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Podhale bagpipes — known in the local dialect as kozadudydudzicki and gajdy.
The Podhale bagpipes are a four-toned instrument from the reed aerophone group. They consist of a leather bag that is the air reservoir necessary to blow into the pipes, the bellows; a mouthpiece with which the piper blows into the instrument (duhac), a drone pipe (bąk), and a short triple melody and drone pipe on which the piper plays (gajdzica), set in a wooden casing resembling a goat’s head.

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Podhale bagpipes — known in the local dialect as koza, dudy, dudzicki and gajdy.
The Podhale bagpipes are a four-toned instrument from the reed aerophone group. They consist of a leather bag that is the air reservoir necessary to blow into the pipes, the bellows; a mouthpiece with which the piper blows into the instrument (duhac), a drone pipe (bąk), and a short triple melody and drone pipe on which the piper plays (gajdzica), set in a wooden casing resembling a goat’s head.
The described instrument comes from Zakopane and belonged to Stanisław Gąsienica-Janków, aka “Gładczan”. It is not known when this exhibit was made or who made it. The bagpipes were bought from Gładczan in 1912 by Janusz Kotarbiński who, in turn, sold it to the Tatra Museum in Zakopane in 1924.
They supplied the collection of musical instruments, mainly of folk origin, that currently comprises 217 exhibits. They include złóbcoki, violins, basses, single and double pipes, horns, trembitas, as well as 12 full sets of Podhale bagpipes. The collection is supplemented with sound equipment of a non-musical function (bells, ritual rattles, signal drums).
The oldest part of this collection, including the described set of bagpipes, was used by Adolf Chybiński to draft the first scientific publication devoted to Podhale musical instruments (Adolf Chybiński, Instrumenty muzyczne ludu polskiego na Podhalu [Musical Instruments of the Polish People in Podhale], Kraków, 1924). This collection also played its part in the resumption of the practice of making traditional musical instruments after the World War II, being the treasure of historical patterns.
Some elements of this collection have special value, as they constitute memorabilia after well-known musicians of Podhale. These exhibits include the presented bagpipes that used to be owned by piper Stanisław Gąsienica-Janków, aka “Gładczan”.
Stanisław Gładczan came from Gładka Polana in Zakopane. He learnt how to play the bagpipes from Wojciech Żegleń of Chycówka, and then Paweł Chyc of Spyrkówka (both places are estates located in Zakopane). He also taught others, for example, Stefan Szymański — a Warsaw doctor and founder of one of the most interesting ethnographic collections of Podhale. Adolf Chybiński conducted research on Podhale folk music in the 1920s, and learnt the melodies played on the bagpipes by Gładczan and Stanisław Budz Mróz.
In 1912 the displayed bagpipes were bought from Stanisław Gładczan by Janusz Kotarbiński (1890–1940), a painter and writer who settled in Zakopane in 1919. In the years 1912–1925 he gathered a collection of items in Podhale which were related to the folk culture, which was acquired by the Tatra Museum by way of donations and purchases in the years 1924–1939. The collection of 61 items contains ceramic pots, metal accessories for men’s outfits, such as pins and belt buckles, spoon racks, wooden dishes, as well as musical instruments such as four złóbcoki, two bass heads and the presented exhibit of Podhale bagpipes.
The displayed exhibit is one of the two specimens of Podhale bagpipes that used to belong to the well-known piper of Zakopane, Stanisław Gąsienica-Janków, aka “Gładczan”. They are preserved in the Tatra Museum. This instrument is not structurally different from other bagpipes from Podhale which are gathered in the Zakopane Museum.
The bellows air reservoir is made of uncut sheepskin. The yew pipe used for blowing the instrument, duhac, is inserted in the bellows and tied round with a piece of leather and string. The long drone pipe comprises 4 parts and is decorated with brass plate rings. At the left leg of the animal it is inserted into the leather bellows and secured with a string. At the bottom of the drone pipe, there is a protrusion in the form of a small can reinforcing the sound coming from the pipe. The sycamore maple gajdzica fitted at the instrument head is bound with five narrow and two broad, engraved brass rings. The melody pipe has one hole at the outlet, one hole on the right and five holes on the left. The bellows and gajdzica are connected with a goat’s head carved out of a yew tree. This head is equipped with backwards-bent horns fitted with a brass plate, tear-shaped osseous eyes, and elaborate tin incrustation. It is identical to the head featured in another specimen of Podhale bagpipes from the Tatra Museum that were also used by Stanisław Gąsienica-Janków, aka “Gładczan”, in the past.

