Matthew Szostak's Hurdy-Gurdy Page

Updated: February 12, 2007.
General Information changed.

** To all visitors: Although I will continue to maintain this website, and to entertain hurdy-gurdy-related inquires and requests of any nature, I am no longer taking orders for custom instruments. I will continue to build hurdy-gurdies and to offer them for sale when they are complete.

** TFTM (Tucson Friends of Traditional Music) Visitors: Please note that the list of hurdy-gurdy models and price quotes listed in the 2/07 "Hello Hurdy-Gurdy" column are not mine. I cannot vouch for the prices, but those instrument models are made by Olympic Instruments. See my links page for their contact information.

Playing the hurdy-gurdy at a local festival. 28kb

Welcome! I build and play hurdy-gurdies; I also play guitar and cittern and sing, usually accompanying my partner, Anne Dodson. That's me above, as you probably have guessed, playing at the Farnsworth Museum here in Maine.

There are quite a few other sites devoted to the hurdy-gurdy; my goal is to add to their content rather than duplicate it.


What you will find here:

General Information

Upcoming Events:


Hurdy-Gurdy Method

I continue to get inquiries about hurdy-gurdy playing instruction, and so I still have information about Doreen Muskett's book, Method for the Hurdy-Gurdy, listed here.

Doreen's book, now in it's 3rd edition, is a wonderful resource, containing much useful information regarding the history of the instrument and basic hurdy-gurdy maintenance. But most importantly, it's a well-organized lesson plan for the would-be hurdy-gurdy player, as well as the more advanced player. It is well illustrated and contains notation for over 75 pieces of music from many countries and many centuries. There is a companion CD which, I believe, contains the music and layout from the previous edition - useful even if it doesn't follow the new book's layout exactly.

In my well-worn 2nd edition, a Style and Interpretation section focuses on baroque hurdy-gurdy music, whose characteristics and ornamentations were often carefully notated. Dr. Robert Green, author of the book, The Hurdy-Gurdy in Eighteenth-Century France, told me, "I think highly of [Doreen Muskett's] method; ... it has very good exercises."

Both the book and CD can be purchased directly from Michael Muskett; $50.00 for the book, $20 for the CD, postage paid. (email Michael for payment details).

Hurdy-gurdy Music:

I'm often asked where recorded music for the hurdy-gurdy can be found. The Wee Piper has a great selection of music, both "domestic and imported," featuring the hurdy-gurdy! Email them for more information and a price list.

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Do you need advice with a hurdy-gurdy related issue?
Questions or comments of any type are welcome!
Please feel free to contact me by regular mail or email.

7 Grove Street
Camden, Maine 04843


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