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
Handbook : 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
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 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 electro-acoustic 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 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 D, allowing yet more tuning options. The 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
- Capo system (for one bass drone, one trompette, and the melody strings)
- Includes waist strap and soft case
SMART - 2018
KobVielle - 2013'
new style of hurdy-gurdy
This instrument is a new style of hurdy-gurdy that combines features of both Hungarian and Western European-style instruments with the latest technology to create a versatile yet practical instrument.
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
It is finished in a natural shellac for a classic look
(no plastics or artificial materials!).
This is an electro-acoustic instrument, and comes equipped with internal pickups, a preamp, and an electronic tuner in order to meet today's demanding expectations. It features geared banjo tuning heads for easier and more precise tuning.
The instrument comes with two different cranks, a shorter one appropriate for playing Hungarian rhythms and a longer one for Western European-style rhythmic techniques.
Seven strings and a set of capo buttons provide many options for tuning and playing technique. In its basic setup it is equipped to play with a Hungarian (lever-adjusted) buzzing bridge in the key of G.
It also features a French-style buzzing bridge, allowing players to select which they want to use.
By choosing from among the strings and using the capo buttons, 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 as well as in F.
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!
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