Wood; mother-of-pearl inlay
Gift of Clara Taplin Rankin 2020.422
This vielle à roue was made in the French village of Jenzat, which was the manufacturing center for hurdy-gurdies during the 19th century.
In France, the hurdy-gurdy is known as the vielle à roue (wheel fiddle). This six-stringed musical instrument produces sound by a hand crank-turned wheel that rubs against the strings. The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes sound similar to those of a violin. Melodies are played on a keyboard that presses small wedges against the strings to change their pitch.
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