Polish folk instrument with the name złóbcoki - rather difficult to pronounce, belongs to the group of chordophones. The name złóbcoki refers to the instrument's gouge from one block of wood, others claim that it derives from “łób”or cradle. Złóbcoki is particularly characteristic for Podhale, where was popular in the nineteenth century.


Złóbcoki was convex, elongated and narrow resonant body carved with a neck from a single block. It had three, then four strings. It was played with an arch-shaped bow.

Złóbcoki was tuned like a violin, sounded quiet but poignant and sharp. The famous mountaineer, John Krzeptowski called Sabala, played this instrument, who with his złóbcoki, was immortalized in the photograph preserved to this day and also on the monument in Zakopane.

View the embedded image gallery online at:



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.

The workshop took place at the Children's Museum. Janusz Korczak in the National Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw (18 - 30 May 2013).

Workshops were performed for organized groups - workshops conducted during the week and individuals - workshops on weekends.

The project was implemented by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Orange Foundation.

  • 10.05.2013

    We are pleased to announce that the project was under the honorary patronage of the Ministry of Education.


  • 06.05.2013

    There is no longer available for workshops for groups. You can type on a reserve list.


  • 22.03.2013

    The recordings ended up in the National Ethnographic Museum. We recorded the entire tonal and sound range of more than twenty folk instruments.