Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Video: Organistrum

Last week's hurdy-gurdy post had me uncover another medieval instrument, the organistrum. This was an early version of the hurdy-gurdy, played by two people, one who turned the crank while the other pulled keys upwards to change the pitch of the melody strings. This is the instrument being played by the figures above Christ's head in the portal of glory (central doorway) of the West facade at the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Photo by Jessica Strider.

I wasn't able to find a video describing its use in English, so here's one uploaded by tzenobite showing what it sounds like. And if you'd like to learn about it in French, here's a video by Groupe OC.

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