Greetings, my fellow Babbagers.
I should like at this time to present to you a bit of the new technology I have been developing at the Clockwork Music workshop in the Port. Some of you may have heard odd sounds in the vicinity, and now you shall understand why. I have developed a Hurdy Gurdy.
Some of you may be asking “What is a hurdy gurdy anyway?” and for good reason. A hurdy gurdy is an ancient instrument, a form of fiddle played not with a bow but by rubbing a rosin-coated wheel against the instruments strings. They have in the past enjoyed wide popularity, but today they tend to be limited to street musicians and the folk music of France and Hungary. The length of some of the hurdy gurdy’s strings can be adjusted by use of a row of buttons along the side of the instrument, which allows a melody to be played, while accompanied by drone notes, somewhat similar to bagpipe music. Also similar to bagpipe music is the inability to pause the sound of the hurdy gurdy. While the wheel is turning, the notes play, even with none of the melody keys engaged.
I am sure some of you are now saying “Another mechanical musical instrument from Clockwork Music. I should be surprised?” However, this instrument differs from all of my previous instruments in two important ways:
1) Zero land impact. While the hurdy gurdy itself has a land impact of 16 prims, it is most easily played by wearing the instrument, which reduces the land impact to 0. (It also contains simple animations for holding and playing the instrument.)
2) Create your own music. Although the hurdy gurdy package includes a collection of (at least) 26 songs (including English songs, French songs, and Christmas songs) that can easily be played by anyone, those who understand the names of musical notes can, with the included instructions, record whatever songs they find in their heads in a form that will play upon the instrument.
The mechanics of the instrument rely upon reading and interpreting an abridged version of the ABC music notation format. This is a text-only music notation system. If you recognize “C E G” as a C-major triad, you probably know enough music to write down songs in ABC notation. Full instructions are included with the machine, of course.
You may view a brief performance on the hurdy gurdy through the Aetheric Network by directing your analytical engine toward data at the following node: http://youtu.be/fD5zFkoYR2g
The instrument may also be viewed at the Clockwork Music showroom on the Port next to Cuffs. The instrument is hung on a mannequin in the shop window, and can easily be played (without the animation, of course). The “New Item” sign beside the display will deliver to any interested party a detailed description of the instrument and the workings and structure of the modified ABC music notation system it employs.
I hope will take a moment to visit the showroom. Be warned, however, the hurdy gurdy can be a loud instrument.
Your humble servant,
Inventor, Musician, Shopkeeper