Hurdy-gurdy Discography

Garmarna Live

Garmarna playing live in Seattle
Photo by Alden F.M. Hackmann

  • Alphabetical - Alphabetical listing of recordings

  • Invisible - Recordings with hurdy-gurdies you can't hear

  • Flawed - Recordings of hurdy-gurdies that you probably don't want to listen to.

This discography is in alphabetical order by artist or group, or sometimes by composer or compilation name if it's more appropriate. "Hurdy-gurdy" is sometimes abbreviated "HG", although we try to avoid it. Please direct suggestions, information about sources not listed here, and other comments to us at our contact address. There is also an extensive discography in Marcello Bono's excellent webpage Pagina della Ghironda. Some of those recordings are also listed here. A very nice discography of hurdy-gurdy music is given in the Collection Modal book Vielle à roue - Territoires illimités.

Some of these recordings have been recommended to us or that we came upon in my wanderings of the Web, but we haven't gotten to hear yet. In most cases the reviewer is acknowledged with their initials in [brackets]. Contributors to this page include the following:

  • Allan Janus [AJ]
  • Brian Quade [BQ]
  • Claude Flagel [CF]
  • Carolyn Gritzmaker [CG]
  • Catherine Keenan [CK]
  • Cathy Moore [CM]
  • Catherine McAulay [CMA]
  • Carine Smolders [CS]
  • Chris Sienko [CSi]
  • Daniele Contardo [DC]
  • The Denny Hall/Judy Wayenberg Collection [DH/JW]
  • Daniel Wolverson [DW]
  • David Rice [DR]
  • Emmanuel [E]
  • Frank Vicker [FV]
  • Graham Dodd [GD]
  • Greg Whitcombe [GW]
  • Howard Dickens [HD]
  • Joanne Andrus [JA]
  • Jim Cockell [JC]
  • John Collins [JCo]
  • Jacob Denis [JD]
  • Jørgen Lang [JL]
  • Judith Lindenau [JLi]
  • John Peekstok [JP]
  • Joyce Scribner [JS]
  • Laurence Benne [LB]
  • Luis Delgado [LD]
  • Lars Tyllered [LT]
  • Marcello Bono [MB]
  • Michael E Hale [MH]
  • Michael Talman [MT]
  • Nicholas O'Sullivan [NOS]
  • Peter Evan [PE]
  • Pete Hughes [PH]
  • Rainer Zeller [RZ]
  • Sabine Gadrat [SG]
  • Steve Winick (writing for Dirty Linen) [SW]
  • Todd Michel McComb [TMM]
  • Ulrich Ritter [UR]
  • Wenceslao Martínez Calonge [WC]
  • W McGrath [WMc]
  • Wilson Melo [WM]
  • William Stoner [WS]

References marked [AH] are ones that we found while surfing, while those with no designation are from our personal collection. Initials in brackets followed by our own comment refer to the person who first suggested the recording for the discography, before we obtained or heard it ourselves. This list is fairly large, so it's hard to keep up with obtaining everything on it. If you find an album with hurdy-gurdy on it that isn't in this listing, we'd like to hear about it. We are happy to review new recordings and include them in the discography as time permits.


Alphabetical listing

  • A-B - Recordings A,B

  • C-E - Recordings C,D,E

  • F-H - Recordings F,G,H

  • I-L - Recordings I,J,K,L

  • M-P - Recordings M,N,O,P

  • Q-S - Recordings Q,R,S,

  • T-V - Recordings T,U,V

  • W-Z - Recordings W,X,Y,Z




"From Tübinen, Germany, this band features Konstanze Kulinsky playing hurdy-gurdy with a medieval rock band. Selections from the Cantigas de Santa Maria (and similar pieces) are played and sung by this foursome, consisting of hurdy-gurdy, winds (bagpipe, flute, bombard), electric guitars, and drums." [RZ] (The first person who sends us a copy gets a cool prize of some sort - really!)

Ad Vielle Que Pourra

Daniel Thonon plays hurdy-gurdy with this group, which plays new music in a traditional French style. The third album is more eclectic than the first two. The fourth album has Pierre Imbert joining the group on hurdy-gurdy, and the return of fiddler Alain Leroux and guitarist Jean-Louis Cros. The music on these recordings is collected in the AVQP Songbook.

Afro Celt Sound System

Nigel Eaton plays on two tracks of this recording of a fusion of traditional Irish and African music. (Thanks to Ray Monnat for loaning me his CD.)

Ancient Beatbox
See entry under Nigel Eaton and Paul James

Appelation Controlée

"Hurdy-gurdy played by René Meeuw and Gaby Schreiner." [CS]


French jazz with hurdy-gurdy by Isobel Pignol. [AH]

Joseph Arthur

Nigel Eaton plays one track on this unusual recording by guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Joseph Arthur on Peter Gabriel's Real World/WOMAD label. Thanks to Kathleen Thalken for sending us a review copy of the CD.


Michel Bordeleau and Martine Chiasson both play hurdy-gurdy on this recording of Celtic and French inspired pieces, almost all of which were written by Martine. Michel and Martine each built their own instruments under the tutelage of Daniel Thonon of Ad Vielle Que Pourra. Available from Les productions de l'Athanor, 6410, 25e avenue, Montréal, Québec, H1T 3L6, Canada.


Bachas Mont-Joia

"Michel Bianco plays on this recording of upbeat songs from Provence. " [JA]

La Bamboche

This is a compilation of La Bamboche's recordings. Bernard Blanc plays HG with this classic French Folk revival quartet. Unfortunately he's also playing several other instruments, so not many tunes feature the vielle. In any case this recording is well worth the high import price that US buyers face. Hexagone is to be congratulated for finally bringing these recordings back.

La Bamboche

Bernard Blanc plays hurdy-gurdy with this early French Folk revival group. If you find these discs, hang on to them! [DH/JW] Perhaps Hexagone will decide to reissue them on CD, to supplement the compilation.


Didier Champion of Les Brayauds plays hurdy-gurdy with Eric Champion, also of Les Brayauds. This recording has a softer, more lyric approach than some of the French dance recordings. Thanks to our friend Corrine Painnot at the AMTA for our copy of this.

Bells and Motley Consort

John Bromka plays hurdy-gurdy and a host of early music instruments in this recording of Christmas music with his wife Sondra. [AH]

Brian Scott Bennett

Ethan James plays hurdy-gurdy on several tracks of this CD. It's an eclectic mixture of various types of world music, with a wide range of other ethnic instrumentation, standard guitars/keyboards/drums, the London Symphony Orchestra, and some vocals. Thanks to Brian for sending us a copy.

Berry Blues

"Hurdy-gurdy played by Laurent Bitaud and Dominique Bitaud. " [JA]


Nigel Eaton and Samuel Palmer both played in this influential British band. More reissues on CD are expected fairly soon (1997?) from Osmosys, according to an article in Dirty Linen. The Encyclopedia Blowzabellica is an excellent resource, with music for tunes from many of their albums and a little written piece by each member including Eaton. (Special delivery records/ Topic Records Ltd : 50 Stroud Green, London, England; Plant Life Records Ltd, P.O.Box 10, St Neots PE19 4TF, England) (Addresses from [CS], see also entry by [GW] below.)


This is a reissue of the 1986 vinyl recording, reviewed in Dirty Linen #67 (December 96/January 97). Nigel Eaton and Samuel Palmer both played in this influential British band. More reissues on CD are expected fairly soon (1997?), according to an earlier article in Dirty Linen. The address for Osmosys Records is 5 Cirrus, Glebe Road, Huntingdon, Cambs., England PE18 7DX, Phone (01480) 436677, Fax (01480) 411441. Thanks to [GD] for the address info.


