A bit of a history…
The first, primitive accordions were made in XIX c. in Europe, but the roots of that instrument goes back to Tibetan mountains, where hundred years ago played on the instrument called sheng – based on the mouth-blown free reed instrument. The way of getting this instrument, the grandfather of accordion, into the Old Continent is unknow and many historians are quarrelling about it. We know, that the first man in Europe who began to experiment with sheng base instrument was German medicine doctor and physician, a constructor Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein and an engineer Franciszek Kirsnik.
In nowadays form , accordion was designed and patented by the organ builder form Vienna. Cyrill Demian. Since then a “wrinkle” started to be popular among the aristocrats getting more and more fans of its characteristic sounds also in Poland. And as at the begging of XX c. the main centre where accordions were constructed was Warsaw, it was known, liked and played everywhere – from the snowy Tatry mountains till the sandy beaches of Pomerania.
Gradually, starting from 20 XX c , when people from farming areas started to move to the cities, “cyja” became the most popular musical instruments used during the everyday house activities, as well as, dancing places. Radio had also influenced the promotion of the accordion, playing in in cafes and restaurants, but also unemployment… The professional musicians, who could not live from the classical music, left their instruments and took the “radiator”. After some time people also discovered its use in choir singing. And that led to introducing accordion in school music lessons.
Kashubian melodies, Kociewie music
Since then accordion starts to be more famous also in Pomerania. How people living here loved this instrument You can discover visiting, anytime the small town or villages of Pomerania region. During big feasts, small meetings, national days, picnics, outdoor concerts in concert halls – everywhere You can hear its special sound.
In 2014 during the Unification Day of Kashubians in Sierakowice the Polish Record on the Accordion Play was beaten, during one show there were 314 people playing accordion at once. This record was not beaten since then.
Accordion in Pomerania…
The International Accordion Festival in Sulęczyno – the founder and the artistic director is an accordionist Paweł Nowak. Along with Ireneusz Korda, the director of Cultural Centre in Sulęczyno they organise the shown since 2003. At the beginning the festival was very small but after three years it was already an international. Along with the musicians from Poland, there were from Germany, Sweden, France, Belgium, Lithuania, Ukraine, Moldavia and Montenegro.
Museum of Accordions in Kościerzyna – it is the only in Poland, third in Europe such museum. Accordions presented there are part of Paweł Nowak’s collection. 117 instruments from all over the world, produced in Poland before the WWII, as well as afterwards, produced in a famous accordion factory in Bydgoszcz. There are special accordions from France – hand made, highly decorated, with a special tone – You can try on You own, thanks to the audio guide You can use there.
Fot. Muzeum Akordeonu w Kościerzynie