greater Polish bagpipes

A woodwind instrument which belongs to reed aerophones group. Other regional names in Poland are: goat, gajda, siesienki. Bagpipes are often confused with bandura (kobza), which is an entirely different string instrument. Bagpipes are classified as one of the most difficult musical instruments and are an incredible challenge for many musicians.

greater Polish bagpipes

Bagpipes have been moved from Asia to Europe in the Middle Ages and are included into European folk instruments.

It is an instrument that requires great artistry during its manufacture and various types of wood are used, such as plum, cherry, mahogany, or even ebony. Bagpipes are made up of four main parts: melody pipe, sack also called bellows, drone pipe called bas and bellows.
Piping tradition is cultivated in Great Poland up to now by The Tournament of Great Poland pipers held every year.

greater Polish bagpipes-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.