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Całe życie z muzykologią. Wspomnienia uniwersyteckie z Poznania i Krakowa / All My Life with Musicology. University Memories from Poznań and Kraków

Abstract

Zygmunt M. Szweykowski (born in 1929 in Kraków), an eminent scholar and doyen of Polish musicology, shares his memories of his postwar studies and first years of university work in Poznan and a long period of teaching and scholarly activity at the Jagiel lonian University in Kraków. He remembers the personages of older musicologists (e.g. Tadeusz Strumiłło), and his masters (inter alia Adolf Chybiński), presents the picture of numerous determinants during the People’s Poland period and during the subsequent political- system transformations, describes the development of the Jagiellonian University’s Institute of Musicology over several decades, discusses in detail the teaching innovations he has introduced, and finally recalls various episodes of university life, occasionally embellished with anecdotes. Professor Z. M. Szweykowski’s autobiographical story is an interesting contribution to the history of Polish musicology in the second half of the twentieth century.

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Gramofon w kręgu reinterpretacji / Gramophone Reinterpretations

Abstract

What is most surprising in the 150-year history of the gramophone (phonograph, record player) is that it has not ended even today. It might appear that progress in phonography which took place in the twentieth century should have made the gramophone a relic of the industrial age. Investigating the reasons why this device is still alive, the author argues that if it survived all through the twentieth century and found is place in the digital age on the eve of the new century, it was only owing to its hidden potential, which allowed creative individuals to rediscover it, find its new uses, attribute new functions and assign it new roles; in short, reinterpret it in diverse ways, the outcome being gramophone music - a new discursive practice with a varied esthetic appearance.

In the first part of the study the author refers to the history of those gramophone reinterpretations and successively describes early literary impressions of the gramophone, the phonograph postulates of Lászlo Moholy-Nagy, Paul Hindemith’s and Ernst Toch’s Grammophonmusik, John Cage’s Imaginary Landscapes, the art of D.J.’s and turntablists, Christian Marclay “creative gramophony”, and experimental turntablism.

The second part of the article analyzes the esthetics of gramophone music. The author distinguishes three trends in it: in the first the gramophone is subordinated to the classical concept of music, in the second it is used to create poly-style sound collages, in the third the gramophone is the tool for the implementations of the principles of conceptual art.

In conclusion the author writes that it is chiefly owing to these reinterpretations which made the sound-recording and playback invention a composer’s tool, a musical instrument and finally an object of elaborate artistic experiments that the gramophone was able to carry out a historic, technological and conceptual revolution in the twentieth-century and early twenty-first century culture.

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Krajobraz Le Corbusiera. Losy „superbudynków” na przykładzie realizacji w Marsylii, Berlinie i Katowicach / Le Corbusier’s Landscape. The Fates of “Superstructures” as Exemplified by Their Implementation in Marseilles, Berlin and Katowice

Abstract

The project of a residential building (unit) of a proper size (unité de grandeur conforme) was designed in Le Corbusier’s atelier in Paris from the late 1940s on. Prepared by Jerzy Sołtan and Gerard Hanning, it was a theoretical model and was meant to be an answer to the shortage of housing after World War Two; it would also solve the functional program in an innovative way and at the same time would be based on the principles of the contemporary architecture created by Le Corbusier. For Le Corbusier, a very important part of the project was the spatial solution of the utilitarian roof. Essential elements here were: the landscape of the south of France, its scenic connections, spatial relationships and the silhouette of the City of Marseilles: these were called basic joys (joies essentielles), which should belong to everybody. The paper shows the histories of three buildings embodying the idea of the total housing unit: the prototype - the Marseilles Unit, its late copy - the Berlin Unit, and the Polish realization designed and built in Katowice by Mieczysław Król.

Open access
Krótki wykład o muzyce XX wieku. Kompendium dydaktyczne / A Short Lecture on Twentieth-Century Music. A Teaching Compendium

Abstract

The article is a comprehensive presentation of the history of music in the twentieth century, taking into account the main trends and phenomena of this period, inter alia impressionism, expressionism, neoclassicism, dodecaphony, punctualism, and total serialism, then avant-garde solutions and pluralism after World War Two (inter alia electronic music, concrete music (musique concrète), graphic music, aleatoric music, open forms, instrumental theater, minimal music), and finally the most recent trends (e.g. spectral music, new complexity, polystylistics), including a clearly marked return to the Romantic tradition. The chronologically presented discourse includes opinions that concisely explain some compositional solutions, as well as the list of composers and the titles of their works that exemplifi ed the problems discussed. The paper ends with the thoughts on the future of music in the new, twenty-first century.

The article is meant as teaching material for the arts and humanities programs.

Open access
Materia mystica. Próba introspekcji w kolorach złota i czerni* / Materia Mystica. An Introspection in Black and Gold

Abstract

The article is an attempt to combine reflection on the mystical side of artistic activity with the author’s self-comment on her creative work in graphic art. The discourse shows multi-aspectual thoughts on the secret of the act of creation and the matter itself that serves art, based on the philosophical background of different religious, cultural and worldview traditions; it also touches upon the sphere of self-cognition, symbolism, and transcendence. The author’s narrative is accompanied by the thoughts of inter alia William Blake, Samuel Coleridge, Stanisław Fijałkowski, Hildegard of Bingen, Carl Gustav Jung, Kabir, Wassily Kandynsky, Paul Klee, Czesław Miłosz, Meister Eckhard, Rainer Maria Rilke, Andrzej Strumiłło, St. John of the Cross, and Zhuangzi. These considerations are combined with the analytical explication of the author’s selected works and with an attempt to introspectively look into herself.

