Panoramas / Tradition craftsmen

Musical instrument maker


Szabolcs Csibi, at present carrying out his artistic activity in Sâncraiu, Covasna county, originates from Şincai, Mureş county. He started playing the zither already in his childhood, then he started to attend the wood industry school in Târgu Mureş. He acquired his skills in woodwork in Dezső Bandi’s self-study circle, then he got acquainted with János Ferencz, founder of the Tutora Ensemble, from whom he learnt the ins and outs of musical instrument making. They went to fairs together, where they sold musical instruments and other carved objects, and in the meantime they were also playing music. He played the flute, the drums and then he tried out the cobza. He played music in children’s folk dance houses.
In his life carving, musical instrument making and playing music belong together. He only makes musical instruments that he can play.

After purchasing wood, he hollows out the body of the musical instrument and prepares the material for drying. He also pre-dries the material to prevent the wood from fungi; after that another year passes until the musical instrument can be made from the material. It takes even a week to make a gardon, as it has to be thinned, covered with split pine, it has to be equipped with handles, wrests and strings. The cobza requires an even more meticulous work, even greater attention. The violin and the cobza require maple, and he uses poplar for the gardon. Besides the wood, horsehair is needed for the bows and animal (especially) goat intestines for the strings.

The musical instruments made in Szabolcs Csibi’s workshop are all unique pieces. He works with only one piece at a time, because he strives to make personalized musical instruments for the customers.