"Sample tracks from all five of Blowzabella's albums. A required purchase even if you've got the L.P's." [GW]

Blowzabella on LP:

"They also put out a tape called The B to A of Blowzabella, but I have no details for this." [GW]

Boiled in Lead

John Van Orman plays hurdy-gurdy on two tracks, though it's not easily heard in the mix of Boiled in Lead's eclectic Celtic thrash sound. Recently reissued (1996) on Omnium . One of our favorite CD's, though not for the hurdy-gurdy.

Françoise Bois-Poteur

"Music by N.Chedeville and C.Bâton." [MB] One reviewer [CG] said "This is a nice CD, but the trompette is recorded too strongly." We picked up a copy when we were at the HG museum in Jenzat in 1999, and we agree - Ms. Bois-Poteur has a clear passion for the music, but either instrument adjustment or the recording technique leaves the melody buried under the sound of the trompette.

Borders No More

David Miles plays hurdy-gurdy on this recording from Jester's Court [AH]

The Boston Camerata/Ensemble Project Ars Nova

"John Fleagle plays drone accompaniments on some songs." [JA]

Patrick Bouffard

This CD is full of traditional French dance tunes played on one or two hurdy-gurdies. Bouffard is the current master of Auvergne and Bourbonnais hurdy-gurdy.

Trio Patrick Bouffard

"A new CD (1996) by French hurdy-gurdy master Bouffard. Available by mail order from ADA distribution, 36 Saturday Market, Beverley, East Yorkshire, HU17 9AG, Great Britain Tel/fax 01482 868024." [FV] We found a copy at a Seattle record store. Anne-Lise Foy is also featured on hurdy-gurdy. This is a somewhat unusual recording in that while the tunes are very nicely executed, often when the wind and reed instruments start playing the vielles get lost except for the faint buzzing of the chien.

Trio Patrick Bouffard

Patrick Bouffard plays hurdy-gurdy, with the trio of Cyril Roche on diatonic accordion and Benoît Mager on cornamuse. Trio Bouffard is no longer a trio, at least not on the recordings: they're joined by Anne-Lise Foy on hurdy-gurdy, Frédéric Paris on clarinet, and a whole band of guitar, bass, drums, sax, and so on. This is their most "produced" recording to date, and while the hurdy-gurdy is more prominant than on Revenant de Paris, it still sometimes gets lost in the mix. The 5-time valse is not to be missed.

Patrick Bouffard

Patrick Bouffard is joined by Willy Soulette and Fréderic Paris, playing simple versions of classic repertoire tunes from the Berry region. These tunes are written out in the Cahier de repertoire - Patrick Bouffard joue Jenzat book.

Patrick Bouffard Trio

This live recording catches Patrick Bouffard on hurdy-gurdy, Cyril Roche and Benoit Mager on cabrette and accordion, joined on occasion by a guitarist and a string bass player. There's some fantastic playing: Le dromadaire is one of our favorites.

Les Brayauds

Didier Champion plays hurdy-gurdy with this quintet, playing dance music from the lower Auvergne region.

Les Brayauds

"Hurdy-gurdy played by Didier Champion." [CS]

The Broadside Band

Selections from Arbeau's Orchesography and Playford's Dancing Master. There are several tracks of hurdy-gurdy alone and with other instruments. Regrettably the disc booklet doesn't list the players or instruments, but otherwise an excellent album.

The Broadside Band

"Some faint hurdy-gurdy can be heard on some tracks." [CG]

Garth Brooks

It's true, the hurdy-gurdy has arrived in Nashville. Ed Foote plays a backing track on the last track, Ireland. It doesn't stand out, but it's definitely there.

Chris Burns's Ensemble

Stevie Wishart plays on this recording with seven other musicians, playing improvisational and new compostions. [AH]


Cafe Charbons

"This is a reissue of the Cafe Charbons album. Marc Anthony is the hurdy-gurdy player and the bourees are enhanced with foot stamping." [NOS]


"Medieval Spanish music including Musica arabigo andaluza and Cantigas de Amigo de Martin Codax on medieval instruments. Zanfona (hurdy-gurdy) in three tracks played by C.Paniagua. Available from Pneuma. C/ Almanzora 49 28023 Madrid. Spain.FX:34 1 8593876."[LD]


"These are songs collected along the route of the famous medieval pilgrimage as it crossed Burgos, Palencia and León on its way into Galicia and Santiago de Compostela. One slight disappointment was the fact that, even though there are at least two hurdy-gurdies in every photo of the group, the instrument only appears on two tracks." (Excerpted from Steve Winick's 1993 review in Dirty Linen. [SW]


"Hurdy-gurdy player unknown (Brambus records - Alberto Cesa - Via Beaulard 28 - 10139 Torino - Italy)." [CS]

Gilles Chabenat

"New compositions in traditional style by Chabenat." [MB] [AJ] "You MUST get Bleu Nuit. If I could only chose one hurdy-gurdy album, this would be the one." [PH] We certainly liked it. Chabenat's playing is flawless and smooth, and he has an incredible gift for arrangement.

Gilles Chabenat

"It's a duet with the clarinet player Frederic Paris. Some very slick hurdy-gurdy playing, both soloing and to accompany the clarinet." [PH] A very interesting CD, with Gilles' excellent HG style and Frederic's fascinating harmonies. Includes a version of "l'Orientale/Les Trois Canards" that is quite a departure from the traditional while still being very dancable and in touch with the roots of the tunes.

La Chavannée

"Hurdy-gurdy played by Patrick Bouffard, Maxou Heintzen." [CS] A nice album, with a more lyrical quality.

La Chavannée

"Hurdy-gurdy played by Patrick Bouffard and Maxou Heintzen." [JA]

Les Chiens Jaunes

Three Breton hurdy-gurdy players: Pascal Etesse, André Maillet, and vielle maker Bernard Kerboeuf, playing traditional and original Breton dance tunes. The band name translates to "The Yellow Dogs". The CD cover has a photo of three very nice vielle pegheads, presumably the vielles belonging to the "trio infernal", as they call themselves. R.T. Taylor told us about this CD several years before we actually found it.

La Chiapa Rusa

"From Piedmont in Northern Italy, with hurdy-gurdy played by Maurizio Martinotti (Robi Droli - Strada Roncaglia 16- 15040 San Germano - Italy)." [CS] Other recordings are listed in their web page. [AH]

Valentin Clastrier- M. Riessler - M. Godard - C. Rizzo - J-L. Matinier - G. Siracusa

"Hurdy-gurdy played by Valentin Clastrier." [CS]

"A cross between an Ornette Coleman and a Jimi Hendrix of the vielle a roue. A truly incredible record. Features Valentin Clastrier, vocals, vielle a roue (electric & acoustic), wood box; Michel Godard, serpents and tuba; Jean-Louis Matinier, accordion; Michael Riessler, Clarinets, soprano saxophone; Gerardr Siracusa, percussion, drum set; Louis Sclavis, clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone." [MT]

These are both interesting and engaging recordings. Clastrier manages to tread the line between ancient and very modern with style, though his work is perhaps a little too radical for listeners accustomed to traditional French dance tunes. le bûcher des silences is closer to jazz, while Hérésie has its roots in the 12th century heretic Cathar culture, while still being clearly in the 20th century. Catherine McAulay [CMA] reported that these two CD's have also been reissued as a set called Hurdy-gurdy from the Land of Cathars. As far as we know they are still available separately, but when stocks run out this may be the only source.

Valentin Clastrier

Several people have mentioned Clastrier's work, and opinions are mixed. Some think he's brilliant, others find his work to be too avant-garde. Thanks to [AJ], [CS], [MT]. This CD showcases all the really odd sounds that can be produced by a vielle. We wouldn't suggest it as an introductory recording. We've heard it, thanks to Sandra Davis, but we haven't put a lot of effort into finding a copy.

