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A Practical Handbook for Players
and Aficionados of the Hurdy-Gurdy


Author's Note

I have worked with hurdy-gurdies - instruments known in Europe since the ninth century - for almost a quarter of a century. I first encountered this musical instrument as a musician, but I tried until I was able to make my own first example. It gives me great pleasure to have this opportunity in my hands. I work with the same tools, materials and measurements as those who have gone before me, almost without change. I know of scarcely any other old instrument that is still suitable, in its original form, for the concert stage and demanding musical tastes of today.

I was dealing with a forgotten instrument, and it was very difficult to discover its literature, its types, and its history. I ended up in the unpleasant situation with many colleagues, students, and interested parties that I could not provide them with answers about the hurdy-gurdy. With this book I wish to give answers to questions posed to me that I could not answer, provide a comprehensive portrait of hurdy-gurdies and their history, and deliver some practical help and useful advice for players of the instrument. In contrast to regular primers for musical instruments, I wish to give knowledge in a nutshell, on the basis of which the reader can progress further by seeking more detailed studies and works of musical literature for the hurdy-gurdy. The following individuals were of great help to me in my work: Ágoston Zoltán Bartha, whose personal experiences have enriched the book; my American musician friend Arle Lommel, whose translation of this book has opened up possibilities for popularizing the tekerő outside of Hungary as well. I owe my thanks to them as well as to Ferenc Sebő, who has made the publication of the first book about the hurdy-gurdy in Hungary possible through the support of the Hungarian Heritage House (Hagyományok Háza).

Balázs Nagy

A kétnyelvű (magyar, angol) kötet tartalmazza a tekerő-tanításhoz szükséges hangszerismereteket, hangszertörténetet, tipusrajzokkal, ábrákkal szemléltetve azt. A szerző ismereteti a hangszer legfontosabb technikai beállításait és gyakorlati útmutatót ad a karbantartáshoz, a játékmód elsajátításához szükséges gyakorlatokkal. A népzenei gyakorlat alapján ismerteti használatát, néprajzi közlésekből, adatközlőktől származó leírásokkal, kottákkal, képekkel kiegészítve. A könyv az első ilyen jellegű magyar kiadványként ad összefoglalót a tekerőlant tárgykörében, terjedelme 135 oldal, mely kottamellékletet is tartalmaz, Papp Rókus délalföldi tekerős repertoárjával.

This bilingual (Hungarian and English) book contains the hurdy-gurdy - needed teaching musical skills, musical history , types of drawings , diagrams illustrating it. The author describes the main technical instrument settings, and practical guidelines for the maintenance of the practices necessary to master gameplay . The practice describes the use of folk music , from folk art communication , data transmission originating from descriptions, sheet music , complete with pictures . The book is the first such publication in Hungarian , as summarized in the area of the hurdy-gurdy , the scale 135 pages , which includes musicnotes, Rókus Papp Southern Lowlands hurdy-gurdy player's repertoire .


1. A tekerőlant története, típusai

1.1. Történelmi adatok
1.2. A tekerőlant típusai
1.3. A magyar tekerő
1.4. Néprajzi közlések

2. A tekerőlant használata, játékmódja
2.1. Gyakorlati tanácsok
2.2. A tekerőlanton való játék és a recsegés
2.3. A tekerőlanton való dallamjáték alapjai
2.4. Egyetlen reccsentésről és a ritmus szerepéről
a dél-alföldi zenében.

2.5. Kottapéldák

3. Hasznos tudnivalók
3.1. Hasznos tudnivalók, műszaki ismeretek
3.2. A recsegőszerkezet kezelése és beállításai

4. Melléklet

Ajánlott és felhasznált irodalom


1. History and types of hurdy gurdies

1.1. Historical background
1.2. Types of hurdy gurdies
1.3. The Hungarian tekerő
1.4. Ethnographic information

  2. Using and playing the tekerőlant
2.1. Practical advice
2.2. Playing and buzzing-bridge technique
2.3. Basics of melodic playing on the tekerő
2.4. Single buzzes and the role of rhythm in Southern Lowlands ( Délalföldi ) music

2.5. Sample scores

3. Useful information about the instrument ,
3.1. Technical tricks and tips
3.2. Adjusting and maintaining the buzzing-bridge system

4. Appendices

Further reading

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please don't hesitate to contact me!

Balázs NAGY