Fretted strings

Some of the fretted instruments of Anarchestra.  Most of the frets are (re)movable.

stopped strings playlist on youtube

peddlar 01 chilmark

Pedlar  Chilmark 01

Six strings stroked or hit with four footpedals to alter pitch.

bosco 01-03 chilmark

Bosco  Chilmark 01-03

A three stringed fretted neck and a two stringed unfretted neck sharing a resonator.

dubass 01 chilmark

Dubass  Chilmark 01

Pitch controlled by pedal operated frets.

basuka 02 chilmark

Basuka  Chilmark 02

A three stringed bass.

quesera 05 santa fe

Quesera  Santa Fe 05

who evolved into

spike 05-09 santa fe-tucson

Spike  Tucson 09

twobe 08 tucson

Twobe  Tucson 08

Two stringed bass.

horzba 08-10 tucson

Horzba  Tucson 08

Six string bass shown with two frets.

horzba (2) 14 tucson

Horzba (2) Tucson 14

With changed frets.

prout 08 tucson

Prout  Tucson 08

Three pairs of strings sounded by levered fret mechanism.

seegar 08 tucson

Seegar  Tucson 08

Two drone strings and a fretted playing string.

digger 09 tucson

Digger  Tucson 09

Two drone strings, two fretted playing strings.

venus 10 tucson

Venus  Tucson 10

Two stringed (usually) bowed instrument.

bows 09-10 tucson

Bows  Tucson 09-10

augie & dim 10 tucson

Augie and Dim  Tucson 10

Angie with three strings, Dim with four.

dovertue 13 Tucson

Dovertue  Tucson 13


Bang-O  Tucson 14

lilD 14 tucson

Lil D  Tucson 14

unstyungo 16 tucson

Unstyungo  Tucson 16

One drone string, one variable by roller string.

gorstra 16 tucson

Gorstra  Tucson 16

Three long strings, fretted or hammered-on by six movable spring-action frets.


Lorend  18 Tucson

Three low guitar strings and adjustable frets.



Unfretted Strings

Some of the non-fretted stringed instruments of Anarchestra.

stopped strings playlist on youtube

la bas 00 chilmark

La Bas  Chilmark 00

mickey one 03 chilmark mckeytoo 04 santa fe

Mickey One  Chilmark 03 and  McKeytoo  Santa Fe 04

Single stringed (usually) bowed instruments played with slides.

banderslide 05 santa fe phorques 03 chilmark

Banderslide  Santa Fe 05 (fr) and Phorques  Chilmark 03

The strings on these are bandsaw blades.

basicable 04 santa fe

Basicable  Santa Fe 04

The strings are braided wire rope.

monte 05 santa fe built by Myles Thurlow

Monte  Santa Fe 05

Built by Myles Thurlow

oo-ee-ood 06-09 santa fe-tucson

Oo-ee-ood  Santa Fe 06

too sly for one 04-06 santa fe

Two Sly for One  Santa Fe 04-06

Three instruments sharing one stand.

rollers & slide 04 santa fe

Rollers and slides  Santa Fe 04

retardog 09-11 tucson

Retardog  Tucson 09-11

P-Wreck 11 tucson

P-Wreck  Tucson 11

Eleven strings played with two slides.

B-Dex 12 tucson

B-Dex  Tucson 12

Three strings played with bow and slide.  Four sympathetic strings.

ernestone 12 tucson

Ernestone  Tucson 12

Even though this has frets (since removed), it is played with a slide.

bastid 14 tucson

Bastid  Tucson 14



Haramzadi  Tucson 17


Nanbarrow  17 Tucson

17 tunable strings playable clockwise and counterclockwise.  They are amplified by two pickups which can be selected or not.






Hurdy Gurdies

I call these hurdy-gurdies because they are stringed instruments played by wheels (thus producing a continuous sound) and nobody seems to have given such instruments a generic name.

playlist of anarchestra hurdy-gurdies on youtube

Some of the wheel-played instruments of Anarchestra.

wheely wheely 03-04 chilmark-santa fe

Wheely-Wheely  Chilmark 03

This wheel is covered with felt and plays a single string.

bite my crank 04 santa fe

bite my crank detail

Bite My Crank  Santa Fe 04

The uncoated aluminum wheel plays two strings, whose pitches can be altered by the two small pulleys hanging at the right.

gurd 06 santa fe

gurd detail

Gurd  Santa Fe 06

Four aluminum wheels driven by bike pedals play eight strings, four of which are played by a slide.

The aluminum wheeled instruments tended to screech.

basok 10-11 tucson

Basok  Tucson 10

One day Kino School shop-teacher Ed Davis brought his class to visit.  One of the students asked what a crank and shaft arrangement was for and I told him it was for a hurdy-gurdy.  He asked Ed what a hudry-gurdy was and Ed answered that it was a stringed instrument played by a leather wheel.  I had read everything I could find on hurdy-gurdies and had never come across anyone using leather (traditional hurdy-gurdies have wooden wheels).  Ed’s innate mechanical common sense prompted me to try leather for my wheels and I have been using it ever since.  Basok was the first of these.  It plays a single string and has a set of adjustable keys to effect the pitch.

gurdiad 10-11 tucson

 Gurdiad  Tucson 11

A leather wheel driven by a for pedal with two strings played by sets of keys.

turd 11 tucson

Turd  Tucson 11

Similar to Gurdiad, but with fretted neck.

Furth 13 Tucson

Furth  Tucson 12

Similar to Basok but with a fretted neck.  Where basok has an A string furth has a D.



Bigur  Tucson 17

Two drone strings and two fretted strings.



open-stringed instruments

Most of the common stringed instruments of the westworld are stopped-stringed, meaning that one hand controls the pitch (with or without frets) and the other hand excites them.

The open-stringed group consists or what are called harps, zithers, dulcimers, etc.  They are far more common in non-euroamerican parts of the world.  They offer opportunities to play with one hand and without the clenched fist required to play instruments with necks.  In addition they aren’t predisposed to right handed people.  They can be strummed, plucked, or struck and so tend to offer a variety of approaches and usages.

Some of these can seen played and yacked about on youtube

and here

Some of the open-stringed instruments of anarchestra.

harp 02 chilmark

Harp  Chilmark 02

pharo 03 santa fe

Pharo  Santa Fe 03

gurney 05 santa fe

Gurney  Santa Fe 05

trizome 06 santa fe built with Gaspard Cabanes

Trizome  Santa Fe 06

This was builtd in collaboration with Gaspard Cabanes.

king lyre 06 santa fe music box

King Lyre  Santa Fe 06

hendecq 10 tucson

Hendecq  Tucson 10

dron 11 14 tucson

Dron  Tucson 11

fumious 11 tucson

Fumious  Tucson 11

These strings are bandsaw blades

cuth 12 tucson

Cuth  Tucson 12

Wound piano strings with a satellite dish resonator.

Ena 12 tucson

Ena  Tucson 12

This has banks of three strings tuned to approximately the same pitch which gives each a ‘detuned’ sound (similar to that heard in gamelan music or from chorus pedals).

farp 14 tucson

Farp  Tucson 14

Four harps that can be tuned to whatever function requires and played by up to four players at once.  When a single player is playing a single harp the remaining three act as sympathetic strings.

gurnagin 14 tucson

Gurnagin  Tucson 14

regur 2014 tucson

Regur  Tucson 14

stigo 15 tucson

Stigo  Tucson 15

dyadolce 15 tucson

Dyadolce  Tucson 15

Paired strings (that play dyads) with adjustable bridges.

The building of it can be seen on youtube.