- Lute Backed Gurdy continued................
A Renaissance Hurdy Gurdy
Plans were last updated 24-09-13
I have drawn up plans for a Renaissance Henri III model. It is based on a trapezoidal hurdy gurdy from Paris circa 1750. Although the original didn't have 2 octaves on the key box. I have drawn them at A1 paper size (841mm x 594mm). There are 10 full size plan sheets to print out containg all the information needed to make one of these Renaissance hurdy gurdies. I have also written up construction information with photos to go with the plans
Click on the plan below, to be transported to the Henri 111 download page
Henri III Renaissance Hurdy Gurdy
Graeme McCormackat Salamanca markets -Hobart 2004
I have drawn up full plans for the Sinfonye and the Grand French Edition Lute Backed Hurdy Gurdy.
Feel free to download These plans and construct the instruments. Email me if you need any advice.
Older hurdy gurdy projects
2003 - Playing a copy of
"Varguin guitar backed Vielle, Paris"
made by Charles Moller of Sydney
Many years ago I saw a black & white Spencer Tracey
Film Called “Captains courageous”.
Spencer’s character played a bizarre mechanical fiddle called a Hurdy
Gurdy. From that point this instrument fascinated me. Finding one to play was
not very easy, so it was sometime before I was courageous enough to make one. I
had never seen a hurdy gurdy in the flesh before. This made troubleshooting a
long and sometimes painful process. My intention was to make a quick and dirty
hurdy gurdy by converting an old guitar. In the end I put more work and detail
into it and ended up with a very playable instrument that I named George. From then on I was hooked. Harry Wass, who is a good friend of mine was making a medieval fiddle around the time that I was making "George". We both finished our respective instruments at the same time. We set off to Salamanca markets in Hobart to do some busking, with great success.
Playing at The Abbey Mediaeval festival Qld 2008
Abbey again with a "heard of Gurdies" 2009
On the drawing board:
Lira organizzata (organ hurdy gurdy). I will finish my detailed drawing of this instrument over the next few months/years and then put them up here.
Note: This will be after I make my Henri III Hurdy Gurdy (for those eagerly awaiting the LO plans)
photo by Fletcher McCormack
I also play lute and have adapted an old Syrian Oud to play like a renaissance 7-course Lute. I widened the neck and kept the same peg box. So instead of the traditional 13 strings for the 7 courses, I had to have a single low bass string as well as the single top chanterelle. To fit the 12 pegs of the Oud.
I am very lucky to live in Pelverata Tasmania. The valley is filled with musicians. There is a wonderful collection of lutes just down the road. The couple own a 7-course lute after G.Hieber made by Charles Moller, a 14-course Liuto Attiorbato after Christofolo Choc (1630) made by Charles Moller and a Vihuela made by Arnold Black. They also own the Hurdy Gurdy by Charles Moller after Varguin guitar backed model Paris (pictured above).
Harry Wass also lives in Pelverata and makes fine medieval and renaissance instruments. See his website in the makers links.
- Online equal temperament Fret calculator for setting tangent position
- String tension calculator
- Dedicated Hurdy Gurdy string calculater
- Carter Harps for gut strings
- "Peghed" geared tuning pegs
- Delacour Harp levers
Instrument makers links:
- Harry Wass - Medieval and Renaissance stringed instruments
- Balazs Nagy - Tekero
- Rob Moore - Lira organizzata, hurdy gurdy and bagpipes
- Charles Moller - Lutes, Hurdy-gurdies and Steelpans
- Wolfgang Weichselbaumer - Hurdy gurdy (good sound samples)
- Chris Eaton - Hurdy gurdy (great gurdy decoration)
- Neil Brook - Hurdy gurdy (great setup info)
- Chris Allen and Sabina Kormylo - Hurdy Gurdy (good infromation on gurdies)
- Olympic Musical Instruments (Great pics and sound clip of gurdies)
- Violin string identification colours
- Viola string identification colours