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Beautiful Music NOW - hurdy-gurdy

hurdy-gurdy, French, second half 18th century
Metropolitan Museum of Art
hurdy-gurdy, French, second half 18th century

Today's Beautiful Music is an introduction to the hurdy-gurdy. The unusual string instrument is played with a hand crank, and its ancestor -- the organistrum -- dates back at least to the 12th century, and quite possibly earlier. You can watch a cool video interview about the hurdy-gurdy and how it works.

You can also hear a hurdy-gurdy solo.

Suzanne Bona is the host and executive producer of Sunday Baroque, a nationally syndicated weekly radio show of Baroque and early music which she originated on WSHU in 1987.