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<   No. 4249   2020-05-07   >

Comic #4249

1 Ishmael: Come on, we need to get out of here.
2 Giuseppe: If only I had some music...
3 Giuseppe: The best accompaniment is the traditional cranked string instrument of Italian opera.
4 Ishmael: Cranked?
4 Giuseppe: The Verdi-gurdy.

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The hurdy-gurdy is a musical instrument with a hand-turned crank that rotates a wheel, treated with rosin for its frictional properties, and the wheel rubs against a series of strings to produce musical notes. The string are selected by the player using a small keyboard - pressing a key causes levers to hold the selected string against the turning wheel, which vibrates the string in a way similar to a violin bow rubbing against a violin string.

The name "hurdy-gurdy" is also sometimes used to describe the different instruments known as barrel organs and street organs, which are pneumatic organs in which a hand crank operates a bellows that blows air through a set of organ pipes. The crank also turns a wheel encoded with pins that automatically plays a sequence of notes, producing a tune without the operator - also known as an organ-grinder - having to play the tune.

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