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There's a guy at the BART station lately who's playing a musical instrument I have never seen.

It looks like a miniature pirate ship, kind of, without the sails. The "prow" of the ship has a (wooden) head sticking out of it, kind of like a knob.

The stern of the ship has a crank handle on it.

It has strings strung across the deck over a big hole in the center of the deck.

It is held with the bottom of the boat against the guy's stomach while he is sitting down, prow on his left and stern on his right. He turns the crank while manipulating some little keys -- more like upside-down wooden trumpet keys -- that are to one side of the strings. When the instrument is held sideways, the keys are underneath the strings.

It sounds like an Irish instruments, in that the music he is playing sounds like music that you'd hear when someone is doing a jig.

The crank seems to make a droning sound like a bagpipe.

I'd ask the guy, but he's busy playing it and making a living and I'm usually rushing to work when I pass him.

Go ahead. Give it a try.

Extra points for linking to a photo of it.

MOI
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Hurdy Gurdy?


http://www.hotpipes.com/hgdemo.html


Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding!!!!!

Give this man a kewpie doll!

Thanks. I'd heard the name but never saw one before.
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http://www.lyricsdepot.com/donovan/hurdy-gurdy-man.html


Yes, I know the song. I've had it running around my head ever since I learned what the instrument was.

Somehow, this song does not evoke pictures of that instrument at all, even though I've now seen one.

MOI
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It's funny. Based on the dictionary definition, I'd always pictured a hurdy-gurdy as that square box with the crank on the side that the guy with the monkey played, like in the original movie Heidi. I never saw nor heard nor heard of these exotic versions.

I'm in awe.

MOI
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RE: MOI: "this song does not evoke pictures of that instrument at all"

I always pictured the hurdy gurdy as being that cranked box-on-a-stick played by a gypsie with a monkey?

SB (maybe smoked too many banana peels?)
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33.000+ hurdy gurdy pics:

http://tinyurl.com/2eazya

Many gypsies & monkeys included!
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