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  • Author: Mariusz Gradowski x
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Rock and Roll Styles and Genres in Poland (1957–1973)


This paper describes the process of establishing rock and roll styles and genres (as defined by Allan F. Moore) in Polish musical culture. My Ph.D. research has revealed three phases in this process. Phase 1: imitation (1957-1962), phase 2: Polonisation (1962-1967) and phase 3: artistic re-interpretation (1967-1973). I present the detailed characteristics of each phase (i.e. their socio-political context, the phenomenon of cover versions, the fusion of rock and roll with local folk music, the development of original artistic language) as well as providing musical examples (mostly from Czesław Niemen’s recordings, which remain one of the most interesting examples of Polish popular music).

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Research on Popular Music conducted at the Institute of Musicology of the University of Warsaw in 1953–2015


The article presents a survey of research on popular music carried out at the Institute of Musicology, University of Warsaw. It discusses the contents of valuable studies undertaken at the Institute but still unpublished and kept at the Library of the Institute of Musicology. The authors’ aim has been to facilitate the exchange of ideas with other musicological centres conducting research on popular music, as well as providing other musicologists and scholars working in the field with an overview the research undertaken to date.

Popular music will be defined here as music composed in the 20th and 21st centuries, circulating in mass distribution in the form of various types of recordings, as well as performed in music clubs and at outdoor events; music that has its roots in jazz on the one hand and the youth revolution of the 1950s (the rise of rock and roll) on the other. We present a survey of B.A. and M.A. theses discussed under a number of key headings (jazz, folk, rock/pop, and electronic music, as well as works dealing with popular music in the context of research into musical culture at large). We also describe the University’s study framework, which was the original context for those texts.

Our survey of the library holdings reveals an unexpectedly large body of writings on popular music submitted for a degree at the Institute of Musicology, University of Warsaw. The research has already opened many doors, defined and more than outlined many fields of study, describing them in quite a detailed manner. This is obviously good news: the existing works pose new questions, highlight areas of controversy, and suggest new research methods. In due course, the research has also begun to yield PhD dissertations written on this subject at the Institute.

Open access