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Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?

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GUEST,leeneia 04 Dec 01 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 04 Dec 01 - 04:42 PM
John P 04 Dec 01 - 05:28 PM
Anglo 04 Dec 01 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Dec 01 - 06:12 PM
John P 04 Dec 01 - 09:55 PM
Bill D 04 Dec 01 - 10:39 PM
Cap't Bob 04 Dec 01 - 10:40 PM
Bill D 04 Dec 01 - 11:05 PM
Anglo 04 Dec 01 - 11:41 PM
English Jon 05 Dec 01 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Dec 01 - 09:44 PM
53 05 Dec 01 - 10:16 PM
Cap't Bob 05 Dec 01 - 10:23 PM
GeoffLawes 17 Jan 08 - 08:12 PM
katlaughing 17 Jan 08 - 09:15 PM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Jan 08 - 10:48 PM
JohnInKansas 18 Jan 08 - 12:27 AM
open mike 18 Jan 08 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 Jan 08 - 11:20 PM
pinklemonade 23 Sep 08 - 10:00 PM
The Fooles Troupe 24 Sep 08 - 01:56 AM
The Fooles Troupe 24 Sep 08 - 02:01 AM
GUEST,c.g. 24 Sep 08 - 03:50 AM
Liz the Squeak 24 Sep 08 - 04:27 AM
The Fooles Troupe 24 Sep 08 - 04:47 AM
Mo the caller 24 Sep 08 - 06:43 AM
The Fooles Troupe 24 Sep 08 - 08:08 AM
TheSnail 24 Sep 08 - 08:11 AM
Fidjit 24 Sep 08 - 03:49 PM
Gurney 24 Sep 08 - 04:00 PM
Spleen Cringe 24 Sep 08 - 04:56 PM
Jack Blandiver 24 Sep 08 - 05:05 PM
Spleen Cringe 24 Sep 08 - 05:41 PM
Spleen Cringe 24 Sep 08 - 05:45 PM
Cap't Bob 24 Sep 08 - 10:59 PM
Jack Blandiver 25 Sep 08 - 04:47 AM
Phil Edwards 25 Sep 08 - 04:53 AM
Fidjit 25 Sep 08 - 08:49 AM
Gurney 25 Sep 08 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,pinklemonade 05 Jan 09 - 02:55 PM
Jack Blandiver 05 Jan 09 - 03:14 PM
Fidjit 05 Jan 09 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Hengehog 21 Jun 09 - 10:55 PM
katlaughing 21 Jun 09 - 11:17 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 22 Jun 09 - 08:10 AM
Desert Dancer 22 Jun 09 - 12:36 PM
GUEST 21 Jul 10 - 11:13 PM
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Subject: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 03:03 PM

I'm interested in making the hurdy-gurdy for under $20 that was discussed in a recent thread. I've downloaded the directions and colored in the pictures, but I don't understand the basics. I've looked at pictures of them in encyclopedias, etc, but they aren't clear enough.

What happens when I push a key? Does the shaft move horizontally to push against the string? If it does, what moves it back?

Are the leather keypads mounted on a vertical plane or a horizontal plane? This isn't clear from the drawing.

Why is there a fingerboard if keys are there to change the pitch?

I am so confused! Also, if anyone knows how to put a dog on it so it makes an intermittant sound, please advise. (Or is it the fly that makes it go dit-dit-dit?)


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 04:42 PM

Well, I don't know the plans you downloaded, but the basic principle is that the keys push sideways against the strings, and act as stops thereby. There are little "flags" of wood which are attached to the horizontal keys, and these "flags" are the stops. There should be a spring to return the key to its "open" position (get it out of the way of the strings), although you can use gravity if you remember to keep the keys pointing downward. Springs work better and faster, though, and are less bothered by small amounts of friction in the key passages.

The buzzing bridge is a sort of off-balance thing, where the string tends to pull the bridge "over," as it were, and the wheel tends to pull it "back," so that different speeds on the crank, using the wrist, give you a buzzing sound that can be used for actual rhythm playing.

I'm not sure how anyone can make one of these for $10-20, though. The strings would cost that much, and turning a wheel that's properly round, with the grain properly aligned (turning a round in slab wood give you end-grain/side grain/end grain/side grain every 90 degrees).

But the instruments can be made fairly inexpensively, if you're really precision-minded and careful. The only experience I've had in making them involved neither of these, of course.


Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: John P
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 05:28 PM

Anyone interested in hurdy-gurdies should spend some time at Alden and Cali Hackmann's huge Hurdy-Gurdy Web Site.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Anglo
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 05:30 PM

Gravity is the standard key return on every hurdy-gurdy I've ever seen. I have never seen one with springs to return the keys to the resting position. Try www.hurdygurdy.com/ for more information and a lot of links to other pages which might be useful to you.


