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The Hurdy Gurdy (also called a Wheel Fiddle) is an odd and ancient instrument stemming back at least to the 7th century. The instrument looks like a cross between a violin, a zither, and a Rube Goldberg cartoon. Its buzzing, abrasive, and gripping tone is made by turning a crank, which makes a rosined wheel spin against a set of strings. While one hand turns the crank, the other hand changes pitch by pushing down on…

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