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Hurdy Gurdy Weekend

Friday 10 Feb 4pm — Sunday 12 Feb 4pm, 2023

To make a booking enquiry please complete the form below. We will contact you to confirm availability and complete your booking.

Course Enquiry

  • Halsway Manor will not share your details with any third parties.


Full board per person (tuition, activities, all meals & accommodation):

  • £285– single ensuite room
  • £245– sharing an ensuite room
  • £245– single non-ensuite room
  • £195– sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (tuition, activities, all meals):

  • £185

Non Resident (tuition, activities, all meals except breakfast):

  • £175

Guaranteed to be one of Halsway’s noisiest weekends, this popular Hurdy-Gurdy Weekend runs alongside our Bagpipe Weekend in an intensive learning weekend of masterclasses, workshops, sessions and a Saturday night concert/dance. A frenzy of reeds, drones and buzzing things! Early booking advised.

The weekend is hosted by Claire Dugué, hurdy-gurdy maker and repairer, and she’ll be available to help people get the most out of their instruments with tips  for maintenance. Our International tutor team includes Steve Tyler (Advanced Hurdy Gurdy Workshop), Jasper Van den Bergh (Intermediate Hudy Gurdy Workshop) and Scott Marshall (Beginner Hurdy Gurdy Workshop). Each tutor will dedicate themselves to a specific group for the full weekend allowing for maximum learning and progression. You will need to decide which group you wish to join and tell us when booking; numbers in each group are limited.

For an extra £40, participants can stay until Monday morning, including supper and B&B. Please enquire when booking.

Who’s it For?

This course will be for players of the hurdy-gurdy.

Hurdy Gurdy – Advanced Class with Steve Tyler: The workshop will look at rhythmic and melodic patterns to help synchronise melody and trompette so expanding the repertoire of techniques used to embellish a melody. Material used will include a straightforward tune, a medieval piece and something in a less standard rhythm, with the group either playing in unison using various embellishments or playing polyphonic parts.

A reasonable fluency with coup de 4 for the trompette will be assumed. I usually use a D drone/trompette which allows for playing with D or G instruments (but if all participants favour C then that can be used).

Hurdy Gurdy – Intermediate Class with Jasper Van den Bergh: Throughout the course we will work on dissociation, some modality, and practical skills.
For the course a certain working knowledge of the coup de quatre and a basic knowledge of music notation is recommended.

Hurdy Gurdy – Elementary Class with Scott Marshall: This workshop is for both complete day one beginners and for those who have been playing for sometime but want to brush up on their core techniques. Scott will tailor his workshop to the students.

You will work on good habits of posture and left hand fingering articulation. Regarding the rhythm and right hand technique, Scott will work through the basic useful buzzes and towards the “coup de quatre” level. Exercises will be linked to tune fragments and simple group pieces to make the workshop a more pleasant memorable experience.

The Team

Claire Dugué, a native of France, encountered the hurdy-gurdy in London during her college training as an instrument maker. She was captivated by the instrument and has been making hurdy-gurdies ever since, producing quality instrument for amateur and professionals alike. Claire has become integral to the organisation of the weekend; she will be hosting the event and be also at hand to help with the technical aspects of setup and maintenance.

Steve Tyler (UK): Steve Tyler is best known as a hurdy gurdy player, renowned for his rhythmic and inventive playing, and is equally at home with early music, traditional melodies or modern compositions. He has performed with such diverse artists as English folk singer Jackie Oates, German industrial/electronic musician F.M.Einheit and South African puppeteer John Roberts, and has played for theatrical productions (including Comus and Secret Theatre at The Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), historical and traditional dances, mixed media performances and worked with storytellers Clive Fairweather and Dave Oliver.

For many years a performer of medieval music, his main interest is in patterns, rhythms, the interweaving of different parts and sonic structures, and to this end works on dark multitrack music mixing hurdy gurdies with dulcimer, reed organ, cittern and diverse instruments, inspired by patterns in nature, mathematics and the imagination.

He performs as a duo with Katy Marchant (bagpipes, recorder, shawm, voice) or with their band Woodwose, and is a member of trans-cultural collaboration Meridianum Ensemble.

Jasper Van den Bergh (NL): Jasper graduated as a historical musicologist in 2017. Throughout his study he cultivated an interest in Arab language, culture, and music, musically expressed in a percussion project (darabuka) with Sattar al-Saadi (Conservatoire of Amsterdam). At the moment he completes a research master Musicology at Utrecht University. Although Jasper  originally started with classical guitar – he still is part of the NJGO guitar ensemble – the hurdy-gurdy became his main instrument. He had lessons with Valentin Clastrier, Matthias Loibner, Isabelle Pignol, Thierry Nouat, Patrick Bouffard and Tobie Miller. He now regularly teaches contemporary hurdy-gurdy techniques in the Netherlands.

Scott Marshall (UK) has been playing hurdy-gurdy since 2005. He has been a regular festival and workshop tutor for the last decade. In 2017 he recorded his first solo album Gurdymania, followed in 2018 by Gurdymania 2, using multiple hurdy-gurdies and effects units. He is currently recording the third and final Gurdymania album before moving onto new folk and metal projects. He will be teaching the beginners class at Halsway focusing on good habits, solid playing skills and creating musical exercises for practice.