Valentin Clastrier (and others)

[CMA] (No other information supplied)

Clemencic Consort

"The 1974 recording of Carmina Burana includes René Zosso on hurdy-gurdy." [TMM] The 1976 and 1977 recordings of Troubadours / Cantigas also has René Zosso playing on 7 tracks. [AH]

Compagnie chez Bousca

"Hurdy-gurdy played by Marc Anthony." [CS]

Compagnie de beau temps

"Hurdy-gurdy played by Evelyne Girardon." [CS]

Le Concert Dan l'Oeuf

A medieval/early music group, with Mick Rochard and Louis Soret on hurdy-gurdies. [AH]

Cordes en Folie

Master Pierre Imbert plays some very nice hurdy-gurdy in an unusual trio, joined by André Thibault on flamenco guitar and other fretted strings, and Steve Lazin on hand drums and other percussion. Highly recommended.

Crazy Jane and the Bishop

Mixes equal parts Irish, Breton, and "Other" Celtic, with a little Bulgarian thrown in for good measure. Hurdy-gurdy is played by Isla Ross. Crazy Jane & the Bishop from Austin, Texas released their first recording in 1996. This group has regrettably disbanded..

La Croix Feuillée

Traditional French dance music, with hurdy-gurdy played by Michèle Chevrier-Reuge and Gilles Martin. This is an enjoyable CD. For more info, contact the band at 01-69-42-85-06.


Felicia Dale
See William Pint and Felicia Dale

Lou Dalfin

The Occitan group Lou Dalfin ("The Dolphin") is fronted by Sergio Berardo, who has a definite and instantly recognizable style with the hurdy-gurdy. This is a hard rock band with a political objective, singing rapidly and with feeling in Occitan, the language which is the stepson of the ancient Langue d'Oc of the troubadours. The issue of the music is cultural autonomy of the Occitan minority. If hard, fast, and loud is what you're after, Sergio Berardo and Lou Dalfin is the hurdy-gurdy band for you. (Thanks to DC for his help, and to MB for introducing us to their music.)

Danses - Musiques Traditionnelles en Auvergne (CD AMTA 75110)
This is a compilation from other AMTA recordings of classic dance tunes from the Auvergne, played by some of the luminaries of the French dance world: Patrick Bouffard, Les Brayauds, Tapage, La Chavannée, Gilles Chabenat. There are liner notes in French and English, and the type of dance is listed along with the name. We got ours at St. Chartier, and we've never seen it in the US yet. Dusty Strings or The Wee Piper may have it.


"French band with hurdy-gurdy, accordion, bass, clarinet, bagpipes, and whistles. Some very slick arrangements of mostly self penned tunes in a modern folk style." [PH] Isobel Pignol is the hurdy-gurdy player. We got Alive in 1999, and concur with the reviewer: the playing style and arrangements are quite modern and produced. For recording information, contact MusTraDem, 04-76-96-55-88, or c/o/ Jérôme Hamon, 163 cours Berriat, F-38000 Grenoble. [AH]

Luis Delgado

"Instrumental adaptations of Sephardies songs, includin traditional and electronic instruments. Zanfona (hurdy-gurdy) in one track played by L.Delgado. Available from Pneuma. C/ Almanzora 49 28023 Madrid. Spain.FX:34 1 8593876." [LD]

Luis Delgado

"Soundtrack for a planetarium program showed at Planetario de Madrid, Planetario de la Coruña y Planetario de Pamplona. Traditional and electronic instruments. Zanfona (hurdy-gurdy) in one track played by L. Delgado." [LD]

Luis Delgado

"Music for three theater plays, including Los Entremeses de Cervantes. Traditional, and electronic instruments. Zanfona (hurdy-gurdy) in two tracks played by L.Delgado, and in one track, played by Rafael Martin. Available from Pneuma. C/ Almanzora 49 28023 Madrid. Spain.FX:34 1 8593876." [LD]


Devachan was led by Seattle-based hurdy-gurdy player Patrick Strole, who creates an incredible blend of rock and East Indian. We're awaiting Patrick's next project!

Jules Devaux

We first heard of Jules from Judith Lindenau [JLi]. This recording is a retrospective of his work, ranging from traditional solos and duets to classical pieces. Jules' mastery is particularly apparent in the classical repertoire, and it's worth buying just for that one piece. Some of the recordings suffer from an unbalanced sound, others are very clear and balanced.

The Duellists

"The Duellists is made up of Nigel Eaton and Cliff Stapleton on hurdy-gurdy and Chris Walshaw on bagpipes. Track and ordering information is on the web page." [DW] We haven't heard this yet, but our friend Marjy recommended it highly.

The Dufay Collective

"A British early music group using a medieval hurdy-gurdy: a symphony with two chanters and two drones made by Samuel Palmer in London, 1980." [WM]


Digelius' catalog description: "Very impressive 5-piece modern folk music group performing trad and original material. Vocals, accordion, drums, sax, bass clarinet, clarinet, jew's harp, violin, viola, hurdy-gurdy, electric bass, double bass. If you're going to check out Danish music, this is a good place to start."

Barb Dwyer

From Australia, Barb Dwyer blends the hurdy-gurdy into Turkish, Macedonian, Greek, and Middle Eastern, with some other traditions thrown in for good measure. The resulting sound is a great blend, taking the HG some places that may seem unfamiliar to it, but where it turns out to be quite at home. Some of the songs and tunes are Barb's compositions, and some are traditional. To obtain the CD, write or call Wild Gurdy Gander, 37 Crystal Waters, ms 16 Maleny Q 4552, Australia, phone/fax 07-5494-4887.


Earthly Delights

This is a 2-CD set of new dance compositions from HG player and piper John Garden. There are over 2 hours of nicely recorded and arranged tunes. Thanks to John for the CD and companion book. For more information check the webpage.

Earthly Pleasures

"Hurdy-gurdy played by David Barton as part of a group from Dallas, Texas." [CG]

Nigel Eaton (and friends)

"Music by Vivaldi, Bâton, new compositions and traditional tunes." [MB] "Hurdy-gurdy played by Nigel Eaton and Chris Stapleton (Saydisc Records, Chipping Manor, the Chipping Wotton Under Edge, Glos GL12 7AD England)." [CS] This is classic Eaton, with a wide range of tunes. Saydisc is available in North America, often by special order.

Nigel Eaton and Andy Cutting

"Powerful hurdy-gurdy & box playing from 2 ex-Blowzabella members. Another 'must have'." [GW] This is an excellent addition to any collection. The vielle playing is very nice, and Andy Cutting's accordion is on an equally high level. We've only seen it on cassette, but it may be on CD as well.

Nigel Eaton and Paul James

"'Progressive' traditionals and new compositions in rock style, with electronic keyboards, drum machine, etc." [MB] Nigel Eaton plays hurdy-gurdy, of course. The laridé on track 1 is the piece Nigel used as his solo on the Page/Plant tour.

Les Ecoliers de Saint Genest

HG is played by Gilles Chabenat and Didier Desbruère, and filled with classic Chabenat dance tunes. This is a really great CD - don't miss it! Music from the CD is included in Gilles' book.

Ensemble Alegria

"Jean-Michel Deliers plays hurdy-gurdy on 4 tracks of this 1994 recording of trouvere music from the 13th century." [TMM]

Ensemble Claude Gervais

Phillipe Gélinas plays hurdy-gurdy with this early music group from Quebec. There are some hurdy-gurdy tracks on each of the three recordings still available. They had a nice website, which now seems to be dead. If you discover where they moved to, please let me know. [AH]

Ensemble del Doppio Bordon

An Italian recording with a Christmas theme, featuring Maurizio Martinotti on hurdy-gurdy. [AH]

Ensemble Faux Bourdon

"A recording of most of the pieces in Corrette's method of the same name. Claude Flagel plays an original 18th Century Hurdy gurdy by Lambert." [NOS]

Ensemble Faux Bourdon

"A great recording of French Christmas music with hurdy gurdy, bagpipes, viols and a superb 18th Century organ." [NOS]

Ensemble Polaris

"Folk Tunes from Northern Countries" [CK] with hurdy-gurdy by Catherine Keenan and possibly Ben Grossman. Released January 2000.