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 06:12 PM

1. I've already been to that hurdy-gurdy website. The pictures aren't detailed enough, the questions are very general,and the sound sample didn't make any sound. That's it for that site, as far as I'm concerned.

2. Songster Bob: you sound like you play one of these. Good for you. To put it another way, if I am holding the h-g on my lap, do I push a key down (towards the floor) or away from me (towards the audience)?

Also, do both the drone strings and melody strings rub on the wheel, or just one kind?

As for the cost, the wood will come out of friends' scrap boxes, and the strings can be dental floss, so why worry? :)

As for the wheel, I have some nifty circle cutters in the woodshop, and I plan to cut the wheel out of very fine-grained hardwood. That plus the rosin ought to make it smooth enough for my purposes.

I'm just interested in having fun with it and giving our public the general idea of what a hurdy gurdy is.

By the way, I have learned that the hurdy-gurdy was originally used for sacred music in monasteries and such. It became an instrument for minstrels and entertainers only later in its history. Interesting!


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: John P
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 09:55 PM

Hmm, the sound sample at the Hackmann's site plays just fine for me. Maybe you should try it again, and not be too quick to write off the largest repository of hurdy-gurdy information on the web. Did you find the pages about building a hurdy-gurdy on their site? It lists lots of books and plans that are available.

My band's web site also has some sound samples if the other one still won't work for you.

I have to say that an attempt to build something as complicated as a hurdy-gurdy without ever having seen one seems doomed to failure. Maybe if you get on the HG email list and ask around there will be someone near you who would show one to you.

To answer your question, the keys are pressed upward at a slant toward your chest. The HG sits in your lap with the keys pointed down and slightly away from you. The return to their starting position with gravity, not springs. Dental floss will sound terrible, so if you are trying to let people know what a HG sounds like, you may want to consider using instrument strings of some kind. The fact that you are asking if the melody strings and drone strings both touch the wheel indicates that you don't even know how the thing makes noise, which makes me wonder how you think you can build one. The wheel spins and rubs the strings, like a violin bow. That's the only way the strings get sounded. If they aren't touching the wheel, they don't make noise. Most instruments have two notches on the bridges, one for the string to touch the wheel and sound, and one for the wheel to not touch the wheel and be silent. I encourage you to go back to the web sites you've been pointed at and do some research. The Hackmann's web site also includes links to just about every other HG web site on the web.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 10:39 PM

well, here is one that SongBob knows...maybe he had some part in it...*grin*...it was built long ago by a local guy who has been twisting it's tail ever since

http://users.starpower.net/extree/P5060526.JPG

it actually sort of works part of the time, but these things take a lot of tweaking to stay usable.

That this one has survived is a tribute to the GREAT forebearance shown by various locals...*wink*


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 10:40 PM

leeneia ~ I assume you got the idea for the $20 hurdy gurdy from the web page of Dennis Havlena

http://www.ehhs.cmich.edu/~dhavlena/hurdy.htm

I have played this instrument (the only hurdy gurdy that I've ever played) and it worked very well and had a great sound. Look at the following picture:

http://www.ehhs.cmich.edu/~dhavlena/hg7__640.jpg

You do not push down on the broad flat portion of the keys. You actually push on the narrow portion of the key (toward the outside of the instrument) so that the key moves parallel to the top of the instrument. I believe that Dennis added a neck to this instrument so that when the key makes contact with the string it pushes the string against the neck in much the same way that your finger presses the string against the neck on a fiddle. (the neck can be seen on the above picture and is simply a small square piece of wood that is about a foot long.) If you carefully study the photo I think you will be able to see how it work.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 11:05 PM

so, some are made so that you push down on the 'keys' and some you push directly back towards yourself..I wonder whic is the hardest to engineer?


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Anglo
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 11:41 PM

No. You only push down on the keys when you're holding the instrument upside-down. And it doesn't play very well that way. I don't think Bob explained that part very well, but then I probably won't do much better. A diagram is worth a thousand words.

One side of the keyboard (away from the player) has the keys you press. Press a key, this pushes a rod through the slots, and you can see the narrow ends of the rods from where you're sitting, on "your" side of the instrument. There is a hole in the rod, into which is inserted the peg of the "flag" (more properly called a tangent). The edge of the flag makes contact with the string and essentially "frets" it to change the note. The melody string(s) is on the wheel, if you don't press a key you'll hear the pitch of the open string. Press the keys in some sort of order and you'll likely play a tune on this string.


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: English Jon
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 09:28 AM

Why not just send Dennis Havlena $20? Get him to build you one.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 09:44 PM

Capt Bob: thanks for your tips. I get it now. It never occurred to me that one can push keys towards one's self. Yes, indeed, my directions are from Dennis Havlena's site. I read about it on a recent Mudcat thread. I want to try his plans because his name sounds Czech, he's from Michigan, and he says he has been playing his instruments for the public and nobody has thrown any tomatoes yet.

I do know a man with a h-g, but if I indicated an interest, he would try to make me buy it.

John P: the dental floss was a joke. On the Internet, the sign :) indicates an attempt to be humorous.

Thanks, all.


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: 53
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 10:16 PM

maybe the hurdy gurdy man that donavan was talking about will know how to build one of the contraptions. BOB


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 10:23 PM

leeneia ~ I forgot to mention about the strings. The detailed picture shows the HG with two melodie strings. One drone string that rubs against the wheel and two parasitic drone strings that vibrate due to vibrations within the instrument.

I plan to build the HG this winter. I collected all the materials I needed a couple of years ago and then several problems within the family developed that sort of put an end to any free time. Things are going quite well right now and I should have some time for the work shop. Selecting a better grade of wood really doesn't add much to the cost of the project.

I would be interested in knowing how your project turns out.

My e-mail RMiller@m33access.com

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 08:12 PM

This site explains well with words and photographs

Melody Strings on the Hurdy Gurdy


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 09:15 PM

Thanks for the great link, Geoff! I had no idea there were "hurdy-gurdy girls!"


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 10:48 PM

Something that is not widely known.

Most players set up the instrument so that the string presses down firmly on the wheel - this gives the familar 'scratchy sound'. My dad was a violinist - I understand about 'bowing'.

I set mine up so that the wool - real wool works better than real cotton (and don't get confused with man made 'cotton-wool') provided you can get good quality wool - is loosely around the string. The string is adjusted so that the string _cannot_ touch the lightly rosined wheel at maximum amplitude: the wool 'bundle' is the only contact with the wheel. This gives a pure tone with no scratchiness, like a properly played violin.

Simple really, but most people seem to WANT that horrible sound!


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 12:27 AM

And mudcat leaps to answer another questions only 7 years after it was asked!!!!!!!

(Just "tweekin'" you guys.)

I found at least two other threads that mentioned "hurdy-gurdy" and "home-made" in the same threads, but both were ca. 2004 - 05, well after this one. Neither appears to give any information that would be particularly helpful here. The "other recent thread" that leenia made reference to must have appeared before I did.

The recommendation from John P (04 Dec 01 - 05:28 PM) that a visit to Alden and Cali's site is still a good one. The site has moved, but his link takes you to a link to the new one.

I see from our logs that it's been a little over a year since Lin exchanged email with them. I'll have to remind her to check up on what they've been up to.

John


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: open mike
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 06:08 PM

as was mentioned in an earlier thread
the laughing cat pointed to this you
tube clip with D3ennis H. playing his
home made hurdy gurdy and other instru.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLhRtV1xKiM


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 11:20 PM

Did it.



AWFUL!!!



Would recommend, bottles, bull-roaring, hammered-saw, and even a wash-tub-bass.



Very complex instruemnt.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: pinklemonade
Date: 23 Sep 08 - 10:00 PM

i am just about finished biulding my hurdy gurdy and i just cant get the dog string to work i know this is silly but i didnt use any plans everything has turned out fine just by sizing up instruments that are sold in music stores and info on the web how high does the bridge for the dog have to be?


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 01:56 AM

"how high does the bridge for the dog have to be"

High enough so that it will make the string touch the wheel.

The dog string is meant to sound 'ruff' (pardon the pun!) so it needs a fair bit of pressure - this is the reverse of things like violins, etc when too much bowing pressure makes the strings sound 'scratchy', but this is, of course, exactly what the dog string is meant to sound like.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 02:01 AM

BTW, the dog string is meant to 'bark', can be done so by 'jerking' the wheel instead of a steady turning rate, if necessary, but if you have it set up just right, it will 'bounce and bark' by itself. Which is why it is meant to be built so that it can be added to or removed from touching the wheel rapidly and easily, for when you don't want that effect.


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: GUEST,c.g.
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 03:50 AM

I bought a home-made gurdy from a junkshop. The keys are spring-loaded. It doesn't work!


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 04:27 AM

You can get that buzzing sound by inserting a small jar containing a couple of angry wasps.

Remember to feed your wasps regularly, and leave air holes in the jar. A good shake just before you start playing will agitate them nicely so they buzz.

There are arguments about the use of bees or hornets over wasps, but given the scarcity of both insects at the moment, and the fact that no-one likes wasps, they're considered the easiest to procure.

LTS

(ducking and running for cover)


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 04:47 AM

Well, guest c g , depends if you want to sell it - some here might be interested - at least show us pics so we can see why it isn't working...


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 06:43 AM

But why do you think it was sold in the first place.

The name of the shop might give you a clue.


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 08:08 AM

With a little love, oil, and rosin, ...


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 08:11 AM

... it should burn nicely.


