60 Minutes (+/-) of Relaxing Nyckelharpa and Hurdy Gurdy Music

I was joined by Nyckelharpa player Claire Sweeney, of Morgantown, WV, a week and a half ago. She volunteered to help me play some tunes as a special event for a retreat I was leading.

A few members of the Hurdy Gurdy Community have asked for sheet music for the tunes we played. Many of these tunes are traditional Irish tunes. Some of the others are compositions from other hurdy gurdy players, as well as myself and Claire.

Below is a list of the available sheet music for these tunes. The others, we either never wrote out after we composed them, or we learned them by ear.

Inisheer – https://thesession.org/tunes/211
Attfield’s Lament – https://ashevillemandolin.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/attfields-lament.pdf
Farewell to Glasgow – https://thesession.org/tunes/1415
Return from Fingal – https://thesession.org/tunes/851
Monaghan Jig – https://thesession.org/tunes/67
Muireann’s – https://thesession.org/tunes/1902
Midnight on the Sea –
Deep Time –

Trip to Pakistan – https://thesession.org/tunes/112

Enjoy, and send us your performances of the tunes. We’d love to hear them.

Tobie Miller – Early Music, Who is the Goddess of Hurdy Gurdy, and Metronomes

This podcast was released at May 11th, 2021 at 2:59 PM Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly new. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)



Tobie Miller

One of the only hurdy gurdy players to come to the instrument through early music, she is recognized as a virtuoso of the baroque hurdy gurdy, and performs in various formations, including in duo with the Austrian hurdy gurdy player, Matthias Loibner, as well as with well- known conductors such as Jordi Savall, Christophe Coin, and Wieland Kuijken.

Featured Music –

La dupuits: Première partie (Prélude) Ensemble Danguy (Don Gee) · Tobie Miller

Le Printems ou Les Saisons amusantes, Op. 8: III. La Moisson (Allegro) · Ensemble Danguy · Tobie Miller

Redstorm – Gregory Jolivet

Violin Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006: III. Gavotte en Rondeau – Tobie Miller

Questions we likely asked Tobie Miller:

How did you discover the Hurdy Gurdy?

Why is it important to start in the French Classical style on the gurdy?

Tell us about your projects. What kind of music projects are you engaged in for those who don’t know.

Which goddess invented the hurdy gurdy?

What kinds of gurdies do you play?

Can we get funding for studying “Your brain on the Hurdy Gurdy”?

How does one go about learning and playing “early music” as you do?

What are some good historical methods of learning and playing the hurdy gurdy?

What was your favorite project you’ve been involved in and why?

Who are your top 3-5 players that you admire and that inspire you?

How can a metronome make us happier and healthier?

Which early music instruments were too provocative for women to play?

If someone wants to play and get that same sound like you, how would you advise they do it?

Claire Dugue on Hurdy Gurdy Building and Exoskeletons – HGCS2E5

This podcast was released at April 26th, 2021 at 11:31 PM Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly Full. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)

Video –

Podcast Audio –

Claire Dugue on Hurdy Gurdy Building and Exoskeletons – HGCS2E5

Featured Music

“Folhas Cintilantes” from Matthias Loibner

“Ouvrez la Porte “ F.Paris & G.Chabenat

“Longa Farhafsa” played by German Diaz and Pascal Lefeuvre.

Topics Covered

How did you first learn about Hurdy Gurdy?

How did you learn to build Hurdy Gurdies?

What made you decided to start building?

How long have you been building?

How do you approach building?

Were you inspired by any particular builders?

Do all the hurdy gurdy makers in the UK hang out?

Who needs more trompettes?

What model hurdy gurdy does Claire Dugue offer?

What’s the deal with the exoskeleton on the Gurdies?

What special electronics can go into a Dugue Hurdy Gurdy?

What’s the best part of being a Hurdy Gurdy builder?

What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn to build a hurdy gurdy?

What was the hardest part about learning to build a hurdy gurdy?

What are some general maintenance tips and strategies you recommend for keeping gurdies sounding good.

What machinery is needed to build a good hurdy gurdy?

What is the best kind of luthier to take your hurdy gurdy to for repairs, if you don’t have access to a hurdy gurdy luthier?

How much does humidity effect a hurdy gurdy?