Ensemble Project Ars Nova

"Michael Collver plays symphonia. This is one of Machaut's most famous publications, combining musical scores into a larger poetic narrative. This performance includes instrumental improvisation in some selections." [TMM]

Ensemble Sequentia
See "Sequentia".

Ensemble Stradivaria

"This features Claude Flagel on three Concertos Comiques and on two of these there is also a musette de cour which together make a wonderful sound. All the other pieces are enjoyable also." [NOS]

Ensemble Tre Fontane

Volume 1 is "A re-released medieval recording with hurdy-gurdy on every track, played by Pascal Lefeuvre. Original recording was made in 1987." [MB/TMM] Pascal Lefeuvre is the hurdy-gurdy player on all of these recordings. [AH] "Guillaume de Machaut et le codex Faenza features Pascal Lefeuvre with flutist Hervé Bertheaux and lutenist Thomas Bienage, joined by vocal soloist Hermine Huguenel and vocal ensemble Dames de Choeursous on Le codex las huelgas." [LB] We picked up Florilège at St. Chartier in 1999, and it's quite nice, with a clean recording and very good "early music" feeling. Many of ETF's recordings are still available on Alba. If you can't find them locally, write to CARMA Productions, Le Clavet No.3, Pas-Saint-Georges, F-33190.

Ensemble Unicorn

"The insert is not very informative but there is hurdy-gurdy played by Riccardo Delfino. As with most Naxos issues, the CD is excellent value for money." [JCo]

Equidad Barillez

"Hurdy-gurdy played by Marc Anthony." [CS]

Erdélyi népzene (CD fonti musicali 581115)
May also be listed as Musiques de Transylvanie - Traditions des minorités hongroises de Roumanie, part of the traditions du monde series. Distributed in the US by Qualiton. Contains one song which lists Zoltán Porteleki on tekeró, and it doesn't stand out very much. The liner notes include a half page by prominant hurdy-gurdy player Claude Flagel calling for the preservation of the Transylvanian culture.

Everything is Slow

"Hurdy-gurdy played by Joris Buysse and Carine Smolders, (Lowlands Belgium)." [CS]


Folies Bergères

"This is a CD of 18th and 19th century court and folk music including many Noels. The instrumentation is hurdy-gurdy, musette, oboe, viol, recorder and harpsichord." [NOS] "Seven of the ten tracks contain a hurdy-gurdy. The record is from the Forties Recording Company, 44 Challacombe, Furzton, Milton Keynes, MK4 1DP. Tel: 00 44 1908 502836." [MCA]

Claude Flagel

"Medieval, baroque and traditional hurdy-gurdy music." [MB]

Florilegio ensemble .
Alberto Crugnola plays hurdy-gurdy with this early music ensemble. It's not clear if they have any recordings yet. [AH]

Folk och Rakare

"This CD is a compilation of this Swedish folk-rock band's earlier albums. Jan Winter plays hurdy-gurdy on one track. Richard Thompson also plays guitar on one track." [PE]

For Our Children

"This was a benefit album for the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. There's hurdy-gurdy on one track, played by Anna Peekstok of Telynor. The track is Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey's "Autumn to May", performed by Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, with Anna and John Peekstok, Connie Celustka, and Esther "Little Dove" John." [JP]


Includes a guest appearance by Stefan Brisland-Ferner of Garmarna on hurdy-gurdy (listed with the Scandanavian name vevlira.) [AH]

France - Musiques traditionelles d'aujourd'hui (CD Silex Y225999)
Silex's sampler includes several tracks with hurdy-gurdy: Valentin Clastrier, La Chavennee and Les Brayauds.

French Creek

French Creek is hurdy-gurdy player Penny Cloud, guitarist G.F. Cloud, and fiddler Dorothy Hawkinson, joined by R.T. Taylor on hurdy-gurdy. This is a very nice recording, especially for learning some of the set of French "standards". The liner notes and supplemental booklet are very nice, with a complete transcription of the tunes included.

French Music for the Hurdy-Gurdy (CD Jas. Townsend CD-685)
Described as 18th century ensemble pieces. As of September 1997, this recording seems to be put of print. [AH]

Les Freres Guillemain

"Archive recordings of two important figures in Bourbonnais music." [NOS] This CD is excellent source material for Berry and Bourbonnais repertoire and the style of earlier vielle playing. The liner notes are in French and English, and contain some amusing anecdotes.


This group of 6 European women was assembled by Jo Freyja, who played in Blowzabella. [Dirty Linen #67]

Michele Fromenteau

"This is a reissue of Fromenteau's influential recording of music from the Middle Ages to Mozart." [SB][NOS]

Michele Fromenteau

"Music by De Lavigne, Naudot, Chedeville, Boismortier and Vivaldi." [MB]

Michelle Fromenteau

"Music by Arbeau, Hotteterre, Esprit-Philippe & Nicolas Chedeville, Corette, Vivaldi, Mozart, Naudot, Boismortier. Who could ask for anything more?" [AJ]



This Swedish group features Stefan Brisland-Ferner on hurdy-gurdy. Recommended by several readers, including [WS]. We saw them in concert in October 1996 on their North American tour. The music is an interesting blend of Swedish folk played on an array of acoustic and electric instruments. Stefan's instrument is a Swedish style, based on the Grodda Lira, with an extra row of keys and an extra drone. It was built by Leif Eriksson. Their page contains some sound samples. I think that each successive recording features the hurdy-gurdy less and less, so if you are only going to buy one recording, it should be Vittrad. There's no question: Garmarna Rocks.

Siwsann George

"Nigel Eaton plays hurdy-gurdy on 2 tracks. A very enjoyable album." [JA]


"Great Hurdy-gurdy driven Folk Rock." [NOS] We thought so too. It's not traditional French, but it's definitely French. They had a site, but it's gone. If it reappears, please tell me where it is.

Grand Bal Folk

This is a multi-group compilation from Hexagone, with tracks from La Bamboche, La Chifonnie, Le Grand Rouge, and Malicorne. Almost all the tunes are traditional. A good investment, as many of these are now in the standard repertoire, and these are the original recordings that everyone learned from.

Le Grande Rouge

"Features Pierre Imbert on H-G and other members of Lo Jai." [NOS] "The Guimbarda recording is a 1979 release on a Spanish label, with liner notes in Spanish." [DH/JW]

Robert Green

Contributed by [MB]. Robert Green also wrote a book on the hurdy-gurdy.

Per Gudmundson

"This features the Swedish bagpipe and hurdy-gurdy in dark, quietly intense dance tunes. (I don't know if this is still in print.)" [CM]

Les Freres Guillemain
See listing under F for Les Freres Guillemain


Keiji Haino

"60 minutes of solo electric gurdy with extreme distortion." [DW] Having now heard Haino's recordings, I have to say that they are the farthest "out there" of any - not really recognizable as hurdy-gurdy, certainly. The photos in the unofficial Web Page is a bit grainy, and not easy to find. The instrument appears to have been made by Denis Siorat. I borrowed the pictures and put them on their own little Keiji Haino page. [AH]

Johan Hedin and Harald Pettersson

Digelius' catalog description is "Outstanding duo project with nyckelharpas, fiddle, percussion, bagpipe, hurdy-gurdy, flutes, accordion and more. Original and trad material with real imagination." [AH]


Hurdy-gurdy playing by Anders Stake, Björn Tollen and Hållbus Totte Mattson from Sweden. Many people have described Hedningarna (The Heathens) as having a sound all their own, and we agree completely. The first CD, Hedningarna, has several nice pictures of hurdy-gurdy on the cover, but not a very prominant mix of the instrument on the recording. The next releases Kaksi! and Trä featured the addition of two female vocalists from Finland. These are, in some people's opinion, their best work. Northside reissued Kaksi! and Trä. (Thank you, Myles!) In 1997 they released another album, Hippjokk which had no hurdy-gurdy at all, and has a somewhat different sound, without the Finnish singers. There may be hurdy-gurdy on the subsequent Karelia Visa (Northside NSD 6025), but it didn't stand out very much.

