Perhaps it’s called a Cymbala, perhaps it’s a Cymbała, and perhaps in Ukrainian it is a Cимвала, or maybe (most likely), it’s called a Cymbaly. I am not really sure. But I’ll call it a “Tsymbaly” or “Cymbały” in Polish. What is it? It’s an instrument somewhat like a zither, also called a hammered dulcimer, and sometimes called a “lap guitar.” It consists of strings strung on a board and tuned. They can be plucked or hammered on to make music. You can read more about this instrument here: http://www.carpatho-rusyn.org/instru/cymbaly.html.
But was does this have to do with my trip to Poland?
My great-grandfather who came to the US from Poland in the early 1900s was named Alexander Cymbal. Yes, his last name was the same as the instrument I was talking about above. And when I was in Ukraine, in Lwów, I had the extremely good fortune to happen upon a young man playing the Cymbala. I took some video. And now you can see and hear this extraordinary (and beautiful) instrument being played. Click the link below: