Documenting the curious world of the hurdy-gurdy.

Hurdy-gurdy workshop, Lissberg, Germany, 9-12 May 2013

From Thursday, 9th May until Sunday 12th May 2013 hurdy gurdy workshops will be taking place in Lissberg / Ortenberg, Germany (approx. 50km north-east of Frankfurt am Main). As the workshops start Thursday morning, it’s best to arrive Wednesday (8th May) in the evening.

Tutors: Ina Lemm, Hendrik Ardner, Gerhard Ganz, Ron Winkler, Peter Streng and Cliff Stapleton.

In the eveningsthere will also be some talks and presentations as well as live music. Cliff Stapleton will be performing a solo programme on Saturday evening.

More details at:

Contact: bridget . halpin @ web . de

Hurdy-gurdy workshop weekend, 6-7 April, Holland

Always wanted to learn to play bagpipes or hurdy gurdy? Whether you are advanced player and want to deepen your love? This may be during Spring Weekend.  During the weekend of 6-7 April in Sint-Michielsgestel there hurdy gurdy and bagpipe workshops for beginners and advanced. Daytime courses, evening music and performances. 

No instrument? No problem! Participants in the beginner groups can borrow an instrument.

The weekend starts Saturday, April 6 at 10.00 and lasts until Sunday, April 7 at 17:00.  Saturday is from 20:00 and balfolk music for and by students and teachers, including the Flemish group Cecilia . Non-participants in the workshops also welcome!

The courses

Combined Workshop - Greet Wuyts 
This workshop is open to all instruments. Greet Wuyts is renowned teacher of accordion and plays in the Flemish group Cecilia. In this workshop the focus is on teamwork, harmony and the danceability of the music.

- Hurdy-gurdy advanced : Matthias Loibner (full)
Participants take a look behind the scenes at the virtuoso Matthias Loibner. This great player from Austria with his unique playing style is a challenge for the experienced players.

- Hurdy-gurdy intermediate : Thomas Hoste 
Thomas is an experienced teacher hurdy gurdy. Previously he taught at our Saturday courses and he also plays in the group Cecilia. In this workshop, students immerse themselves in techniques and embellishments.

hurdy beginners : Cor Westbroek (full)
Always wanted to play hurdy gurdy? This is your chance! This workshop is designed for beginners, those that the instrument may still discover. With this discovery is the fun comes first. Start playing with simple but beautiful melodies with the hurdy-gurdy. No instrument? A loan instrument is included in the course.

Bagpipe courses also on offer.

Overnight and subscribe 
For participation in the workshops are of course the cost of overnight stays (in 4-person rooms) and accommodation (lunch, dinner, breakfast, coffee and tea in between) included.

Special offer beginners: Preparing Morning March 16

In order to extract more value from the beginners group, we offer the participants an additional preparation morning: The preparation morning on March 16 in Zeist from 10:00 to 12:00.

More details on the website here (in Dutch).

Baroque Hurdy Gurdy Course, 27-28 April 2013

with Tobie Miller (Canada / France)

in Basel, Switzerland

For professional and advanced amateur hurdy gurdy players wishing to explore the 18th century repertoire and technique for the instrument. Classes will focus on style, ornamentation and Baroque forms. A harpsichordist will be present, allowing some course time to be spent working on the solo repertoire with basso continuo.

Registration is limited to 10 participants, and will be confirmed by email, upon payment of the course fees (250 CHF).

Tuning is c/g, at A=415.

Course will be taught in English, French and German.

For more information:


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.

Learning to play the hurdy-gurdy

Learning to play the hurdy-gurdy
Ina Lemm

DVD multimedia course published in 2010 with over 70 films featuring tuition on how to set up the instrument, playing the trompette and a variety of duets and other tunes to learn.  All set in period costume in the Veldenz castle.  Available here.

D/G hurdy-gurdy tutor

D/G hurdy-gurdy tutor

This dvd sets out to demonstrate the basic skills needed to play the instrument with particular emphasis on the French dance repertoire in D-G Bourbonnais tuning.  It is split up into sections which deal with each of the common rhythms and has a few simple tunes for each along with close up analysis of fingering patterns and the trompette.  Available from Neil Brook here.

G/C hurdy-gurdy tutor

G/C hurdy-gurdy tutor. 

Over 90 minutes long, this dvd sets out to demonstrate the basic skills needed to play the instrument. It is split up into sections which deal with each of the common rhythms and has a few simple tunes for each along with close up analysis of fingering patterns and the trompette.  Available from Neil Brook here.

Dupuit: Principles of hurdy-gurdy playing.

Dupuit: Principles of hurdy-gurdy playing.  

Available online for £19 from Richard Haynes Music Services in pdf format (61 pages), he describes this as follows: “Principe pour toucher de la Vielle was published in 1741 (Paris) and is thus the earliest of the major methods. This edition follows the pattern of the Bouin in having complete parallel texts (French to English) and in-line musical examples transposed into modern clef and clearly laid out. The original includes 6 large sonatas that are of doubtful viability and these very dense 34 pages are not included. However, as a special feature of this work, where Dupuit’s text has a movement by movement analysis of how the pieces are to be played I have included thematic examples into the body of the translation in order that the maximum possible education can be gained from Dupuit’s remarks. The provision of this context makes the of the remarks far more easy to understand. The original text is prohibitively difficult to read through primitive printing and fading.

Bouin: La Vielleuse Habile.

Bouin: La Vielleuse Habile. 

Available online for £29 from Richard Haynes Music Services in pdf format (109 pages), he describes this as follows: “La Vielleuse Habile (The Skilful Hurdy-Gurdy Player) is the largest and most comprehensive of the 18th century French methods. It was originally published in 1761 in Paris. The edition that I have created is a complete transcription and translation (French to English) of the major pedagogical section i.e. All the text in English and French and the musical examples. The edition is laid out as a more or less parallel  text so that the reader has the option of attempting a better reading of the occasionally very awkward French. Musical examples that in the original are widely separated from the text appear here within the body of the text and , whereas in the original they are written on the French violin clef they have here been transposed and clearly laid out in the normal treble clef. The original text comprises, in principle, of 3 parts: pedagogical text; 44 lessons; and 2 Suites in C and G comprising in excess of 70 pieces. This edition is the pedagogical section only.

Bouin: 44 lessons 

Available online for £6 from Richard Haynes Music Services in pdf format, this is the second part of the previous book, containing the 44 lessons (15 pages).

Drehleier spielen

Drehleier spielen
Riccardo Delfino/Matthias Loibner.  ISBN 978-3-927240-47-6.

This hurdy-gurdy tutor is written in German but comes highly recommended by one of the readers of this site.  Available here.

Hurdy-Gurdy Method, 3rd ed.

Hurdy-Gurdy Method, 3rd ed.
Doreen Muskett, 1 May 1998, ISBN-13 978-0946993079. 

Useful information on choosing, setting up and maintaining the hurdy-gurdy, then take you through playing it. It starts with learning the keyboard, then adds the trompette and gradually takes you through increasingly complex rhythms and fingering. Loads of exercises and pieces of music to play.  Now only available directly from the authors -  See the book’s websitehere for more information on content, reviews and ordering.

Guide to 18th Century Performance Technique

Richard Haynes has posted a most informative booklet, entitled “Approaching the Interpretation and Performance Technique of French Eighteenth Century Music for the Hurdy-Gurdy”  on his website here.

Well worth studying - a great free resource.