Recordings featuring the hurdy gurdy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The following recordings and films feature music played on the hurdy gurdy.


  • There is hurdy gurdy and border pipes on the Earthly Delights album Pleasures for Four Seasons and Favourites for Four Settings, played by John Garden and located at Earthly Delights. Each tune is also supplied with sheet music for musicians to use.
  • Canadian-born Barb Dwyer has recorded three CDs while living in Australia: Riding the Wild Gurdy Gander, Hullabaloom and La Langue Sauvage.
  • In the Melbourne based neo-classical/goth project called The Victim's Ball, Hurdy gurdys are widely featured in various tracks.
  • The Australian world/fusion group Umanee features hurdy gurdy in many of their songs.




  • Patrick Bouffard is a master player and composer in the Bourbonnais and Auvergne traditions, and has recorded several albums with Trio Patrick Bouffard, Les Vielleux du Bourbonnais, La Chavannée de Montbel and other groups.
  • Gilles Chabenat is a composer and master player of traditional and experimental electronic hurdy-gurdy styles.
  • The band Dédale features Isabelle Pignol on hurdy grudy.
  • Jean-François Dutertre's CD Chansons de Normandie (2002) features the hurdy gurdy.
  • Grégory Jolivet.
  • La Chavannée.
  • La Machine.
  • French improviser Dominique Regef plays hurdy gurdy in the Spectrum String Trio on their 2008 release Spectrum.
  • The folk band Tapage includes Stéphane Durand on acoustic and electro-acoustic hurdy gurdy; they have released two CDs: Partage Nocturne and Tapage. Stéphane Durand also recorded a duo album with Thierry Nouat: Machiavel.
  • The avant-garde band Zaar has a hurdy gurdy player.


  • The pagan folk band Faun uses hurdy gurdy on their albums.
  • The German folk-rock metal band In Extremo sometimes uses a hurdy gurdy in their songs.
  • The German folk-rock band Schandmaul uses a hurdy gurdy.



  • The Irish musician Andy Irvine has played the hurdy gurdy throughout his career and most of his albums feature at least one track where he uses the instrument. For example:
    • Planxty Irwin (released on Planxty's first album in 1973)
    • Lough Erne Shore and Streets of Derry (released on the Andy Irvine and Paul Brady album in 1976)
    • I Am A Youth That's Inclined To Ramble and Jackson And Jane (released on Paul Brady's Welcome Here Kind Stranger album in 1978)
    • The Gerriere And The Constitution (released on the Mick Hanly's As I Went Over Blackwater album in 1980)
    • Come to the Land of Sweet Liberty and Longford Weaver (both released on his first solo album Rainy Sundays... Windy Dreams in 1980)
    • and many more since then.


  • The Italian Folk-rock band Lou Dalfin uses massively the hurdy gurdy in all their albums. Sergio Berardo, the founder and lead figure of the band, plays the hurdy gurdy.


  • Keiji Haino has recorded an album that uses the hurdy gurdy, The 21st Century Hard-y Guide-y Man.


  • The rock band Lazywall used a hurdy gurdy played by Zarand Schuller as an introduction to their concerts on their tour of France in November 2007


  • The pagan folk band Omnia has hurdy gurdy on many tracks on their album Pagan Folk (2006), played by Jennifer Van der Harten-Evans.


  • The psychedelic stoner rock band Obiat uses a hurdy gurdy played by Zarand Schuller in some of its live concerts and on its second album Disturbulence.


  • The line-up of the popular Asturian folk band La Bandina includes the hurdy gurdy player Merce Santos.
  • German Diaz.
  • Marc Egea (kaulakau...)
  • Adriá Grandia.
  • Oscar Fernandez (Os Cempés, Bonovo...)
  • Efren lopez (Evo, L´Ham de Foc...)
  • Jota Martinez (Mara Aranda, Al Andaluz Project...)
  • Anxo Pintos.
  • Rafa Martin (La Musgaña)


  • Hurdy gurdies are used in many of the recordings by the Swedish groups Garmarna and Hedningarna.
  • In 1999, Stefan Brisland-Ferner of Garmarna and Hållbus Totte Mattson of Hedningarna began collaborating on a musical project to explore a novel use of hurdy gurdies, based on the idea that the hurdy gurdy was the mediaeval equivalent of a synthesizer. In 2005, they released their first album under the name Hurdy-Gurdy, titled Prototyp. The album consists of twelve traditional and original songs, played entirely on two Swedish hurdy gurdies by Brisland-Ferner and Mattson. Specialized recording and computer editing techniques were used to produce a number of unique musical effects.


  • The folk metal band Eluveitie uses the hurdy gurdy in many of their songs, played by Anna Murphy.


