From its origins in early medieval Europe, the hurdy-gurdy has captured the imaginations of musicians, audiences and artists. This curious and compelling instrument has worn many mantles over the centuries: solemn fixture in sacred rituals, staple at the courts of kingdoms of legend, rabble rouser at raucous parties and companion of genteel ladies and blind beggars. Discussion topics include the timeline of the instrument and where one may have found it throughout history, the repertoire and where to source it, and contemporary communities and marketplaces for hurdy-gurdies. Participants with their own hurdy-gurdies will be encouraged to demonstrate their instruments in class. Open to all.