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A heligonka is a folk variation of the accordion. The instrument was first mentioned in the eighteenth century, when—in 1829—the organ and piano master, Cyril Demain, was granted a patent for the manufacture of heligonkas in Vienna. Soon, their serial production had begun...

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A heligonka is a folk variation of the accordion. The instrument was first mentioned in the eighteenth century, when—in 1829—the organ and piano master, Cyril Demain, was granted a patent for the manufacture of heligonkas in Vienna. Soon, their serial production had begun in Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic, and—at the beginning of the nineteenth century—in Hungary and Poland.
The heligonka quickly gained popularity as a small, handy instrument, enabling the production of rich and varied sounds. It became a typical instrument used during folk festivities and celebrations. In the south of Poland, during the pre-war period, it largely displaced the bagpipe, because its sound replaced almost the entire orchestra. It gained the greatest popularity in the area of Żywiec, where a characteristic style of playing this instrument even originated. Musicians from Żabnica, Kamesznica, Milówka, Prusowo, and Cięcina who played the heligonka rose to fame. In these places, the tradition of handing over a heligonka from father to son continues to this day.

Elaborated by Kinga Kołodziejska (Editorial team of Małopolska's Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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“Heligonka” folk accordion

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