For more information about Claire’s work please visit:


Efrén López, The Queen of Spain, A Fretted Hurdy Gurdy, subtract a Pope – S2E1HGC

This podcast was released at February 27th, 2021 at 3:00 AM Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly Full. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)
Our guest today is Efren Lopez.

Podcast Audio to Download –


Hurdy Gurdy Cafe Season 2 Episode 1

Efren Lopez

Featured Music: Can Vei La Lauzeta Mover · Els Trobadors

1) How was Efren Lopez introduced to the Hurdy Gurdy?

2) Where and when did the sound of early music develop?

3) How does Efren Lopez feel when he plays music?

4) How does the Queen of Spain feel about Efren’s music?

5) How powerful is the Hurdy Gurdy?

6) What was Efren Lopez’s first hurdy gurdy?

7) How does Efren Lopez approach recording with the Hurdy Gurdy?

8) What do fretless double neck guitars and E-bows have in common?

Featured Music: Black Os – Tiennet – Patrick Bouffard

9) Who influenced Efren Lopez the most?

10) What are Efren Lopez’s favorite instruments?

11) What is a fretted hurdy gurdy?

12) Is there a fretted nerdy gurdy hurdy gurdy?

13) What is Efren’s favorite hurdy gurdy tuning?

14) What is Efren’s advice to beginning to play the hurdy gurdy?

15) What was Efren’s experience with the Queen of Spain?Featured Music: Hedningarna – Polska efter Olof Tillman

Special thanks to Sergio Gonzalez (https://www.zanfoneando.com/) and Efren Lopez (https://www.efrenlopez.net/instruments/).

Pablo Urssuson of Sangre de Muerdago and the Poetry of the Hurdy Gurdy – HGC S1 E9

This podcast was released at November 15, 2020 at 12:07 AM Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly New. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)

Our guest today is Pablo Urssuson.

The audio of today’s podcast-

The video of today’s podcast-

Featured Music –

-SANGRE DE MUERDAGO – Heavy Mental (Live Session 2019)

-Sangre de Muerdago – Lonxania – Lonshania –  Track 5

-Skamgreppet · Hedningarna (band)

Topics Include:

What kind of music does Sangre De Muerdago and Pablo play?

Do you need to know how to read and write music to compose good music?

How did Pablo Ursusson begin playing the Hurdy Gurdy?  Punk?

How is Punk music related to the folk tradition?

Is it OK if your first Hurdy Gurdy doesn’t have a trompette?

How long has Pablo been playing the Hurdy Gurdy?

Is it good to sacrifice technicality for musicality?

Is it better to be self-taught on the Hurdy Gurdy?

How important is the coup? Should be we glorify it?

When are you going to use coup de 12?

When does Sangre de Muerdago’s new album come out?

What does the Adam’s Family Theme song have to do with the Hurdy Gurdy?

What is the best way to approach Hurdy Gurdy as a beginner?

Can you learn how to play the Hurdy Gurdy without maintaining it?

How important is the right hand, trompette technique, to playing the Hurdy Gurdy well?

How important is it to tap your foot while playing the Hurdy Gurdy?

How important is it to start just being creative with the Hurdy Gurdy, even before you really know how to play?

Is it better to learn from sheet music or by ear training?

Special Thanks to Pablo of Sangre de Muerdago for being with us today. https://www.sangredemuerdago.com/

And Special Thanks to Sergio Gonzalez for bringing it all together.

Scott Gayman, Hurdy Gurdy Origins and The Scene in America

This podcast was released at October 16, 2020 at 3:30 PM Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly new. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)

Our guest today is Scott Gayman.

The audio of today’s podcast-

The video of today’s podcast-

Topics Include:

Where Can I Play a Hurdy Gurdy in the United States?

Featured Music –

Tarif de Nuit – Famous Wolf

What are the origins of the Hurdy Gurdy in relationship to France?

How old is the Hurdy Gurdy?

What’s up with Hurdy Gurdies in the United States?

Who is Mary Vanhoozer?


Featured Music –

Tend’m – Indiférrence

What is the history of the yearly Hurdy Gurdy gathering in Indiana?

Will we finally have a good Hurdy Gurdy builder in the United States?  Could Michael Opp be that premier Hurdy Gurdy of the USA?

How can you find the Hurdy Gurdy sound that fits you?

Will Hurdy Gurdies catch on with bands in the United States?

