The hurdy-gurdy can be found throughout the whole of Europe including France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Scandinavia as well. Daniel Thonon made this hurdy-gurdy after an 18th-century French model. The case is said to be in "toad" style. The shape and head especially recall the Arab style that was very popular at court where courtiers liked to dress up for parties as sultans or princesses.

The hurdy-gurdy is a chordophone whose sound is often compared to the bagpipe, mainly because both have a bourdon or drone. The drone is a continuous note that can be heard as the musician cranks the handle with his right hand making the wheel turn so that it scrapes a string continuously until the melody stops. The musician uses his left hand to press the keys that play the melody.

We know that Leopold Mozart, father of Wolfgang Amadeus, composed several pieces of music for the hurdy-gurdy.


Canadian Heritage Information Network
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Centre des recherches et études andalouses, Centre des musiques arabes et méditerranéennes Ennejma Ezzahra, Musée de la musique, Laboratoire de recherche des musiques du monde, Musée acadien de l'Université de Moncton, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Musée d'art et d'archéologie de l'Université d'Antananarivo, Musée ethnographique Alexandre Sènou Adande, Musée national du Mali, St. Boniface Museum, Lycée de langues étrangères Alexandre Dumas, Museum of the Romanian Peasant

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