Hurdy Gurdy:

The Gurdy is like Marmite you either love or hate it.  Nothing in between.

Medieval Fyddle:   (You Tube link)

An instrument from the family of bowed Lyres, this has been around since the 11 century at least.  It is very flexible, as in other bowed instruments, it can be bowed and plucked, but since this one is tuned in a drone tuning, all the strings can be used to provide a background to the tunes.

There are no surviving instruments so reconstruction has had to be from medieval artwork, which is not to scale so it is supposition as to the proportions of the instruments.  This also goes towards the tuning.  I tune mine in a drone tuning as this worked best with the hurdy gurdy’s and bagpipes in the band that I worked with in the past.  It also suited the tunes as well.


This is a Crumhorn, and instrument which originally would have been made using a straight pipe and a goats horn on the end to provide a megaphone type effect.  Hence when it was copied in wood, the end got turned up (or that is one theory).  The name Crumhorn, is from an old German word “crum” meaning curved, and in English we still use the word as in cow with the Crumpled horn.  They were used in consort, instruments of different sizes playing part music.  In particular they were also used to accompany/keep in check, choirs during services.

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