What is the Hurdy Gurdy Association and what can I learn from it?

Where can I get a Hurdy Gurdy for $300.00?

What is a “Closet Hurdy Gurdy Player”?

How do I pick a Hurdy Gurdy with good resale value?

What does the Devil have to do with the Hurdy Gurdy?

Featured Music –

Patrick Bouffard and Gilles Chabenat play “Vouvray” for Zona da Zanfona, an International festival around the hurdy gurdy in Rianxo.

Pagans, Metal and the Hurdy Gurdy – Hurdy Gurdy Cafe Podcast Season 1 Episode 5

This podcast was released at Sept. 17, 2020 at 7:00 am Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly new. (For show notes and podcast audio, scroll down, down, down…)

Video –

Introducing Sam Riffle, moderator of the Hurdy Gurdy Community on Facebook. If you really want to make a good decision about buying and playing the Hurdy Gurdy, join this group first.  (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2038441566425103/2154206864848572/)

Featured Music
Mike Smith – Tea in the Morning – https://www.youtube.com/user/gurdymike/videos
Bube Dame König – Heideförsterlied – https://www.youtube.com/c/neuevolkslieder/videos
Zirp – La Toupie https://www.facebook.com/zirpmusic/

Sam’s background
-Mittelalterrock (medieval rock) scene in Germany – bands like Subway to Sally, In Extremo, Schandmaul
-Pagan metal bands (Arkona, Eluveitie) 
-Sam’s hurdy-gurdy teachers – Silke Reichmann de Salas (daugher of Frankfurt-based luthier Kurt Reichmann), Simon Wascher (Austria)
-Renting a hurdy gurdy
-Repetitive stress injuries (don’t play for 8 hours a day!)
-Eluveitie forum, forum meetup, meeting Anna Murphy 
-Advice on buying a gurdy from Anna Murphy, Stephan Groth, Alexis Vacher
-Helpful hurdy-gurdy players

-Visit to LSC in 2012 – Gotschy (Alexandra Betz), Neil Brook, Sebastian Hilsmann
-Beginner instruments, how many melody strings, pressure on the fingers
-Swapping out melody strings, experimenting

-Mike Smith – YouTube tune collection, good player, good gurdies, paintings

Hurdy Gurdy Community – origins, documentation, limitations
-The hurdy gurdy & patience
-Situation in the US
-HCG website in the works – articles, FAQs, profiles/info from experts, make info public and visible
-Spanish podcast?

Hurdy gurdy & metal
-Eluveitie & Anna Murphy, Cellar Darling
-Apocalypse Orchestra
-Corvus Corax & medieval rock
-Sangre de Muerdago & Antlers
-Afsky – Danish black metal with hurdy gurdy track
-Shredding on the gurdy, why a fully-loaded gurdy might make sense
-Michalina’s tutorials for the latest Eluveitie tracks
-Lack of dynamics in most metal bands using gurdy – lost in the mix
-Build metal around a gurdy, don’t just add gurdy

Zirp, Liederlicher Unfug – Stephan Groth
5-4-O Video (new track): https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=253636805535079

The T-Rex Hand and top 6 Ways to Wear Your Hurdy Gurdy – HGC Podcast S1E4

This podcast was released at Sept. 2, 2020 at 1:22 am Eastern Time Zone, as the Moon is perfectly full. (For show notes, scroll down, down, down…)

Audio –

Video –

Introducing Sanne van Gend from the Netherlands…The T-Rex Hand and top 6 Ways to Wear Your Hurdy Gurdy – HGC Podcast S1E4

Sanne’s Dutch tune project is called Holland Historie –

Featured Music…
Sint Tuenis Poort (Saint Tuenis Gate) – Dutch folk on hurdy gurdy – Performed by Sanne van Gend
Het viel eens hemels douwe (The holy ghost once descended)– Dutch folk on hurdy gurdy – performed by Sanne van Gend and Jimi Hellinga
CORRETTE // La Furstemberg by Ensemble Danguy / Tobie Miller

What did we talk about on this Hurdy Gurdy Cafe Podcast?
What’s a good hurdy gurdy festival?
Where can you rent a hurdy gurdy?
Are there Viking Hurdy Gurdies?
Does anyone in the United States play the Hurdy Gurdy? Maybe check the
Hurdy Gurdy census… https://www.zanfoneando.com/hurdy-gurdy-census/
Is the hurdy gurdy music in Black Sails authentic?
Can adventurers really carry a hurdy gurdy in Dungeons and Dragons games?
What is a good posture for playing the Hurdy Gurdy?
What is a T-Rex hand?
Is playing the hurdy gurdy with poor posture as bad as falling down stairs?
Is it normal to feel tension when playing the hurdy gurdy?
Align your hurdy gurdy with your knob.
How can you learn the hurdy gurdy faster?
What are good tips for learning the trompette?

