devil's fiddle

Devil's fiddle has the shape of a stick with the head of the monster, devil, rustic or straw-cover in the hat on it. Straw sticking out from under its hat, and all kinds of badges are attached to it. The fiddle is actually a full orchestra because it buzzes, squeaks, jingles and rattles. A violin-shaped board is placed below half of the stick.

devil's fiddle

The devil's fiddle is a high instrument, measuring up to two meters. It has a sound box, with the peak of the instrument combines them one, two or three wire strings that buzz when are pulled. The tin box filled with hard objects is attached to the board that rattles when is shaken.

It is a kind of drum and bass in one. Additional sounds can be extracted with a hand or a stick hitting the board or box. It can be also a melodic instrument, due to the ability to change the tension of the strings by the knob. The devil's fiddle usually accompanies folk bands, awakening the interest of viewers and making a little extra noise.

The instrument is the most widespread in Kashubia. According to the legend, the Kashubian "devil's fiddle" was the favorite instrument of witches, because its shape resembles a broomstick, on which allegedly witches were flying.

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devil's fiddle-legend


The instruments recorded in the project come from museum of sound with more than 80 thousand object collections from the National Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw. Together with museum staff we have chosen 23 instruments guided by the following principles – they should be definitely folk, unusual, derived from the old times, Polish and coming from different cultural backgrounds, also exotic like e.g. Asian.

Recording a full range of tone of 23 instruments - tonal and sonic scale lasted several days. Thanks to the recordings - sound banks were created and have been used in the project in two ways. The first way was based on motion-sensitive controllers which created new practical instrumentarium for use during the workshops and animation activities. The second way was placing recorded sounds on the website for promotion of the idea of the project and gathering a great number of recipients.

All instruments were also photographed and described which enabled creating of publicly accessible compendium of information about them.