suwalki violin

Suwalki violin is the instrument which belongs to chordophones group and it was the basic instrument in folk bands together with bagpipes, drum, bass and dulcimer. But it is the violin that had the greatest range and was the most popular. Folk violin is an instrument modelled on the professional violin but it differs with the choice of materials and construction details.

suwalki violin

The oldest information about Suwalki violin comes from the Polish documents from the fifteenth century and says that the violin is a developed form of folk instrument which native violin makers - craftsmen producing violin - gave a new shape, borrowed from the Italian lyre da braccio, in the sixteenth century.

Suwalki violin's strings are rubbing with a bow or twitching by fingers and also rubbing by the bow shaft, hitting by the shaft, the frog of the bow or a finger at the soundboard.

suwalki violin-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.