The "buzzing drone" string was one of the fascinating things about the
instrument I heard. The guy who was playing it took the time to explain to
the audience how it worked and demonstrated the different rhythms that
could be achieved by varying the pressure used to turn the handle that
rotates the wheel.
The guy's name was Daniel Thonon (from Belgium I think) - he made the
instrument he played himself, in addition to a "diatonic clarinet",
whatever that may be!
Sorry about the misuse of the French language - it's been a while...
Philippe Varlet <[log in to unmask]> on 09/23/98 06:02:22 AM
Please respond to Irish Traditional Music List
<[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
cc: (bcc: Peter Haworth/Tivoli Systems)
Subject: Re: Instruments in Irish music (Flute mostly)
At 03:24 PM 9/22/98 -0700, Peter F. Haworth wrote:
>Also, has anyone ever come across Irish traditional music played on a
>hurdy-gurdy, or vielle a roux to give it it's French name? There is
>band Ad Vielle Que Pourra who play around here (N. California) fairly
>regularly who use one of these fascinating instruments. Their music is
>obviously mostly French but some of it is celtic-influenced. The hurdy
>gurdy has melody strings and drone strings which to me give it a definite
>celtic sound, but I've never heard or seen an Irish or Scottish band using
That's "vielle a roue" (as in wheel, roux is for Bechamel sauce...). Andy
Irvine played one with Planxty and with Paul Brady, but it was a simpler
instrument than the French-style hurdy-gurdy which has a rhythmic device
derived from the Tromba Marina, a drone string on a movable bridge that can
be made to buzz on the top of the instrument.
[log in to unmask]