Monday, February 13, 2012

The Wren | Hurdy Gourdy | Neil Brook gurdies

The Wren - a unique hurdy gurdy style by Neil Brook

more @ > The Wren

gregory jolivet at sidmouth 2010 playing (a) neil brook hurdy gurdy.

gregory jolivet at Sidmouth 2010

Hurdy Gourdy - more Neil Brook instruments


"This has been gnawing away at me for decades and I finally got round to doing it. The pun on gourd was too much to resist. One thing it's not is a novelty toy. It's got a lot going for it."
- pretty cool, Neil!

Large gourdy.m4v/

A clip featuring a hurdy-gurdy built using a large African gourd as a body. The tune played is "Child Grove," found in Michael Raven's "1000 English Country Dance Tunes" (Tunes published before 1730)

the new gourdy has a great deep and full sound - i really like it, Neil!
- he says "The results are seriously asymmetrical and quirky but I kind of like that after decades of striving for perfect symmetry. The latest one is ridiculously off centre but the small trompette area and the large drone area should make for good bass and treble as required. The overall effect is a gurdy built in a hut in Kenya!"

Neil Brook, Hurdy Gurdy and Fretted Instrument Maker

site features hurdy gurdy tips, instruction, a great selection of mp3 samples, notation, etc.

Irish music on the hurdy-gurdy.
Here in the north west of England, players of French dance music hard to find. There is much more chance of playing in a session if some of the Irish session tunes can be played. There are many book of such tunes available and all are great sources but they are not compiled with the hurdy-gurdy in mind. I have listed below a selection of good tunes which I find fall reasonably easily out of the gurdy. There are no special techniques involved but a degree of competence up at the dusty end of the keybox is useful. It will quickly expose any poor intonation in the top octave and the correct cotton application is essential...

see also

whats more: barrel gurdy
- an idea that i've been working on for awhile - now a page at whats more (RC'S ART & STUDIES BLOG)
"it uses a hand-cranked wheel to bow playing strings and drones like a hurdy gurdy, but is played with a slide like a Vichitra Veena (as in video below) - no gurdy keybox."

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