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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000132.txt from 2008/10

From: Gary Van Cott <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Re: Nintendo and the clarinet
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2008 13:37:04 -0400

Other instruments called hurdy gurdies

In the eighteenth century the term hurdy gurdy was also applied to a
small, portable "barrel organ" (a cranked box instrument with a number
of organ pipes, a bellows and a barrel with pins that rotated and
programmed the tunes) that was frequently played by poor buskers (street
musicians). Barrel organs require only the turning of the crank, and the
music is played automatically by pinned barrels, perforated paper rolls,
and more recently by electronic modules.

This confusion over what the name hurdy gurdy means is particular to
English, although similar confusion over other terms for the instrument
occurs in German and Hungarian due to unfamiliarity with the hurdy
gurdy. The French call the barrel organ the Orgue de Barbarie ("Barbary
organ"), and the Germans Drehorgel ("turned organ"), instead of
Drehleier ("turning lyre").

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Lora Crighton wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 12:35 PM, Tim Roberts <> wrote:
>> On Tue, 21 Oct 2008 20:14:43 -0400, "Lora Crighton"
>> <> wrote:
>>> On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 6:23 PM, Tim Roberts <> wrote
>>>>> So, this game requires roughly the same level of creativity as playing a
>>>>> player piano or a hurdy-gurdy.
>>> Why are you insulting hurdy-gurdy players?
>> Because "hurdy gurdy" means something different in American pop culture
>> than it does to aficionados. My apologies to the true "wheeled violin"
>> players of the world.
> What is the pop culture meaning?
> ------------------------------------------------------------------


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