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Fidjit
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 03:49 PM

Perhaps you should start with Sweden's Nat'l Instrument:: Nyckelharpa

There's a forum on here about them. Then progress to the big Boy.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Gurney
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 04:00 PM

From Samuel Pepys' diary;

"Went to an evening to hear a Hurdy-Gurdy, but the instrument could not be fixed in tune..."

Not an easy instrument to set up, unless made by a luthier, or maybe even when!

A friend of mine made one, to French patterns, and it is a piece of wooden artistry.


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 04:56 PM

The lovely Mr J Loomes of Doncaster (no slouch at the hurdy-gurdy himself) recently turned me on to listening to French people armed with hurdy-gurdies. He particularly recommended Tour a Tour by
Patrick Bouffard et Gilles Chabenat, and was absolutely right to do so, so let me in turn recommend it to y'all...

Though the thought of trying to make one scares me rigid. I can just about manage shelves (though I can't play a decent tune on them...)

Incidently, a hurdy-gurdy and a bagpipe played simultaneously (and hopefully playing the same tune!) has to be one of the most marvellous sounds known to humanity. It makes me want to strip down to my underpants and run through the woods howling with pleasure... Nurse! Nurse!)


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 05:05 PM

My hero - Rene Zosso (avec Anne Osnowycz!) Maintenant qu'est ce que j'appelle musique!


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 05:41 PM

Beardo - were you at that gig? This excerpt is phenomenal!


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 05:45 PM

Patrick et Gilles by the way


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 10:59 PM

Go to this page:

http://dennishavlena.com/hurdy.htm

scroll down to the bottom ~ last sections is
STRINGS, SETUP AND TUNING.
hope this will help you.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Sep 08 - 04:47 AM

were you at that gig?

Alas not - never seen RZ! The three clips were sent by my mate (& theirs!) taken on her little camera; Rene & Anne gave their consent for me to put them on You Tube.

Hardly in the mainstream, they did an album for Harmonia Mundi in 1979 (the sublime Musique a Bourdon, reissued on CD as La Florilege de la Viella a Roue) and their second duo album, La Mare du Deu (see Here for discography) remains unreleased. I have a copy on CDR - & it really is quite the most astonishing thing I've ever heard.

RZ's ground-breaking debut LP, Je Chant Pour Passer le Temps (aka Chant et Vielle) was released by Chante du Monde in 1968 and has never seen a CD reissue...

RZ's sound has always been pretty uncompromising; a modernist noise often on a par with Sun Ra's approach to electronics. Ironically his most extreme examples are to be found within the context of his frequent forays in medieval music as a member of The Clemencic Consort - not least the classic Roman de Fauvel, where RZ's masterful oration is offset by the most demonic hurdy-gurdy one might imagine.

I'll pop you a copy along to The Beech next week; Pip too - I still owe him one for Kew Rhone. Just the thing for the season!


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 25 Sep 08 - 04:53 AM

Tons of hurdygurdiana on Youtube, including this video of someone making one. Very instructive - it told me that

a) the Spanish name is 'zanfona'
b) zanfonas are kind of guitar-shaped
c) they're a big thing in Galicia
and
d) if you want to make one you really, really need to know what you're doing.


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Fidjit
Date: 25 Sep 08 - 08:49 AM

Pip

That was amazing.

I'm going here in two weeks time. To make this years model.

So next a hurdy gurdy perhaps.

They call them Veivvira in Swedish.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Gurney
Date: 25 Sep 08 - 05:29 PM

Magic videos. Glad I switched to broadband.


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: GUEST,pinklemonade
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 02:55 PM

Thanks to foolestroupe I think I finally got it!


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 03:14 PM

That reminds me....


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Fidjit
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 03:23 PM

It wasn't this easy.

How to do it part2

Regards

Chas


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: GUEST,Hengehog
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 10:55 PM

Does anyone know if there has been success adding a dog to the $20 Hurdy gurdy? Also does anyone know of any Hurdy gurdy players orHurdy gurdy makers in Minnesota?


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 11:17 PM

This LINK, posted last year, is for Dennis Havlena, a fellow who is in Minnesota or Michigan, if I remember correctly. Have a look round his website and his youtube videos. He is a remarkable and ingenious instrument maker and player.


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 08:10 AM

That Dennis Havlena link is WONDERFUL.

All sorts of amazing instruments - and I now know about my wheel.

Thank you KatLaugh.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 12:36 PM

This link is a bit more direct (to Dennis's full site).

Looks like loads of fun.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Help: homemade hurdy-gurdy - eh?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 11:13 PM

I've built a version of Dennis' Hurdy Gurdy Guitar conversion. Turned out great. I've also put a dog on it. If you want to see this instrument in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuPoBlHcr1k&videos=gvFaZyTfN0Y
apologies for any mistakes.
If anyone wants info on how to put add a dog, I would be glad to show you what I know.


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