Hesperion XX

"René Zosso plays hurdy-gurdy. This is a good album but the hurdy-gurdy is not very audible. " [JA] "This group has many other recordings with hurdy-gurdy." [WC]

hölderlin express

"This band features Elke Rogge on hurdy-gurdy, considered to be one of Germany's finest progressive hurdy-gurdy-players. They also have an annual festival which includes hurdy-gurdy instruction." [JL] Rainer Zellner's site at Music Contact had this description in German: "Von Free Folk bis Hip Hop: Electric Body Folk. Inspiriert von aktuellen Dance und Rock Grooves holt die Band die Drehleier aus den mystischen Tiefen des Mittelalters auf den Dancefloor." The English version is expected soon, but I think the German is pretty much self-translating: all you really need to know is "Drehleier = Hurdy-gurdy", and possibly that "Mittelalters" is "Middle Ages".


A collection of Hungarian folk music. [AH]

Hurdy gurdy masters
See La Vielle en France below.

The 5th Irish folk festival (double LP Intercord 180046)
"Andy Irvine plays in trio with Mick Hanley and Liam o'Flynn." [MB]


Indigo Girls

"The song Leeds features Emily Saliers (one of the Indigo Girls) and producer David Leonard on hurdy-gurdy." [BQ] If this is your only exposure to the hurdy-gurdy, you should listen to some other recordings before you make a judgement of the instrument. It sounds as if they recorded an overdubbed duet with a lower quality instrument that is out of tune with itself and the rest of the tracks. Sorry to say, Emily and David, but we call them as we hear them . It gets our prize for Hurdy-gurdy Recordings To Avoid by People Who Should Know Better. Thanks (I think) to Polly Prince for loaning me the CD.

See New York's Ensemble for Early Music


Ethan James

Ethan James plays original compositions and traditional European and Middle Eastern melodies, backed by Catherine Edward Alexander on doumbek, riqq, def, and mazhar. It's nicely recorded and has innovative treatments of the tunes. Our thanks to Ethan for sending us a copy.

Ethan James

A Christmas album released in 1996, with somewhat less traditional Christmas music. Ethan was interviewed about the release on National Public Radio in early December 1996. [Dirty Linen #67] Hannibal/Rykodisc is widely available: we found our copy at a bookstore in Seattle. This is an interesting CD, with (as the Dirty Linen reviewer noted) unconventional settings of lesser-known Christmas music.

Ethan James

Both this CD and What Rough Beast feature Ethan James' blend of traditional and early music styles with new lyrics, which have a twist that lets the listener hear the social consciousness themes in both ancient and modern perspectives.

Ethan James

"Ethan James plays in a very fine way on different kinds of hurdy-gurdies in an interesting modern way. Ethan James is the former producer from The Bangles, Sonic Youth, Black Flag and Firehouse. Available from Germany: P+C Moll Tonträger (1995), Mittelweg 114b, D-20149 Hamburg; Tel.: Germany-040/451944; Fax: Germany-040/458654." [UR]

Ethan James.

Available from The Jester's Court

Joculatores Upsaleinses

"The hurdy-gurdy player is not listed specifically. The sound of the instrument can be described as 'thin and whiny, played jerkily'. " [JA]


Joanne Andrus plays hurdy-gurdy on this recording of court dances. The first recording is intended for practicing the dances when musicians are not available, but it also makes excellent soothing background music. The second CD has better production and was intended for release. Joanne is also a member of the Over The Water Hurdy-Gurdy Association, and a frequent reviewer of recordings in the discography. Our thanks to Joanne for contributing a copy to us.


Kalenda Maya

There are pictures of two hurdy-gurdies (Hungarian and a symphonie style) on the inside, and two of the members are shown playing an organistrum on the cover photo. Regretably the instruments aren't as prominent on the recording, such that I have never really noticed them. This is an excellent CD, and the group's other work is even better, but sadly doesn't feature very much hurdy-gurdy. We haven't heard Pilegrimsreiser yet, though we hope to soon.

Catherine Keenan

This is an almost-solo recording by Catherine Keenan, with fairly traditional French tunes mixed with some unorthodox arrangements and sounds.


"Hurdy-gurdy played by Iep Fourier (Tune Records,Belgium, telephone 32.0.324.74.40)" [CS] We got Den Wind is West from Iep at St. Chartier in 1999, where he is to be found playing at all hours of the day. (He's famous for having a chien made of cardboard, and we can assure you that it works.) Klakkbusse's music is an interesting blend of fairly modern traditional folk and baroque. Iep said they also have a Christmas CD, but I didn't write down the name.


Serge Laîné and Isla Ross

The title says it all - dance music from Brittany, France, Québec, and England. Isla Ross plays hurdy-gurdy on several tunes and fiddle on the rest. Highly recommended.

Pascal Lefeuvre Quartet

On this 1990 recording HG player Pascal Lefeuvre is joined by Marc Depond on percussion, Serge Moulinier on piano, and Christian Vieussens on flute. The result is quite jazz-oriented, different from Lefeuvre's avant-garde work with the Viellistic Orchestra and his early-music recordings with Ensemble Tre Fontane.

Gérard Le Vot

Marion Chauvineau and Paul Fustier play hurdy-gurdy on this recording of 11th and 12th century songs. Eric Montbel plays bagpipes. [AH]

Lo Jai

In concert Lo Jai had a lot of hurdy-gurdy, but it's not very prominent on the one studio album we have. Their hurdy-gurdy player, Pierre Imbert is the one who said, "The hurdy-gurdy - a lifetime to tune, a minute to play!"; on a concert tape we heard. (Pierre claims that I misremember this quote, but that's how I heard it.)


Laurel MacDonald

With Catherine Keenan on hurdy-gurdy. Web page has a short bio on Catherine. [AH]


Vielle duo Thierry Nouat and Stéphane Durand play duets and solo pieces on this stunning live recording of traditional French dance and new compositions in traditional style. Highly recommended.

Machine for Making Sense

Features Stevie Wishart on hurdy-gurdy, from Australia. It's not clear how many tracks she plays on, since she also plays other instruments. The review indicates a progressive sound. [AH]


Features John Trexler on hurdy-gurdy on several tunes on this nicely-executed CD of Celtic, Appalacian and original music. (Thanks to John for the CD, which has spent many hours in the player in the workshop.)

Magyar Tekerözenkar (Hungarian Folk Hurdy Gurdy Ensemble)

"Features great playing and beautiful singing." [NOS] "Among other material, it includes some hurdy-gurdy music from the remote Hungarian communities of Moldva, in the Eastern Carpathians. Wild." [JC] We got a copy at St. Chartier in 1999. This is a great collection of Hungarian hurdy-gurdy music, and a perfect starting place for anyone interested in Hungarian style hurdy-gurdy playing. (editorial note: NOS and JC sent me this entry independently with slightly different addresses. Then I found the web page, which has an even more different one. Check there for the most recent address. The old addresses were Szerenyi Bela, H-1037 Budapest Fergeteg UTCA 11, Hungary, and Szerenyi Bela, 1037 Budapest, Fergeteg U.11, Hungary, Tel. 0036-06-6025036)


"The music of this Hungarian group is very different from the French tunes, but it has a humourous rustic quality which has to be heard to be believed. The hurdy-gurdy is not featured on all tracks, but enough to deserve mention in the discography." [HD]


This group made many albums during their heyday as the progressive French electric folk-rock band, similar in instrumentation to Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, but with a flavor that makes them timeless. Music from this period tends to sound dated, but these recordings keep a contemporary flavor regardless of their age. lègende is a compilation and retrospective, with a limited amount of hurdy-gurdy. The Boucherie reissues have more, on average, played by Marie Yacoub, joined by Dominique (no surname given) on Le Bestiare, but it's rarely center stage on any of the recordings. Be sure to listen to this recording for one of the most interesting versions of the obligatory hurdy-gurdy tune "Branle de Chevaux". (Malicorne also gets the award for Longest Album Title.) Thanks to Boucherie for reissuing this wealth of history. We found these at Silver Platters in Seattle, but you can also contact Boucherie Productions, 15 bis, rue du Plateau. 75019 Paris, France, 44-52-94-15. Thanks also to Hexagone for reissuing the early Malicorne in 1999, arguably their best work.

