Reichmann lute-back hurdy gurdy G/C

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Reichmann lute-back hurdy gurdy G/C

Postby halpin_bridget » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:35 pm

It was only by chance (or maybe it was fate ;) ?) that I started to learn to play the hurdy gurdy and by the same chance - as I live in Frankfurt am Main - that I bought a Reichmann hurdy gurdy. Initially, I had wanted to buy a renaissance HG (as these were the most inexpensive he has) but Kurt Reichmann didn't have any at that time. However, he was working on a series of lute backed ones. As he needed someone to help him in his workshop (sanding and polishing) it was a case of being at the right place at the right time - it saved me EUR 500 and was very interesting . In addition, I had "first choice" so to speak out of the series of approx. 18 lute backed HGs. That was spring 2006. Although I've heard from other players that it can take some time before a new HG sounds good, I didn't have that problem with mine.

Then I ordered one of the soft HG cases that Neil Brook sells - it really is fantastic. As it's made to fit a large lute backed HG but mine is smaller, I was able to get almost all of my clothes in there as well when I went home by train to London to visit my family last year. And two years ago I had a capo added (for the trompette to change from c to d) and exchanged the second chanterelle for a low g. I'd never played the two high chanterelles together as it was far too loud!

Here are some pictures of my gurdy:

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Reichmann G/C
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Reichmann_2.JPG
Reichmann G/C
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Reichmann_3.JPG
Reichmann G/C
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Re: Reichmann lute-back hurdy gurdy G/C

Postby WaterPig Master » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:52 pm

Beautiful! I've only seen one other gurdy with (visible) sympathetic strings... what are they tuned to? Is it the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th of the scale, or something like that?

Thanks,
Barnaby
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Re: Reichmann lute-back hurdy gurdy G/C

Postby halpin_bridget » Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:53 am

Hi Barnaby,
Yes, I think it's beautiful, too. The finish isn't perfect (which doesn't bother me though) - Kurt Reichmann's gurdies have a bit more "rustic" look to them - but I like the sound and it plays well (providing I play well ;) ).
The sympathetic strings are tuned to G and C normally (if my memory serves me right), but at the moment they're a bit out of tune ... must sort that out!
Bridget :P
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Re: Reichmann lute-back hurdy gurdy G/C

Postby WaterPig Master » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:06 pm

Hi there

Literally, they're tuned to the notes G and C? So there are 2 of each note? High and low?
Lucky you got the position in the workshop - not only saving €500 but also gaining invaluable knowledge into the construction of the gurdy!

The scale length seems quite short - although admittedly on my Mountain Dulcimer I rarely go above the first octave. Is that limiting, or does it actually just free up space?

Thanks,
Barnaby
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Re: Reichmann lute-back hurdy gurdy G/C

Postby halpin_bridget » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:42 am

Hi Barnaby,
I checked my sympathetic strings yesterday and they are currently in b flat - so maybe they should all actually be in c (that would be quite a high c as the strings are like mandolin strings). But as I'll be going for a drink with some gurdy friends this evening, among them Kurt Reichmann, I'll be able to find out the exact tuning for my sympathetic strings (which won't be a bad thing!).
The sounding length on my gurdy is 350mm which is a little longer than someone else's on the forum (their Colson is 338mm, but they mentioned that 345mm is more usual). I'm not very up on the "normal" or "average" sounding lengths and all that technical stuff I'm afraid. My gurdy has 2 octaves which is the standard. However, the higher scale as of e are very difficult to get into proper tune - I confess I've not bothered too much about it as the highest I've had to play so far was the high d.
Regards,
Bridget :o)
Last edited by halpin_bridget on Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reichmann lute-back hurdy gurdy G/C

Postby WaterPig Master » Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:35 pm

Hi there

I stand corrected, you do indeed have 2 octaves! For some reason I thought it was only one. I have always been fascinated by sympathetic strings.

I don't know what the standard VSL is - I do know that my symphonie will have it though! Not sure wether there is a complete Standard or wether there are many different ones - maybe someone who knows what they are talking about will correct!

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Barnaby
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Re: Reichmann lute-back hurdy gurdy G/C

Postby gurdymaker » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:43 am

Hi
The early Jenzat gurdies all seem to have a 345mm sounding length so as it seems to work fine, most modern makers have adopted that as a standard. If you go longer in the same tuning, your strings ( if the same guage), will sound louder being under more tension, but you lose some of the vibrato . Go shorter and the same strings will be quieter but have more expression possibilites for vibrato, bending etc.
Regards
Neil
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Re: Reichmann lute-back hurdy gurdy G/C

Postby halpin_bridget » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:56 am

It's taken a bit longer than I thought, but I finally remembered to ask Kurt Reichmann about the tuning of my sympathetic strings. Initially, I had thought they were in C and G but when I checked them they were all in B flat (I knew they had been out of tune for some time) so it made sense that they should all be in C. And indeed, Kurt Reichmann confirmed that as he makes G/C HGs he tunes all sympathetic strings to C.
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Re: Reichmann lute-back hurdy gurdy G/C

Postby WaterPig Master » Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:45 pm

Hi,

Oh, ok. I know Neil does some nice things with 4 mandolin strings - but I've never actually heard one. Whether or not there is a difference, I do not know.

Thanks,
Barnaby
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Re: Reichmann lute-back hurdy gurdy G/C

Postby paulehowland » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:47 pm

This thread got me looking at Reichmann's website http://www.kurt-reichmann.de/node/10. But I'm puzzled - when I look at the photograph at the top of this page of the end of a gurdy, it looks to me that the top of the gurdy is coming away from the lute body. Surely not? Can anyone explain this photograph - it seems an odd choice to promote his work! Or have I misinterpreted the photograph.

Secondly - and this reflects my poor German - some of his gurdys come "mit mechaniken" - which Google translates just as tuners. What is the option actually referring to?

Thanks,

Paul
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