Traditional Instrumentarium

Exhibition from the Collection of the Museum of Folk Musical Instruments in Szydłowiec

27 April – 1 September 2019

Curator of the exhibition: Hanna Golla

The exhibition presents 79 instruments which give Polish folk music its characteristic sound: chordophones, in which the sound is produced by a taut string (violin, bass, dulcimer); aerophones, which emit sound using air vibration (all types of Polish bagpipes, instruments played by shepherds such as trembita, as well as reed pipes, panpipes, whistles); a variety of membraphones (frame drums, ‘burczybasy’ i.e. drums made from open-ended barrels); idiophones in which the whole surface vibrates producing sound (rattles, clappers, bells).

All the exhibits were constructed as part of the cyclical nationwide competition in building folk music instruments which has been organized by the museum in Szydłowiec since the 1980s. Up to now five editions of this competition have taken place, and in the last one – organized in 2016 – the participants were both craftsmen representing older generations (born before 1935), and young enthusiasts, some of them self-taught and others who explore the instrumental tradition of their region under the expert eye of the older masters.

The exhibition also shows photographs of folk bands and musicians, and a selection of short films using the material collected for the museum in Szydłowiec during field research conducted in 2016. The films present several contemporary creators of folk music instruments and document their work.