurdy-gurdy weekend, 8-10 Feb 2013

Advanced warning of the Halsway Manor Hurdy-Gurdy Weekend to be held at Halsway Manor, near Crowcombe in Somerset, from Friday 8th February to Sunday 10th February 2013.  Teachers already booked include Gregory Jolivet, Steve Tyler and Claire Dugue.  This runs in parallel with the John Swayne Bagpipe Workshop Weekend and features a Hurdy-Gurdy and Bagpipe Concert on the Saturday evening with Gregory Jolivet, Steve Tyler, Katy Marchant and Jon Swayne.

More here.

English and French folk music - online sheet music

Nice blog here, capturing hundreds of traditional and contemporary English and French tunes, categorized by type and also by artist.  Nice collection and worth a look.  The author writes:

Over the past few years, I have collected many tunes, mostly English and French, from a number of wonderful players. This website is a constantly evolving 21st century manuscript in the spirit of the great tune books of the past. If you happen to know the composer of a specific tune, please let me know, so that they can be credited. In the event of anyone being unhappy about their own music being shared in this way, I will, of course, remove relevant items. I hope you enjoy playing them!

The Maker of Things (Mazurka, Andy Letcher) and Fingles (Polka, Cliff Stapleton) performed by Letcher and Stapleton at the Bagpipe Society Blowout concert in 2009.

Video of Nigel Eaton’s hurdy-gurdy solo followed by Gallow’s Pole, with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Philadelphia.  24 October 1995.

Robert Mandel and the Mandel Quartet play Tylman Susato's Danserye, 1551 Antwerp.

Altarwind introduces harmony keys


Altarwind Music, Oregon-based maker of hurdy-gurdies, has announced that it is now offering a third-row of keys on many of its instruments to allow the playing of harmonies.  This is a feature that was pioneered by British maker Chris Eaton and which appears to have inspired Altarwind’s design.

A more recent video of Robert Mandel and the Mandel Quartet performing a number of French renaissance dances by Claude Gervaise (c.1550) on the hurdy-gurdy and other period instruments.

Matthias Loibner, Ireland, 6 May 2012

Renowned Austrian hurdy-gurdy player Matthias Loibner is set to perform at the Bray Jazz Festival 2012 in Co Wicklow, Ireland.  The performance takes place at 1830 on Sunday 6th May 2012 in the Bray Town Hall.  More information and tickets here.

Hungarian hurdy-gurdy virtuoso, Robert Mandel, gives a lecture and performance on the tekerőlant at Concordia University, Chicago in February 1982.

David and his musicians from the Khloudouski Psalter in Novgorod, late 13th Century.  Posted on Facebook here.

David and his musicians from the Khloudouski Psalter in Novgorod, late 13th Century.  Posted on Facebook here.

Henry III gurdy plans


Graeme McCormack of Antiquated Strings has uploaded another of his fabulous hurdy-gurdy construction plans.  Ideal for the home builder, or simply as a beautiful poster for your wall.  He writes:

I have just finished Drawing up the Henri 111 Renaissance Hurdy Gurdy. I have modelled it on an existing instrument from Paris circa 1750. The main deviation from the original is that it can play a chromatic 2 octaves, has adjustable bridges and string lifting mechanisms. I have also changed the internal frame to use smaller wood stock. The original has solid end blocks that needed large wood stock to cut them from. There are 9 x A1 size sheets to this plan. I will add more written information as I make this gurdy.

Full size PDF versions of the plans in 9 parts available on his website here.