Two Symphonies
A pair of Symphonies

TThe Symphony is one of the earlier and simpler forms of the hurdy-gurdy. Symphonies can be seen in the 13th century "Cantigas de Santa Maria", in various psalters, and in carvings on the walls of cathedrals. They became less common after the 15th century.

Two medieval gentlemen playing symphonies
Two gentlemen playing Symphonies

The Diabolus symphony is a three-stringed instrument, with a single chanterelle (melody string) and two drones. It has a twelve-note diatonic range, which is ample for most medieval tunes. I have improved the design over many years. It is now a lovely, stable little instrument, not too difficult to tune and play, but quite versatile.

It has a rich, complex tone, which particularly lends itself to contemplative music, although it is quite capable of jollity. It makes an attractive solo instrument, but it is also ideal for accompanying the voice.

I keep the basic design simple, and therefore relatively cheap. If you're after something more decorative, I can add soundhole roses, inlay, chip carving - tell me what you'd like and I'll work out a price. Strap buttons can be added if you want to play it standing up.

It is usually tuned in C - the chanterelle is G, with C and G drones. But it can be tuned in various ways to suit the repertoire you're playing, or to match other instruments. If you want to deviate radically from standard tuning, I can work out modified stringing.

Sound Clips

Two medieval songs - "Edi beo thu, heven-quene" and "Gabriel fram heven-king"

(People with perfect pitch will notice that this symphony is tuned in modern D, not C)


Medieval Symphony
The symphony isn't quite as delicate as a baroque guitar, but a case is still advisable. Excellent cases can be ordered from specialist manufacturers such as Kingham MTM, but they're pricy. I can supply an attractive, custom-built plywood case, black with chrome fittings, for £150 when ordered with an instrument.
Delivery price depends on where you live. Please enquire.
Inlay, carving, paint - please enquire.
To order or enquire, please contact me