The author examines the following: understanding of the concept and phenomenon of matter (Materia - proch ziemi i kwantowa pustka [Matter - the Dust of Earth and Quantum Void]); mystical and spiritual aspects of art (Mistyka - ulotność wizji i realność duchowości [Mysticism - Transience of Vision and the Reality of the Spiritual]); the world (identified with the matter of creation) of inner experiences of her own artistic imagination (Materia tworzenia [Matter of Creation]); symbolic-formal features of her own graphic works (W granicach formy [Within the Form]); and the unfathomable problem of cognition and self-cognition through art (Laboratorium sztuki i sztuka przemiany [Laboratory of Art and the Art of Transformation]).

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Musical Evita Andrew Lloyda Webbera na tle wybranych gatunków muzyki scenicznej XIX i XX wieku* / Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Musical Evita in the Context of Selected Genres of Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Stage Music

Abstract

The analytical study of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Evita contains inter alia the description of the libretto, and the analysis of architectural-formal, rhythmical, and melodic features and stylization devices. In architectural terms, Evita shows the influences of operetta, heroic opera, and musical drama (e.g. in large integrated blocks of scenes, and characteristic final scenes). In the internal formal relations in the piece, the links with the nineteenth-century heroic opera are observable. Regarding the use of form, the composers utilizes those that appeared in Romantic Italian and French operas, while the stylization devices present in the piece have their reference to the nineteenth-century operatic forms in France and operetta compositions. An important structural element of Evita is reminiscence motifs referring inter alia to grand opera. The conscious use of these motifs on such a large scale that have no equivalents in operetta or in the genres preceding the emergence of musical, and in other musicals, causes Evita to be closer to opera in its motivic concept. Owing to the exceptional musical language combining tradition and the present, Webber’s work is an example that the musical as a form of sublime entertainment can also satisfy the requirements of high art.

Open access
Obrazy wojny i holocaustu w muzyce i sztuce. Szkic do edukacji interdyscyplinarnej / The Images of War and the Holocaust in Music and Art. A Sketch for Interdisciplinary Education

Abstract

The main premise of the presented study is to show the impact of World War Two events on the creative achievements of selected artists who treated these dramatic events as the direct source of inspiration. The primary object of interest are selected musical pieces composed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, analyzed at the same time from the perspective of their correspondence with other domains of art: painting, sculpture, poetry, and partly with film. The article discussed Arthur Honegger’s Second and Third Symphony, compositions: Diffrent Trains by Steve Reich, and Diaries of Hope by Zbigniew Preisner, and in the field of fine art: inter alia the painting works by Izaak Celnikier, Xawery Dunikowski, Bronisław Wojciech Linke, and Andrzej Wróblewski, selected monument sculptures (e.g. in the Majdanek Concentration Camp in Lublin), and with special emphasis on works devoted to the tragedy of the Holocaust.

An important aim of the paper is to show the possibility of utilizing the presented content in interdisciplinary teaching provided for in the Ministry of National Education’s core curriculum for general education in art subjects and the subject Knowledge of Culture.

Open access
Persephassa. Xenakisa architektura brzmieniowa dla sześciu perkusistów Persephassa. / Xenakis’s Sound Architecture for Six Percussionists

Abstract

Musical pieces composed for a percussion ensemble form a significant portion of Iannis Xenakis’s creative achievements. One of major compositions in this genre is his Persephassa (1969) for six percussionists. The set of instruments used by Xenakis is divided into four sound levels: skins (peaux), pieces of wood (bois), metals (metal), effects (pierre). Each percussionist has a wide acoustic array consisting of over a dozen instruments. The sonoric aspect of the piece is enriched through the positioning of the musicians around the audience. The first part of the paper analyzes the form of the composition: its course, division, structural, rhythmical, textural, agogic, energy-containing, and sound solutions, as well as the kinds of culminations and special effects (rhythmical chaos). The other part of the article describes the use of compositional devices that determine the specificity of a musical piece, such as complicated rhythmical structuralism, (resulting from the combinations of elements of probability calculus and computer algorithms) or sonoric effects (e.g. “sound clouds”), discussed in close connection with the problems of performing technique.

Open access
Developing creative activity in art amongst pupils of elementary classes (Based on the analysis of integrated teaching syllabuses)

Abstract

The aim of the studies was to learn the possibility of developing creative activity of first-to-third grade pupils in art. The documents (the core curriculum and integrated teaching syllabuses) examined from the point of view of aims, contents, pupils’ achievements, and description of realization methods show that the curriculum suggestions are really diverse. In the curricula created by people realizing the role which is played by creative activity in the development of a child more room is devoted to it.

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“…I would like to have a residence like those of English lords…” On the English models for the palace in Jabłoń

Abstract

Out of all Polish residences that represent the historical trend, the palace in Jablón built in 1904-1909 at the behest of Count Tomasz Zamoyski borrowed most fully from English architecture. Conscious of his expectations, the investor founded a magnificent country house, the builders of which drew liberally on the wealth of English historical styles.

Open access