We proudly present a Cimbalom Workshop for the first time, led by a fantastic professional cimbalom player János Kállai, who plays in several bands, including Folktone Banda and Yek Duy. Come along and discover this fantastic instrument, find out how it is played, and have a go on it yourself.
The Cimbalom, which belongs to the family of zither instruments, is possibly the most versatile of Hungarian folk percussion instruments.
The cimbalom is a stringed instrument struck with two stick. It has a horizontal, trapezoidal, box-like instrument body, on which strings with diatonic or chromatic tuning are lined up across the entire width. Its old, popular version is the small dulcimer, which is now rare in Hungarian-speaking areas, but is still used in the Alpine countries, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans. Its improved version is the pedaled cimbalom standing on legs with a larger, sound-damping pedal, which was created by the Budapest instrument maker József Schunda Vencel towards the end of the 19th century, and was further developed in the 20th century by the elder and younger Lajos Bohák. It is primarily an important instrument used by gypsy bands, it is a much loved a folk instrument, and following the work of dulcimer artist Aladár Rácz, it also plays a role in classical music concerts.
A Cimbalom is also a Hungarikum. Hungarikum is a collective term indicating a value worthy of distinction and highlighting within a unified system of qualification, classification, and registry and which represents the high performance of Hungarian people thanks to its typically Hungarian attribute, uniqueness, specialty and quality.