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:

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:



This entry was posted in 2011 Poland Trip, culture, music, My Polish Family, Ukraine. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cymbały

  1. ewa says:

    CYMBAŁY in polish.

  2. pat (Urbas) Cohen says:

    On my mother’s birth certificate it says “Olga Cymbala” & her twin was Rodzilla ( I think that’s the spelling so I guess she was named after Grandpa Alex Symbals mother.
    Meanwhile I’ll be looking in your pictures to see if you have some of Jan & Rodzilla Cymbala farm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.