Welcome to the part of the website dedicated to the baroque Hurdy-Gurdy or Vielle à Roue, and the related repertoire and instruments of mid-eighteenth century France.


I am a great enthusiast of the Baroque Hurdy-Gurdy: an instrument also known as the Baroque Vielle or French baroque vielle à roue. I have also become interested in the Musette, the Viola da Gamba and Pardessus de Viole all of which are instruments that relate in some way to the same repertoire.

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The photograph above shows a modern instrument modelled upon a 1781 J-N.Lambert of Paris. This fine instrument made by Neil Brook of Preston in 2007 features a maple body and a mahogany soundboard. To hear it being played please visit the jukebox page.

This site has a specific focus on the French Baroque repertoire written for this instrument and its drone cousin the Musette between c.1730 and c.1783 and discusses the instruments and techniques involved in its performance. The purpose of the Vielle à Roue pages is to provide information, sheet music, and performance guidelines for any readers interested in this most fascinating of Baroque drone instruments.

Newsflash.

The most recent significant additions to this website are:-

I hope by means of this website, and in common with the ardent desire of certain authors and players of the Eighteenth century, that this  instrument, and the music that it reveals to us, should become more worthy of, and acquire the respect of, mainstream Classical or Baroque musicians by means of presenting to them, and the general public, performances that reflect the acknowledged conventions of the Classical musical discipline and are accurate, well reasoned and musically pleasing.

Currently the instrument is all too often dismissed out of hand by musical professionals who have not yet heard the instrument played with sensitivity and skill and are thus literally judging the instrument from a position of ignorance. That the vielle is worthy of much greater respect than that in which it is currently held is beyond question.

I beg the indulgence of those whose views differ from mine.