Documenting the curious world of the hurdy-gurdy.

Tunings for the Galician zanfona

Again, a dig into the archives of the hurdy-gurdy discussion list brings out an interesting post from Wolodymyr “Vlad”  Smishkewych on tunings for the Galician zanfona.  He writes {includes corrections from the thread following discussion with Simon Wascher):

The main difference between Galician zanfonas and other gurdies is that the instrument is exclusively built and played in what vielle-oriented gurdyists know as ‘en musette’, or without the mouche or trompette. The sound of the chanterelles is enhanced and made richer by adding a third chanterelle tuned an octave below the two unisons; the open tuning for the two standard Galician zanfonas would be:

G/C (DO):

  • 1st & 2nd cantantes (chanterelles):    g’
  • 3rd cantante:          g (one octave below c.1 & 2)
  • 1st bordon (bourdon):c
  • 2nd bordon:          G (one octave below c. 3)

D/G (SOL):

as above:

  • c. 1 & 2:d’
  • 3rd c.:d (one octave lower than c. 1 & 2)
  • bordon 1:g
  • b 2:D (one octave lower than c. 3