Evolution of Modern Hurdy Gurdy (Plus €1000 Aplo Review with Scott Marshall) – HGC S1E3

This podcast was released at 10:42 PM Eastern Time Zone, on August 18th, as the Moon is perfectly new. (For show notes, scroll down, down, down…)


Audio- (Available on Podbean, Spotify and iTunes) @

Featured Music
Scott Marshall- Woodhenge from Gurdy Mania II – https://www.facebook.com/gurdymania
Steve Tyler – Chronophage – https://stevetyler.bandcamp.com/releases
Symbio – Playing ‘Les Fil’ – by Gilles Chabenat

The Evolution of the Hurdy Gurdy from traditional to Modern – with examples from Sam Palmer, Wolfgang Weischelbaumer and MM Instruments (Ancestore)

Lets look a Samuel Palmer hurdy gurdy.
Do you need a tool to tune an older hurdy gurdy?
What is a luteback hurdy hurdy?
Are traditional wooden tangents better than metal tangents?
Is it better to have a solid wood wheel on your hurdy gurdy?
Are there capos on traditional hurdy gurdies?
Where is the best place to record hurdy gurdies? Jon Loomes – Talking Cat Studios…
How do pedals work with a hurdy gurdy?
What is a modern hurdy gurdy like?
Who invented metal tangents for the hurdy gurdy?
Let’s Look at a Wolfgang Weichselbaumer hurdy gurdy.
How do sympathetic strings sound when amplified on the hurdy gurdy?
What is a drop wheel on the hurdy gurdy?
What is a good introductory instrument for the money, that is modern?
What is Scott’s YouTube page? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAOK3cUv3K2pRSIhkt0Osbg
What is the Aplo hurdy gurdy by Ancestore?
Are longer scale length hurdy gurdies better than a short scale?
Should I have other friends than hurdy gurdy players?
Are hurdy gurdies good for codependant people?
Is gurdy mania a medical condition or not?
Where can I buy Gurdymania? https://www.facebook.com/gurdymania

The Hurdy Gurdy Cafe Season 1 Episode 2 with Sergio Gonzalez – What the Crank?

This podcast was released at 11:59 AM Eastern Time Zone, on August 3rd, as the Moon is perfectly full. (For show notes, scroll down, down, down…)


Audio- (Available on Podbean, Spotify and iTunes)

The Hurdy Gurdy Cafe Podcast Season 1 Episode 2- Show Notes

What the Crank?

How to think of “weird” time signatures: 11/8, 7/8, 3/8, 9/8?

What is a Kopanitsa?

What are the signs a hurdy gurdy is poorly constructed? (So I know what to beware of.)

Efren Lopez’s band is called L’ham de foc.

How important is the wheel in the hurdy gurdy?

Should the wheel be small?

What if my hurdy gurdy has a poor finish?

What is the difference between a modern style versus classic Hurdy Gurdy?

What’s the benefit of adjustable bridges, different kinds of tangents, friction pegs, etc?

Are capos necessary on the Hurdy Gurdy?

How many add-ons or extras do I need on my Hurdy Gurdy?  How many capos or melody strings do I need?

What should I carry in my Hurdy Gurdy kit?

Featured Music

Efren Lopez – Kopanitsa

Neil Brook – Drops of Brandy/Fox Hunter’s – from the album Rambles in the Park

Michalina Malisz – Morrison’s Jig

Learning to Play the Hurdy Gurdy

What is a slip jig?

What’s the best approach to learning the Hurdy Gurdy?

How do you find an up to date book or hurdy gurdy method that is not outdated?

How important are lessons when learning the Hurdy Gurdy?

What can I do to prepare for playing a hurdy gurdy while I’m waiting for one to be built?

Thanks again Sergio… https://www.zanfoneando.com/hurdy-gurdy-online-lessons/