Ya hurdy me

By: epluribusgeenum

May 05 2009

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Category: music

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The way I see the evolution of musical instruments, in the simplest terms, is like this:

Objects that make noise > Mechanisms > Electronics

I’m mostly interested in the middle ground, the mechanisms of music. The instruments whose devices are based on machines, but require your hands (or feet, if you’re extra talented?)… or at least a human body in some shape or form. The semantics of that word organology blankets what is in my opinion the coolest aspect of instruments. That an archeaologist can find, say, a rock, from thousands of years ago… and it will be considered an instrument if a human had a hand — haha LITERALLY– in it. And not just a tool, because an instrument has a purpose of its own, whereas a tool is best utilized toward a separate purpose. It makes me think of that age-old conundrum: if a tree falls in a forest but no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Hell yes, it does! It need a human to experience the sound, but the sound’s still there. In fact a negative answer to that question always irked me because not only is it egotistical but it questions whether or not reality exists outside the realm of human thought. But that’s an entirely different can of worms…

I’ve been having trouble figuring out electronic music and I can’t tell if it’s because my interest just truly lies in the way strings, hollowed out holes, and the whole analog scheme… or if I’m just entering a new frontier that I just ain’t ready for. Anyway the whole purpose of this post was to talk about the Hurdy Gurdy but now I’m too tired and lazy to talk about it so I’ll just let wikipedia and youtube do it for me. Someone on this video summed it up best: “That thing looks and sounds like the bastard offspring of an orgy involving a violin, a keyboard, a meat grinder, and a bagpipe.” It really does sound pretty lame on its own… if I saw someone playing this on the street I’d pass by with a “Cool!” but that’s about it. But imagine it coupled with the right electronic noises?

“Hi, I’m the Hurdy Gurdy Man, and this is my hurdy gurdy, man!”


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