In music a bourdon is a drone bass, as in a bagpipe, or a hurdy-gurdy. A bordon is also a kind of organ stop having a droning quality of tone.
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A hurdy-gurdy is a musical instrument of ancient origin, popular among most of the European nations during the 19th century. It consists of a flat rectangular sounding board, upon which are stretched four to six strings of catgut or sometimes wire, two of which are carried directly to the tailpiece, and tuned in unison, and one or both are stopped by a simple apparatus of keys, which shortens the vibratory length to make the melody. The strings are set in vibration by the friction of a wooden wheel charged with rein and turned by means of a handle at one end.
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