Matthew Szostak's Hurdy-Gurdy Page
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.
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).
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.
7 Grove Street
Camden, Maine 04843
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