Die Drehleier

by Marianne Bröcker

This part of the hurdy-gurdy website is an English translation of the definitive hurdy-gurdy reference book Die Drehleier (The Hurdy-gurdy), written by Dr. Marianne Bröcker.

Permission for distribution

We are most grateful to the author, Dr. Bröcker, and the publisher, Verlag für systematische Musikwissenschaft GmbH, for their generous permission to translate this document and distribute the translation on the web. This permission extends only to our own distribution, not to any other reproduction. Short passages of a few sentences may be used only if the author, publisher, original reference, and this website are all cited as sources. If you wish to reproduce additional material from Die Drehleier, it is your responsibility to contact the author and publisher to obtain formal permission.

The structure of this site

Each page of the text contains a chapter of the translated text, with a navigation bar at the top of the page:

Table of contents Previous chapter Next chapter References Figures

The translated text is referenced to the original text, chapter by chapter, section by section, and page by page. The original page numbers are shown in brackets: [page][27]. References to footnotes are also shown in brackets, with a number indicating the page followed by a dash and a number indicating the footnote number: [fn][27-3] indicates footnote #3 on page 27, and is linked to that page's footnotes. As much translation as possible of the original footnotes is included with the footnote material at the end of each chapter, divided into their appropriate pages by bracketed page numbers. Most of the footnotes are written in German referring to a text with a German name. While it is possible to translate everything completely, this would to a great extent render the footnotes useless to a researcher who wants to refer to the original source document. Book and article titles remain in their original language.

This translation is a work in progress. The text is full of notations such as [figlink] which will be replaced with actual links to the illustration or page as the material is brought online. [trans] indicates a passage which is awaiting an appropriate translation. If you are proficient with the language in question, your contribution of a translation will be most appreciated.

Diagrams and tables from the text are reproduced in their original places. In the original two-volume book, the drawings, photos and other graphic representations were collected in the second volume. These sources are generically referred to in the translated text as illustrations, with appropriate links to the page which shows the material. Use the "Back" button on your browser to return you to the text you were reading. Throughout the text there are passages where the author refers to the text on another page. Links have been provided to these reference points. Again, use the "Back" button on your browser to return to your starting point. A master page of the illustrations and musical examples is included.

We have worked to make the translation as readable as possible while maintaining the flavor of the original text. There are occasional editorial notes for clarification. These notes are clearly delineated as having been added by the editor. As translators and editors, we have done our best to avoid imposing our own opinions on the original text into the translation.

To start reading the text, choose "Next Chapter" in the example navigation bar shown above.

The Translation Team

As the editor of this translation, I am most grateful to all of the members of the translation team. This work is truly a group effort, and there are many who are not listed here who have also contributed in some way. Thanks to all! Special thanks go to my dear wife Cali, who has put up with me poring over old books and mumbling to myself through the many years that this process has taken. While everyone listed below has made substantial contributions to this work, particular thanks must go to two individuals without whom this work would not have come its current state: Edward Turner for commissioning the initial translation document, and Markus Miller for producing it and hand-typing it.


Alden Hackmann

Contributors (in alphabetical order)

Joanne Andrus Sharon Berman
Marjy Fiddler Cali Hackmann
Arthur Hixson Dave Holland
Judith Lindenau Markus Miller
Jacob Priestly Oliver Seeler
Roy Trotter Edward Turner
Juan Wijngaard Christina Wright


Beati illi qui in circulum circumeunt, fient enim magnae rotae. Please contact us if you have comments or questions about this page or other pages on this site.

Alden and Cali Hackmann
Olympic Musical Instruments

© Original text in German copyright 1977, Verlag für systematische Musikwissenschaft GmbH
© Translation copyright 2005, Olympic Musical Instruments