- AntiQuated Strings -

Graeme McCormack



Guitar Gurdy     -       Lute Backed Gurdy       -        Triangular gurdy       -         Sinfonye  (Synphonie, Symphony)

                                               - Lute Backed Gurdy continued................

                                                        -Lute Backed Gurdy Finished 2010-

 I have drawn up full plans for the Sinfonye,  the Grand French Edition Lute Back and Renaissance Hurdy Gurdy. 

Feel free to download These plans and construct the instruments. 

Email me if you need any advice.


~Happy building~



~The Henri~ 

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

The Henri gurdy  under construction September 2012

Henri 111 finished Jan 2013

Henri 111 finished (jan 2013)


Graeme McCormackat Salamanca markets -Hobart 2004

Cygnet folk festival 2015

Older hurdy gurdy projects

Guitar Hurdy Gurdy 2004  

The Sinfonye (Mediaeval hurdy gurdy) 2007



 2003 - Playing a copy of

"Varguin guitar backed Vielle, Paris"

made by Charles Moller of Sydney

the allure of the Hurdy Gurdy

Drehleier, vielle a roue, Ghironda, Zanfona, Tekerolant

~Whatever your flavour~

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 

Lira organizzata draft plan

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.

Graeme and his Oud/Lute in 2011

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.

On a Breeze with Angels (Lute and low F whistle) 2Mb download 


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.

Hurdy Gurdy Links 

 Instrument makers links:

Interesting sites: