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



The handbook is available again! 

The second edition is ready, the book is available for purchase again! 

Click here to start the order!


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
Luteback Vielle Sofie