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Polish Folk Instruments: Bilgoray Suka
Polish Folk Instruments: Bilgoray Suka (Suka Biłgorajska)

ABOVE: Polish-Pakistani Fusion: "Lipa" is a Polish folk song fused with traditional Pakistani music. This is from Poland-Pakistan: Sounds from two continents project from 2012 by IPAC in collaboration with the Embassy of Poland in Islamabad.

Lipa is a Lime or Linden tree in Polish language; in this song it symbolizes a young maiden who is losing her carefree days of youth. The flowers of the tree are very sweet smelling of which the bees are making honey, as sweet and delicate as a young innocent girl. The context of the song is sad, when the maiden is left alone waiting for her beloved.

Maria Pomianowska (Poland): Vocals, Bilgoray Suka, Plock Fiddle
Marta Sołek Młynarska (Poland): Bilgoray Suka, Plock Fiddle, Folk Bass
Taimur Khan (Pakistan): Sarangi
Ustad Muhammad Ajmal (Pakistan): Tabla
Muhammad Azam Khan (Pakistan): Vocals

The Suka, like the Gadulka is played vertically, on the knee or hanging from a strap, and the strings are stopped at the side with the fingernails. The body of the instrument is very similar to the modern violin, but the neck is very wide, and the pegbox is crude. This is thought to be the "missing link" between the upside-down or "knee chordophone" instruments, and the modern violin. It died out, and was known only from drawings of a single specimen displayed at an exhibition in 1888. A century later the instrument was reconstructed by Andrzej Kuczkowski, and is today also being popularised by string specialist Maria Pomianowska.

LEFT: Maria Pomianowska with YoYo Ma

Note that the suka, unlike the violin and similar modern string instruments, is played by stopping the strings with the fingernail rather then pressing down with the fingertip.

BELOW: Anna Maria Jopek & Maria Pomianowska - W polu lipeńka
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