Balázs NAGY hurdy-gurdy maker - Budapest


As a folk musician, I studied the hurdy-gurdy, the ways of making them,
the styles of playing them and slowly developed my own style of playing the instrument.
I experimented with other instruments, but the hurdy-gurdy was the most interesting for me. Now I've been working with this instrument for over 30 years. The first instruments I made were copies of museum pieces. Then based upon my own and my colleagues' experiences, I began "modifying" the instruments in order to live up to modern expectations of quality. These modifications are done without sacrificing the traditional form and decoration; basically from the outside they cannot be detected. From the collection, at the Ethnographic Museum in Budapest, I have gotten to know the forms and decoration characteristics of the Hungarian hurdy-gurdies. I have based the measurements and forms of my instruments on these experiences. In the course of my work through the years , every one of the old instruments I have seen has shown me special tricks and innovations which I faithfully incorporate into each of my instruments. Upon the requests of my musician colleagues, I have also started to make instruments with different forms and tunings.

Now in addition to the traditional hurdy-gurdy
from Hungary's Southern Plain (Dél-Alföld), there is also a larger one with a bass tuning. In accordance with other requests, I have begun to make a French style "vielle" and the simpler "symphonia" from romanesque times.
In addition to making new instruments for sale,
I also accept repair work, tuning and construction of cases.
I believe that is important to make the value of folk instruments widely known and thus take part in exhibitions as a craftsperson or hold live demonstrations.
As a former member of the Hungarian Instrument Makers Association, I participate in exhibitions and competitions, where I have earned awards for my work.

I wrote a book about my favourite theme: The Hurdy-Gurdy
: A Practical Handbook for Players and Aficionados of the
Tekerő (Hungarian Hurdy-Gurdy), it has a full English trans. by Arle Lommel.
History and method with sample tunes. 135 pages.
Hungarian Heritage House Publication Series, 2006

Bass H-G 1.
Bass H-G 2.







The Vielle Sofie - a new hurdy-gurdy style for 2015


The Vielle Sofie is a new style hurdy-gurdy that uses the latest technology to create a versatile, yet practical instrument. It combines a traditional form and lacquered finish with features that make players to come an expect. By merging the rounded bottom of traditional lute-back instruments with the shape of current guitar-bodied hurdy-gurdies, it yields a unique instrument that is comfortable to play whether sitting or standing.




The Vielle Sofie is set up with strings and a keyboard, typical of western instruments, and is finished in a natural shellac for a classic look (no plastics or artificial materials!). It is an electric instrument, and comes pre-equipped with internal pickups, a preamp, and an electronic tuner in order to meet today's demanding expectations.
( This installment is optional )

The Vielle Sofie features geared banjo tuning heads for easier and more precise tuning. Seven strings and a set of button-activated capo provide options for many different tunings and playing techniques. Players can use either of its two French-style buzzing bridge to play in the keys of G or D. By choosing among the strings and using the built-in capos a variety of keys are available: G, D, and A. The seventh string is tuned to G, allowing yet more tuning options. The Vielle Sofie can also be set up as a traditional C/G instrument by changing the strings.


  • Comfortable shape
  • Fully chromatic over two octaves with 23 keys
  • 2 trompettes, 3 chanterelles and 2 bass drones.
  • Screwed tangents (adjustable front/back as well as L/R)
  • Screw-adjustable bridges for the bass drones
  • Screw-adjustable axle for the lifting the wheel
  • Capo system (for two bass drone, two trompette, and the melody strings)
  • Includes waist strap and soft case (hard case is now unavailable.)
Vielle Sofie
Vielle Sofie

SMART - 2018

KobVielle - 2013'
new style of hurdy-gurdy

This instrument is a new style of hurdy-gurdy with the latest technology to create a versatile yet practical instrument.


Koboz - hungarian lute

This instrument's body derives its shape of an Asian-style lute called the koboz rather than from the classical lute shape, commonly found on hurdy-gurdies, giving it a distinctive appearance.

It is set up with strings and a keyboard typical of
western instruments.
It is finished in a natural shellac for a classic look
(no plastics or artificial materials!).



This is an electric instrument, and comes equipped with internal pickups, with a preamp option in order to meet today's demanding expectations.
It features geared banjo tuning heads for easier and more precise tuning.



KobVielle with six or seven strings and a set of capos provide many options for tuning and playing technique. In its basic setup it is equipped to play with two buzzing bridge in the key of G and D.

By choosing from among the strings and using the capos, additional keys are easily accessible: G, A, D, and C.
Using the seventh string enables the instrument to be played in the traditional vielle key of C. There is a special option to adjust the wheel position for better sound, for proper string pressure.



Are you looking for a hurdy-gurdy for sale?

If you want to get a reasonably priced hurdy-gurdy, write to me!
If you've got any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me!
Balázs NAGY



Vielle Sofie
Vielle Sofie
Vielle a roue
Gambaform HG
Hungarian HG
Hungarian HG
5 strings tenorsize HG
Gambaform HG with 4 string
Vielle Sofie
Vielle Sofie
Vielle Sofie
Vielle Sofie
Magyar tekerőlant
Magyar tekerőlant