Gurdy” is a medieval word for your bottom, and “hurdy” means “turn,” so it’s “swing your bottom.” It’s a dance instrument. This is the instrument they would have used for medieval raves.
Most hurdy gurdies have multiple drone strings, which give a constant pitch accompaniment to the melody, resulting in a sound similar to that of bagpipes. For this reason, the hurdy gurdy is often used interchangeably or along with bagpipes, particularly in French and contemporary Hungarian and Galician folk music.
Many folk music festivals in Europe feature music groups with hurdy gurdy players. The most famous annual festival has been held since 1976 at Saint-Chartier in the Indre département in Central France. In 2009, it re-located nearby to the Château d'Ars at La Châtre, where it continues to take place during the week nearest July 14 (Bastille Day).