The hurdy-gurdy is a string instrument that produces a sound resembling one of a bagpipe by a hand-turned wheel rubbing against the strings working similarly to a violin and a fiddle bow.
The history of this instrument begins in the 15th century. One of the earliest forms of the hurdy-gurdy was the organistrum (a portable organ) in Medieval Europe. After some modifications it became a common instrument among travelling musicians in England and went through its renaissance period in the later 17th-18th centuries as more of the noble class musical instrument for the amusement of the rich. Those instruments were decorated by craftsmen with inlays and carving and had the built-in hurdy-gurdy mechanism into the guitar or lute body. Some call the Hurdy-Gurdy music "a medieval rock’n’roll", which we find pretty cool. It captured us and we decided to create the Ugears' version of the Hurdy-Gurdy.
UGears keeps expanding the creative world of hobbies and opening an assembly process as an exciting game. Inspired by the art of Celtic and Scandinavian medieval craftsmen and enriched by smart engineering of the XXI century UGears is introducing — Hurdy-Gurdy – the world’s first mechanical musical model and the genuine gem of the collection. It is the most extraordinary mechanical model kit which is all-in-one: model for self-assembly, toy and fully fledged musical instrument. The Hurdy-Gurdy plays dancing melodies, from folk to modern, being the bridge between the medieval times and the present day. The unique blend of the joy of creation, playing music, and engineering and design. Just build it together with your own hands and feel like Stradivari or a popular Hurdy-Gurdy star! The Ugears Hurdy-Gurdy model was successfully launched on Kickstarter in July, 2017
Based on the 15th Century organistrum, Ugears has created an intricately detailed, fully functional version of this medieval instrument. The finished model looks remarkably akin to the original 16th century hurdy gurdy, giving it a wonderfully medieval aesthetic. This wooden attractive and educational model has a highly detailed exquisite décor of the body crafted in romantic style and turns the assembly and playing process into an exciting game and brings you hours of pleasure and fun.
It’s easy to play dancing melodies, from folk to modern. To start the music flowing, the player just need to crank the handle with one hand to kick off a drone sound from the bourdon and melody strings. Pushing the wooden buttons with the fingers of the other hand changes the pitch of the melody string, as "spring-loaded" wooden blocks essentially shorten the string. Ugears will include some tablature with the kit to get newbies off to a flying start.
The Ugears Hurdy-Gurdy comes with everything needed for assembly. All the pieces are precut into the plywood boards and are easily removed for assembly following the detailed instructions provided. The only non-wood parts, by necessity, are the two strings that rub against the crank powered wheel and the rosin used to wax it.
Model Size: 15,7*6.5*8,7 in (40*16,5*22 cm)
Package size: 14,9*6.7*2 in (37,8*17*5 cm)
Assembly Time: 4-5 hours
Recommended Age: 14+