What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Hurdy Gurdy Girl


Patty Gurdy

Patty Gurdy/Photo by Io Von Harpyie

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably heard the term ‘hurdy gurdy’ with respect to music, but somehow I got the impression that it was a style of music rather than a musical instrument. I was mistaken. Popular in Europe during the Medieval period, the hurdy gurdy looks like a jacked-up neckless guitar, with 12 strings that are played by tapping keys which raise frets under the strings and turning a crank which turns a wheel. The wheel acts as a bow, producing distinctive, haunting tones. Because it can play bass, melody and rhythm all at once, the hurdy gurdy produces a rich, complex sound beautifully suited to traditional Medieval, Irish, and folk music. I got curious about how it could be used to produce more modern music, as well.

I went looking for modern hurdy gurdy musicians, and I happily stumbled upon German singer/songwriter Patty Gurdy. Her YouTube channel offers many informational and instructional videos about the instrument, alongside a few beautiful recordings of her playing and singing.

You can follow the very talented Patty Gurdy on Facebook and on her YouTube channel.


Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

11 thoughts on “Hurdy Gurdy Girl

  1. Interesting. Must have been pretty difficult to design this instrument. Sounds a lot like pipes… which I love to hear. Must be the Scotts in my background.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful. Yes, it does have a pipe sound, but it sure is different than any pipes that I have hard. Wonder how long it took her to learn to play it. Going on a side trip, I thought the Marble Machine was more like a music box. I wonder if he invented it. Thanks for another great day = Hal

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved the Marble Machine! That was really cool, too. Very glad you are liking the instrument posts!


    • She played the recorder at 4. Took piano lessons starting at 5 until 18. Three kinds of singing lessons growing up. Played in bands starting at 10 years of age. Within a couple years she was writing songs for the band. Taught herself guitar and other instruments. She says it only took her two weeks, two hours a day to learn how to play the Hurdy Gurdy. She says if you can play instruments that have your hands doing two different things, that it’s not that hard. Of course she was a child prodigy, so I’m sure it’s actually quit hard! She has written a couple songs for the Amazon series, Carnival Row. She has been asked to become an actress. She is so talented and highly sought after by bands in Europe. No wander. She’s unique, a talented singer and songwriter, gorgeous and has a very powerful voice. Her accent and eyes are mesmerizing. She is unbelievably intelligent and very funny. The complete woman and a real superstar in the making.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful, haunting! Reminds me of bagpipes, too… which I also love!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always thought a hurdy-gurdy was a completely mechanical instrument that could only play two or three pre-determined songs.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Happy New Year! | My OBT

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