Robert Mandel
Mandel Quartet

Medieval, Renaissance and Transylvanian music played on a French-style instrument. Mandel's dog technique is very crisp, and his playing style is excellent. There is some overlap of the material on the Mandel Quartet and the Hurdy-gurdy Collection . Mandel used to have a website, which seems to have disappeared.

Robert Mandel

Mandel plays a MIDI hurdy-gurdy with a jazz quintet, a jazz (?) trio, and a Middle Eastern group respectively. The cover of Electrotary ® shows a full view of the instrument, which gets the award for Second Strangest Hurdy-gurdy Design.

Philip G. Martin

Martin uses an mixture of acoustic sounds and electronic effects on his hurdy-gurdies in this unusual recording. Some of the tunes are traditional, some are new compositions by Martin. He sometimes uses the music as a backdrop for spoken word. Thanks to Jacob Priestly for our copy.

Loreena McKennitt

Hurdy-gurdy by English hurdy-gurdy master Nigel Eaton on one track, "Santiago", on The Mask and the Mirror , and on two tracks on The Book of Secrets. One of these, "The Mummer's Dance", had a popular video on VH1 and was the song she played on the David Letterman show. Both Nigel and French hurdy-gurdy master Pierre Imbert played with Loreena on the Book of Secrets tour in 1998.


"Lots of stunning vocal arrangements and several very tasty instrumental pieces, including some with hurdy gurdy. The hurdy-gurdy is played by Jean-François Dutertre." [JP]

Les Menestriers Picards

A French recording of 16th century dance music. Hurdy-gurdy is played mostly as a rhythmic instrument by Jean-Paul LeBlanc.

Fred Meyer

Recordings of mostly Highland Bagpipe tunes, with the distinct flavor of that instrument.


The hurdy-gurdy arrives in the heavy metal scene. One track, "Low Man's Lyric" has David Miles playing hurdy-gurdy. One reviewer said that the song is "possibly the biggest departure for the band as of yet. Since I'm rather new to the style of the instrument, I can't really say whether it was an excellent performance or not, but it certainly adds a lot of mood and feeling to the song in total." [WMg]

Meredith Monk

Wayne Hankin is listed as playing hurdy-gurdy. We haven't heard this recording, but what we have heard of Meredith's work was Definitely Different. [AH]


"A few of the K601-602 dances have hurdy-gurdy, played by Eberhard Kummer. It's played with an orchestra, a different setting than we usually hear it in." [JA]

Leopold Mozart

"Hurdy-gurdy played by Max Engle." [CG]

David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London

See section of Flawed recordings.

La Musgaña

Lubican was described as "Good 5-piece Spanish group. Hurdy-gurdy is used frequently, but not prominent in the mix. Hurdy-gurdy played by Rafael Martin." [GW] This one is very nice, with a different flavor: imagine funky jazz bass mixed with traditional Spanish melodies for a very pleasing effect. Their first recording, El Diablo Cojuelo, was reissued on CD and reviewed in Dirty Linen by Steve Winick in 1993. A later CD reputedly doesn't have hurdy-gurdy on it, though apparently Martin is still touring with them.

Musiques, Chants et Danses de Bretagne (Keltia Musique)
"Mostly bagpipes, some hurdy-gurdy by Jean-Pierre Lecuyer, played in a variety of styles, including traditional, pop, and jazz." [JA]

Les Musiciens de Provence Vol. 5 (CD Arion ARN36451)
"French early music group. Hurdy-gurdy appears on two or three tracks played by Rene Nazet." [GW]


This Hungarian group has Sándor Csoóri and Dániel Hamar playing hurdy-gurdy, though the emphasis on the music is on the fiddle and Márta Sebestyén's haunting vocals.


New London Consort

"Pickett plays hurdy-gurdy with 3 strings." [JD] "You can hear Philip Pickett plays a three stringed symphony made by Bernhard Ellis in volumes 1 and 2 of the four volume set. It has a very small sound and you can also hear the sound of the keyboard banging against the instrument." [WM]

New London Consort

"Lyon & ??? play organistrum." [JD]

New London Consort

"Nigel Eaton plays on these recordings." [JD] "This is a large band with many instruments. The Dansereyes is an excellent recording, but only has one track with hurdy-gurdy." [JA]

New London Consort

This is a compilation CD, with material from previously released recordings. Several tracks feature the hurdy-gurdy, but it's not clear who is playing it from the otherwise excellent liner notes.

New York's Ensemble for Early Music

"14th century dances. Features Frederick Renz on the organistrum." [JA] What Renz is calling an organistrum (a 2-person instrument) is actually a hurdy-gurdy. It's used more as a drone instrument than melodically.

Noise of Minstrels

"English 4-piece group specialising in lots of different dance music from Early, Renaissance, & Folk repetoire. Very boisterous recording, not much subtlety, but a good source of material." [GW] "Noise is made up of musicians from St. George Canzona, here performing Playford dances, Flemish street tunes, renaissance & traditional music. Ray Attfield & Dave Chatterley on h-g's. Highly recommended." [AJ]

La Notte

Paul Ash plays hurdy-gurdy and Kevin Hartnell plays percussion on this recording. Paul's playing is enthusiastic, with many tunes chosen from the 13th, 14th, and 15th cent. repertoire. Thanks to Kevin and Paul for providing a review copy.

"A Swedish million-selling (!!) rock group, featuring lots of ethnic music. Harald Pettersson plays hurdy gurdy on their records." [LT]


Jim O'Rourke

"Jim O'Rourke is an avant garde composer and improvisor from Chicago. Last year, he premiered a performance of his composition Happy Days, which is scored for acoustic guitar and several hurdy-gurdies. It's 47 minutes: after about 10 minutes, we hear a variety of hurdy-gurdy drones, which continue to grow in volume, pitch, and texture, until the guitar is completely drowned out by the hurdy-gurdies. Jim then explores the many textural and harmonic functions of this great drone instrument by setting up groups of players each working in different tonal ranges. It was issued this year (1997) on John Fahey's new record label, Revenant Records." [CSi]


Palladian Ensemble

Nigel Eaton plays hurdy-gurdy in a guest appearance with this quartet's recording of Chédeville's arrangement of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons". A fine recording worth finding.

Pan's Fancy

Karen Meyers plays hurdy-gurdy and lutes with Edwin George on bagpipes of various kinds (including Grosserbock) and recorders. They play a variety of music from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in an energetic, tasteful style. Highly recommended! The contents are listed in the PIPE list.

Gram Parsons tribute CD
See Return of the Grevious Angel

Marc Perrone

"Features Marc Perrone & various other box players. Hurdy-gurdy features on several tracks, played by Bernard Blanc & Jean-Francois Dutertre. Nice arrangements, & some lovely tunes. Album originally released sometime in the 70's, so may be out of print." [GW]

Marc Perrone

"Marc Perrone & four other musicians (Dominique Regef on hurdy-gurdy) playing traditional tunes. Just lovely." [GW]

Philadelphia Renaissance Wind Band
See "Piffaro".

William Pint and Felicia Dale.

William and Felicia play sea shanties and other maritime-oriented pieces, with some medieval dance tunes and other cool stuff for good measure. Felicia Dale plays hurdy-gurdy in a style all her own. They're great to see in concert. Round the Corner Sally has a great rock-n-roll treatment of the title cut, with some really great hurdy-gurdy.


