This odd instrument existed in France as early as the 10th century and became very popular in the following centuries. It consists of several violin strings which are sounded by a wooden wheel turned by hand at one end of the instrument. Four strings are used to play a constant drone, while the tune is played on two other strings by the use of fingers on piano-type keys. At first, the hurdy-gurdy was used for religious music and there was very often one man to turn the handle and one to play the tune. Later it became popular with the troubadours. In the 19th century it was used by street musicians. The hurdy-gurdy is often confused with the barrel-organ.