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HURDY GURDY: Build your own musical instrument!

Del Ray Artisans Gallery
2704 Mount Vernon Ave
Alexandria, Virginia 22301

Del Ray Artisans turns THIRTY this year. To celebrate, take one or more of our rhyming programs in September!

During the HURDY GURDY workshop, you will build your own working medieval wheel instrument! The HURDY GURDY looks like a spaceship, but you turn the handle that presses a rosined wheel against two strings. First mentioned in a 10th-century manuscript with two operators, the HURDY GURDY became a one-person instrument in the 13th century and was all the rage in the 17th-century court of King Louis XIV. In Ukraine, it is known as the lira or relia. It was and still is played by professional, often blind, itinerant musicians known as lirnyky.

No experience is necessary. Follow step-by-step instructions with a punning historian who can’t remember left and right! You will be chortling as you assemble your very own wooden puzzle and sing along to Donovan.

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