"Tom Zajac plays hurdy-gurdy on several tracks. This is a different treatment of material also performed by Nigel Eaton and the New London Consort. The hurdy-gurdy on the cover of Canzonie Danze was built by Lyn Elder." [JA] Some of this material was released under the ensemble's former name, the Philadelphia Renaissance Wind Band. Also recommended by [CG].

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page (aka Unledded)

Nigel Eaton is featured on 3 tracks with these ex-Led Zeppelin musicians: Battle of Evermore, Gallows Pole, and Nobody's Fault But Mine, as well as on When the Levee Breaks (released seperately). He's not very prominant in the mix, which is unfortunate because the songs have the potential to be enhanced by his playing. You can see him for fleeting moments in the MTV video as well, just enough to know that it's a rather strange hurdy-gurdy he's playing. (It was made by his father, Chris Eaton, probably the most famous builder in England, and has some special features.) Eaton toured with Plant and Page, where he performed a solo during each concert, which showed off his talent better than the studio versions. There are bootleg audio and video recordings from the tour, or so we've heard.

Andy Irvine

Andy Irvine plays hurdy-gurdy on two tracks of Cold Blow and Rainy Nightby the legendary Irish band. It's a different sound than usually found on French recordings: no dog, and very sweet, sounding similar to one of the quieter bagpipes (hardly surprising, since Planxty built their sound around various bagpipes.) We haven't heard the others yet.

Poeta Magica
"This German band has at least five CD's with hurdy-gurdy featured on some tracks of each one." [LT]

The Pogues

"At least one track with hurdy-gurdy." [LT]




"Fernando Meireles is responsible for bringing Portuguese hurdy-gurdy back from excinction. Here he leads a group of musicians from Coimbra in tunes that are a blend of medieval and traditional Galician, French, Spanish, and Italian." [SW, paraphrased] This is a very nice recording, with tasteful hurdy-gurdy playing and nice arrangements.

Dominique Regef

[CMA] (No other information supplied.)

Return of the Grievous Angel - a tribute to Gram Parsons (CD Almo AMSD-80024)
Gram Parsons was a pivotal figure in country-rock music, and everyone from the Pretenders to Elvis Costello contributed to this CD to honor him. On the title track, which Parsons wrote with Emmylou Harris, we hear hurdy-gurdy played by Ed Foote, who introduced the hurdy-gurdy to Nashville with his recording with Garth Brooks. It's definitely worth a listen to hear the instrument in a completely new context. Thanks for the CD, Ed.

David Rice

"Nigel Eaton plays on several tracks on 1997 release by singer-songwriter David Rice." [DR]


"English 5-piece group playing French dance tunes from Berry, Bourbonnais and Auvergne. Hurdy-gurdies played by Mel Stevens and Richard Smith. Definitely worth the purchase." [GW]

Isla Ross and Serge Laîné
See "Serge Laîné and Isla Ross"


St. George's Canzona

"One track with hurdy-gurdy played by Ray Attfield." [CG]


"Paolo Cecere plays hurdy-gurdy on this recording. It's a good album, but the hurdy-gurdy is not very audible on. " [JA]


"Hurdy-gurdy played by Patrick Bouffard." [CS] Scarp is kind of hard to describe: part French traditional, part jazz, part rock.


Also listed as Ensemble Sequentia. "This is a double CD set, including Benjamin Bagby on hurdy-gurdy." [TMM] "Benjamin Bagby uses an instrument made by Bernhard Ellis in Herefordshire, UK in 1978." [WM]


Music from the 12th to early 14th centuries. Benjamin Bagby plays the symphony, an early type of hurdy-gurdy. Extensive liner notes about the songs are provided.

Peter Schickle with Calliope

"Lawrence Benz of early music group Calliope plays the hurdy-gurdy on one track, "The Whale". The lyrics are based on old texts, set to new music." [JA] We enjoyed this one, not just for the hurdy-gurdy track, but for the others as well.

Shave the Monkey

A six-piece band with electric and acoustic influences. The hurdy-gurdy player is Duncan Moss, who toured with Page/Plant. Check the Web page for a great picture of the band in concert. [AH]

Dean Shostak

Traditional American tunes on hurdy-gurdy, glass armonica, and fiddle. [AH]. Seems to be out of print as of January 2000.

Silly Sisters (Maddy Prior and June Tabor)

"Nigel Eaton plays on several tracks on No More to the Dance, and Andy Irvine is featured on Silly Sisters." [MB]


"Stevie Wishart is the hurdy-gurdy player with this group." [JA] "Sinfonye is directed by Stevie Wishart. She plays the vielle and the symphony as well. Although it is written 'symphony' in the CD's booklet, Chris Eaton says that it is in fact a huge instrument made after Castilian representations and extant Galician instrument. Stevie uses her hurdy-gurdy in about three pieces per CD. The one that catches the attention is the track #8 from The Courts of Love (San'c fuy belha ni prezada). The sound of the trompette is really amazing." [WM]


Matthew Spring plays hurdy-gurdy on 4 tracks. [AH]

Sixteen Horsepower

David Eugene Edwards from Denver, Colorado plays hurdy-gurdy and a number of other instruments on the second CD from this band. The first, Sackcloth and Ashes, may have hurdy-gurdy as well. The style has been described by some as "country gothic". The review I heard on our local NPR station, KUOW, mentioned the hurdy-gurdy, but it wasn't featured on the sample tracks. We got the CD later, and I'm sad to say that I've listened to it quite a few times and never heard an identifiable hurdy-gurdy sound, thus the CD is added to the list of Invisible Hurdy-gurdies.

Le Soleil de Santa Rosa

Jim Wathen plays hurdy-gurdy. Concertina player Jeff Reynolds drew a great little hurdy-gurdy frog logo for the band. [AH]

Sonneurs de Vielle en Bretagne

Recorded between 1949 and 1993, these are 30 traditional Breton hurdy-gurdy tunes. These aren't polished recordings, but they're great source material for tunes and a playing style that has all but disappeared. There are extensive liner notes in French.

Conrad Steinmann (with Claude Flagel)

"Strange rearrangements of baroque hurdy-gurdy music with original instruments. Flagel plays on 9 tracks on Les Saison..., and 3 of these 9 tracks also on Barockmusik..." [MB]


Produced by the Dutch Hurdy-gurdy and Bagpipe Foundation, featuring a number of players and styles. [AH]



Stéphan Durand plays hurdy-gurdy with this trio, with Cristelle Durand on accordions and Régis Dupuis on cornamuses and accordions. The style is upbeat traditional French dance, with some traditional tunes and mostly new compositions in that style by the band members and others. This is a great recording, not to be missed.

The Taverner Consort, Choir and Players

"Doreen Muskett plays the hurdy-gurdy on one track, where she accompanies Andrew Parrott (tenor) on Gabriel fram heven-king, a two-part version, in English, of Angelus ad virginem. The arrangement dates from 1349." [MH]

The Tea Party

Canadian Jeff Martin plays hurdy-gurdy. Described as rock mixed with Middle Eastern and blues, with some world music influences. [AH] Seems to be available from The bio/interview there mentions exotic instruments, but not hurdy-gurdy specifically, so it doesn't seem to be at the top of their agenda.


Anna Peekstok plays hurdy-gurdy in non-traditional folk and early music-influenced settings and on fascinatingly different original pieces. Telynor is an excellent group to see live. John Peekstok also played hurdy-gurdy for a while, though not (as far as I know) on any recordings yet.

Terra Nova Consort

This is traditional music of southern France, with Ethan James joining the group as a special guest on about half of the tracks. This is a nice recording of Renassance music.

Richard Thompson

"Usually known for his guitar work, Thompson plays hurdy-gurdy on one track, a traditional Irish song called "Jockie Clark". He is reputed to have built his instrument from a kit." [JS] His hurdy-gurdy looks like the EMS Henry III model kit from the photo we've seen (see the reference in the invisible hurdy-gurdies section).