Elaborated by Anna Kozak (The Dr. Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane), © all rights reserved

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Secrets of the piper’s work – ram or goat bagpipes

Pipers usually made their own instruments, but sometimes they bought elements that were harder to make (e.g., drone or head) from the Slovakian Liptov. Bagpipes could also be ordered from specialised manufacturers.
These instruments were made of easily accessible materials. The bellows were usually made of uncut ram or goat skin in full that was not tanned, but only...

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Pipers usually made their own instruments, but sometimes they bought elements that were harder to make (e.g., drone or head) from the Slovakian Liptov. Bagpipes could also be ordered from specialised manufacturers.
These instruments were made of easily accessible materials. The bellows were usually made of uncut ram or goat skin in full that was not tanned, but only cleared of the hair covering it. To make the bag waterproof, the inside was covered with tar. The hind legs were cut and the bag was sewn together, and the holes after the forelegs were used to insert the duhac (right leg) and drone (left leg). In the place of the animal's neck, a wooden head was attached in order to place a gajdzica there. The instrument's head was made of the yew tree, sycamore maple or ash tree, and the gnarl tree deformations were commonly used for this purpose. Adolf Chybiński also mentions that in the past the element that connected the air reservoir with the melody pipe could have been made from the animal's natural head (Adolf Chybiński, Instrumenty muzyczne ludu polskiego na Podhalu [Musical Instruments of the Polish People in Podhale], Kraków, 1924). The gajdzica was made of metal, yew or spruce wood. Reeds, the so-called trestki, were fitted in its three ducts.
The duhac was made from a yew-tree, sycamore maple or bone. The drone comprising several parts with reeds inside was made of both yew tree and sycamore maple. The head of the bagpipes and the drone were adorned with tin and horn incrustations, and brass plates. Often the unused items present in the household were applied to make metal decorations, hence the metal rings for the bagpipes frequently featured some mysterious inscriptions and symbols.

Elaborated by Anna Kozak (The Dr. Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane), © all rights reserved

See bagpipes from the Tatra Museum in the collection from Małopolska's Virtual Museums.
Read about bagpipes used by Podhale shepherds while tending sheep as well as during family celebrations.

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Scottish bagpipes... Polish bagpipes!

Although bagpipes are usually associated with Scotland, one must not forget that they were one of the most popular folk instruments used in old Poland!
They were also known in Podhale, where nearly every village had its piper who earned his living by playing this instrument...

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Although bagpipes are usually associated with Scotland, one must not forget that they were one of the most popular folk instruments used in old Poland!
They were also known in Podhale, where nearly every village had its piper who earned his living by playing this instrument. Even in the mid-19th century, they were used in village bands, right next to złóbcoki and basses. They were particularly popular among shepherds guarding sheep who were accompanied by the sound of this instrument during the spring trailing of the sheep to the Tatra pastures, and at bonfires during the summer pasturage.
The pipers played at village festivities, during family and annual celebrations, and at evening feasts. They accompanied travelling harvesters departing Podhale in search of work. The Tatra bandits most likely feasted to the sound of kobza pipes.

Provide a link to Highland robbers – welcoming of Surowiec painting on glass.

Popular even in the first half of the 19th century, bagpipes started to disappear in the 1860s. In the inter-war period there were only a few pipers in Podhale, and their music was disregarded by the local community and raised interest only among a group of regionalists and visitors who treated it as a local curiosity.
In today's Podhale there is a group of people making bagpipes and playing this instrument.

Elaborated by Anna Kozak (The Dr. Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane), editorial team of Małopolska's Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

See bagpipes from the Tatra Museum in the collection from Małopolska's Virtual Museums.
Read about the secrets of a bagpipe player's work and the materials these instruments were made of.

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