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"Flights of Fancy" options

One of the great joys of the hurdy-gurdy is the incredible variety of shapes and decorations it can have. Time and money being the finite resources they are, we have more ideas for instrument design, materials and decoration than we can build. Here are a few that we have thought of but haven't been able to build yet. Some of them are way over the top, admittedly, but worse things have been done to hurdy-gurdies: check out the French instrument so encrusted with ivory and mirrors that it's unplayable.

  • Northwest Native American art: traditional dancing mask carved on the peghead; Raven stealing the sun on the keybox top; Raven finding the first people under a clamshell on the wheel cover; formline decoration on the tailpiece, and formline soundholes.

  • Mermaid theme hurdy-gurdy: Mermaid head carved on peghead, inlaid design of her body on the keybox top and her tail on (appropriately enough) the tailpiece, abalone shell binding.

  • "Egyptian theme" hurdy-gurdy: with the dog-headed god Anubis on the peghead; the eagle with wings spread on the keybox top, like Tutanhkamen's pectoral; the sun symbol on the wheel cover, with the beetles supporting it; heiroglyphic symbols on the tailpiece and inside the keybox, anhk-shaped soundholes.

  • "Grateful Dead" hurdy-gurdy: Jerry Garcia on the peghead (see the back of Blues for Allah for an idea of what this would look like); the trim pieces inlaid with the dancing skeletons, with the red/blue lighting skull on the center of the wheel cover (of course we'd need to get permission from Grateful Dead Productions); tie-dyed body finish and case.

  • All-weather hurdy-gurdy: the body material is 4041 sheet aluminum welded to aluminum braces and sides; the trim pieces are sheet aluminum and stainless steel, with aluminum keybox, Delrin keyshafts and resin cast keyfronts; handle is resin cast on a Delrin bearing and stainless steel shaft and crank, wheel is resin cast. Just let the elements or the airlines try to bother this one! What would it sound like? Who knows! There's only one way to find out...

  • The updated organized hurdy-gurdy: Tthe hurdy-gurdy with added organ pipes was briefly popular during the late Baroque era, and then sank into obscurity. It's a serious challenge to get the pressure from the bellows to be smooth while making the very uneven motions required for getting the chien to sound, as well as getting the pipes in tune with the strings. Modern technology should be able to help us, and while we're at it, we'd use the wonderful buzzy pipes typically used in a regal. Now that's something you don't see every day.

  • "See-through" hurdy-gurdy: All body parts except the metal ones are made of acrylic or other clear plastic of appropriate thicknesses. Everything is revealed! No more questions about where the air comes out!

  • "Generic" hurdy-gurdy: white lacquer finish, with barcode inlaid in ebony

Of course we don't have prices set for these instruments. If you are interested or have your own cool idea for a hurdy-gurdy you just can't live without, please contact us. To return to the options of the instrument you were looking at, use the "Back" button in your web browser.




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Beati illi qui in circulum circumeunt, fient enim magnae rotae. Please contact us if you have comments or questions about this page or any other page on this site.

Alden and Cali Hackmann
Olympic Musical Instruments

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

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