Brian McCandless plays hurdy-gurdies in D/G and G/C tunings. Most of the tunes were composed by Brian, and he also plays several bagpipes and other instruments. This is a very nice recording, with tasteful playing and excellent recording technique.

Trio Patrick Bouffard
See "Patrick Bouffard Trio"

Trio Grande

"Hurdy-gurdy played by Silke Reichmann (Verlag der Spielleute, Postfach 1144 - 64391 Brensbach - Germany)." [CS] Hans Lang also plays hurdy-gurdy. There are sound samples on their web site.






"Features Harald Petterson playing a French luteback on most of the 13 tracks." [PE]

La Vielle en France: Les maîtres de la vielle à roue (Hurdy-gurdy in France) (CD Silex Y225109)
"Several traditional vielle players." [CS][MB] This is a collection of vielle tunes collected in France between 1930 and 1991, played by a broad range of the older masters of the instrument. These are mostly field recordings, in the best tradition of Cecil Sharp. It's an excellent resource. Some tunes have the player describing the dance steps while they're playing (in French of course).

Vielles 96 - Morceaux choisis d'une rencontre... (CD AMTA MG-026)
This set of live recordings feature some of the highlights of a festival held in central France in February 1996. A different band or performer is featured on each track, and the track list reads like a "Who's Who" of modern traditional French music.

Vielleux de Bourbonnais

This is a long-awaited reissue of the 1979 vinyl LP. Featuring Bernard Blanc and Frédéric Paris on hurdy-gurdy and Jean-Claude Blanc on accordion and cornamuse, this recording is one of the cornerstones of what is now the "standard repertoire". Available from Dusty Strings. Somewhat expensive, but worth every cent. This was a group of young and enthusiastic players, and some people now say that they were playing the dance tunes too fast.

Vielleux de Bourbonnais

"This is a reissue of the album Vielleux de Bourbonnais Coup de Quatre and I think it is the first recording of Patrick Bouffard." [NOS] "There are at least two recent reissues on the Ethnic label, featuring Patrick Bouffard, Frederick Paris and others. Available by mail order from ADA distribution, 36 Saturday Market, Beverley, East Yorkshire, HU17 9AG, Great Britain Tel/fax 01482 868024." [FV] If you are interested in French dance hurdy-gurdy, I can't recommend this CD enough and the earlier Hexagone release highly enough. This one is readily available in the US.

Viellistic Orchêstre

The Viellistic Orchêstre is described as "a group formed in September 1991 by Pascal Lefeuvre with 8 to 11 hurdy-gurdy players accompanied by percussion and a contrabass." [LB] Mille ans dèjá is described as "pieces of medieval, Renaissance, and baroque music, as well as pieces written by Bélà Bartok for two violins." [LB] While technically true, the interpretation is anything but typical early music. If one is expecting something similar to Lefeuvre's work with Ensemble Tre Fontane, think again: this is an avant-garde treatment of classic works. Cris de Cordes is "Hurdy-gurdy played by Pascal Lefeuvre, Isabelle Pignol, A-L Foy,L Bitaud and others (?)" [CS] and as "Pieces written for the orchestra by Lefeuvre, including two pieces adapted from Willem Breuker." [LB] We haven't gotten this one yet. Tsé-tsé symphonie is "Pieces written for the orchestra by Susumu Yoshida, Daniel Tosi, and Etienne Rolin, as well as two new adaptations of pieces by Willem Breuker." [LB] Some of these pieces are reasonably melodic, and some are (to my ears) annoyingly atonal. I can appreciate the mastery of the instrument that goes into making it sound that way, but I don't enjoy the sounds themselves. If you enjoy modern classical compositions, this recording is probably for you.

La Villanelle de Paris

"Music by Corrette, Boismortier et al." [NOS]


The Waverly Consort

"Tom Zajac plays on one track each on 1492 and the Christmas album. Michael Jaffee plays on Traveler." [JA]

Whirling Pope Joan

"Featuring Nigel Eaton and Julie Murphy - if you want to hear some great hurdy-gurdy this must be one of the best albums. Available by mail order from ADA distribution, 36 Saturday Market, Beverley, East Yorkshire, HU17 9AG, Great Britain Tel/fax 01482 868024. "[FV] It's an interesting recording, blending Julie's vocals and Nigel's hurdy-gurdy playing. Definitely worth a listen. Good luck finding it in the US: the folks at the counter look at you very strangely and say, "Whirling Pope who?". Matt Szostak gave us our copy.


John Trexler plays hurdy-gurdy on at least one track of this very nice CD of Irish, Scottish, Shetland, and Laois tunes.

Wisby Vaganter

This recording of medieval music features Peter Ringborg on hurdy-gurdy, and Stig Englund and Peter Ringborg on the organistrum. The hurdy-gurdy was built by Hungarian Bársony Mihály, and the organistrum by Olov Gibson. There are extensive liner notes in Swedish, most of which are also translated into English. There are some enjoyable pieces and some that in our opinion needed the instruments to be tuned a little more. The hurdy-gurdy isn't invisible, nor is it highly featured. Thanks to Barbara and David Denz for bringing this one back from Sweden.



Gabriel Yacoub

"Hurdy-gurdy played by Gilles Chabenat (Boucherie productions/ PIAS/ Chantez sous la truie (Paris, France))" [CS]

Gabriel and MarieYacoub

"With Christian Gour'han on hurdy-gurdy. (Boucherie productions, 32 rue des cascades, 75020 Paris, France as of October 1996. Previous address listed on CD: 15 Bis Rue du Plateau, 75019 Paris)" [E] The reissued album is dedicated to Christian, who died in 1987.

The York Waits.

Spanish Armada has one track with hurdy-gurdy alone, another with two hurdy-gurdies and other instruments, a third with hurdy-gurdy and bagpipe. Richard III has three tracks with either one or two hurdy-gurdies, played by Tim Bayley and Ian Richardson. Thanks to Carolyn Gritzmaker for pointing out these tracks. The group has several other CDs which may also feature hurdy-gurdy.


Renè Zosso & Anne Osnowycz

Subtitled "Music for drone from the Middle Ages and from French Folk Traditions". Zosso is an acknowledged master of traditional French hurdy-gurdy. This recording takes him beyond traditional and into the realm of the experimental. For some reason this is a common stock choice in Seattle-area music stores, and while it's an interesting recording to have, it's not what we would recommend as an introductory CD.

Invisible Hurdy-gurdies

These recordings list hurdy-gurdy on the liner notes, but you can't really hear it on the CD:

Flawed Recordings

Here's a recording to avoid: David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London - Instruments of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Angel SBZ-3810). This is a gorgeous boxed set of two LP records and a 100-page book by David Munrow. The book is absolutely beautiful, with several pages on the history of the hurdy-gurdy. The player in the photograph (presumably Christopher Hogwood) has a poor hand position for holding the handle, apparently not having read the method books or attended a workshop on how to play. One track on the record has Christopher Hogwood (founder of the Academy of Ancient Music) playing what is probably the worst recording of a hurdy-gurdy that we have ever heard. Listen if you dare! To be fair to Mr. Hogwood, we have heard that the instrument was thrust upon him because he was the keyboard player, though he had no direct experience with it until that point. The rest of the tracks range from very good to mediocre. What is truly regrettable about this recording is that David Munrow is highly respected in the early music community, an honor he certainly deserved. Consequently his recordings are treated with reverence, and it likely follows that there are people who believe that this is what a hurdy-gurdy should sound like.

The Indigo Girls also have a recording that has been nominated for this list.

There are rumored that there are more equally bad recordings - please submit them!

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Alden and Cali Hackmann
Olympic Musical Instruments

Beati illi qui in circulum circumeunt, fient enim magnae rotae.

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