  • Ritchie Blackmore sometimes plays a hurdy gurdy with the band Blackmore's Night, as seen on their concert DVD Paris Moon
  • The group Blowzabella feature hurdy-gurdies together with bagpipes and an array of acoustic instruments "to produce an inimitable, driving drone-based sound influenced by British and European traditional dance music."
  • The Broadside Band, a traditional English folk band, features a hurdy gurdy on many of their songs.
  • Nigel Eaton has recorded with Blowzabella and also several solo CDs: Whirling Pope Joan (with Julie Murphy) in 1994 and The Duellists (with Cliff Stapleton and Chris Walshaw) in 1997, among others. He also plays hurdy gurdy on No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded, the 1994 album of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant's 1990s band Page and Plant, most notably on their new version of Nobody's Fault but Mine. However, the most famous use of the hurdy gurdy would be the intro of Led Zeppelin's song In the light from the 1975 album [Physical Graffiti].
  • The album In Elven Lands by The Fellowship features a hurdy gurdy played by Ethan James.
  • Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page can be seen playing a hurdy gurdy in the Zeppelin movie The Song Remains the Same, sitting in front of his 18th century manor at Plumpton, Sussex. The tune played is called Autumn Lake. Page and Plant are also seen using a hurdy gurdy in a 1994 recording of Gallows Pole.
  • The multi-instrumentalist Brendan Perry is also a hurdy gurdy virtuoso and used one in the live performance of Saltarello in the 2005 tour of his former band Dead Can Dance.
  • Jem Finer plays a hurdy gurdy on the Pogues' Misty Morning, Albert Bridge, from their album Peace and Love.
  • Sting played a hurdy gurdy accompanying Alison Krauss in the song You Will Be My Ain True Love from the Cold Mountain soundtrack.


  • The instrument is used in the introduction of the song, East Harlem by American alternative band, Beirut, on their 2011 album, The Rip Tide.
  • The indie rock band The Decemberists employ a hurdy gurdy in many of their songs including Sons and Daughters on their fourth album, The Crane Wife.
  • The folk trio French Creek from California include Penny Cloud on hurdy gurdy and have released the CD Fait en Californie.
  • David Eugene Edwards of the band 16 Horsepower plays the Hurdy gurdy (among other instruments).
  • There is a hurdy gurdy on the Metallica album ReLoad, played by David Miles on the 11th track, Low Man's Lyric.
  • Hurdy Gurdy is used on two tracks of The Civil War album by experimental electronic music duo Matmos.
  • Brendan O'Brien plays the hurdy gurdy on the track Into The Fire from the Bruce Springsteen album The Rising. O'Brien also produced the album.
  • Jim O'Rourke's one track album Happy Days features the hurdy gurdy.
  • The album The Raven by Lou Reed features a hurdy gurdy played by Frank Wulff on two songs: Overture and The Fall Of The House Of Usher.
  • The Rose Ensemble, an early music group based in Minnesota, frequently uses the hurdy gurdy in performances and recordings.
  • The New York ensemble Unto Ashes use hurdy gurdy in their funerary song Exeunt Omnia which also features dulcimer and percussion. In Tous Esforcier the hurdy gurdy is used as a drone, accompanied by voice, French horn, and percussion.
  • The hurdy gurdy is played by Tony Berg on the track Hang On, from Weezer's 2010 album, Hurley.
  • The hurdy gurdy is played by John C. Van Orman on the track "King of Old-Time France", from his album, Love, Liquor, and the Lord.

Multinational compilations[edit]

  • There are a large number of field recordings available, both commercially and in archives, of traditional musicians from France, Spain, Hungary, etc., playing hurdy-gurdies. Examples include the 10-CD box set Une Anthologie des Musiques Traditionnelles (2010), which has several tracks of performances on the hurdy-gurdy by traditional players, and the Spanish musician Faustino Santalices' Gravacions Historicas de Zanfona, 1927-1949.)

In films[edit]

  • In the 1937 movie Captains Courageous, Spencer Tracy is seen playing a hurdy gurdy.
  • Ridley Scott's first feature film in 1977, The Duellists, includes a short scene with two hurdy gurdy players in a tavern.
  • The 2003 movie Monster has music by BT (Brian Wayne Transeau) that includes a hurdy gurdy, played by Ben Grossman. It is available on CD Music From & Inspired By the Film Monster released by Digital Sound in 2004.
  • The movie The Polar Express has a hobo on top of the train playing a hurdy gurdy
  • Composer Bear McCreary features the hurdy gurdy as the main body of his title score for the Starz series Black Sails

See also[edit]

French Wikipedia article on the hurdy gurdy.
French Wikipedia article on hurdy gurdy players.