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).
The paper presents the research project coordinated by the University of Warsaw and financed by the Minister of Science and Higher Education as part of the “Tradition 1a” module of the National Programme for the Development of Humanities. The main task of this research project is the documentation of the Jesuit music repertory produced and disseminated on the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The results of the project work will be published in a new editorial series, which will include catalogues of sources and music iconography, monographs, databases and critical editions of music-related sources of Jesuit provenience. The publications will appear in print and on-line.
The expected research results will serve not only musicologists, but also representatives of other fields of humanities. The work of the international research team is hoped to restore to the national heritage the forgotten monuments of Jesuit musical culture and should lead to a reliable assessment of their historical value.
The results of the research of the international team of scientists will influence the present-day sense of identity of the countries which in the past jointly formed the literary culture our Commonwealth.
The world of the Jews must have attracted Kolberg, who as an educated
member of the intelligentsia must have been conscious of what was
happening in Judaism in his times. The nineteenth century was
indeed a time of the flourishing Hasidism, the travelling hazanim, the
development of the Jewish Enlightenment movement (the Haskalah),
a great numbers of Jewish Tanzhaus openings. Jewish themes also
appear in almost every volume of Kolberg’s Complete Works. However,
Jews only formed the backdrop for the events taking place among
Poles. Only in the case of a few records left by Kolberg can we surmise
that the musical performers were themselves Jewish. This is most likely
true of five songs with texts in the Yiddish language. More melodies
set down in writing from the Jews or from the repertoire taken over
by Polish musicians are probably to be found among the pieces without
verbal text or referred to by Kolberg as ‘dances’. It is unknown whether
Jewish musicians played Jewish melodies for Kolberg, but we cannot
exclude the possibility of their performances constituting a basis
for some transcriptions of pieces that were not marked as Jewish.
Paweł Hendrich’s compositions can be compared to macrocrystals - solids composed of numerous small and identical elements, constructed in accordance with a strict pattern. Importantly, the same internal crystal structure can produce forms highly diversified with regard to external shape. Similarly, this composer’s works are very precisely structured already on the level of individual sounds, but this structure is only a tool for the creation of very clear musical macroforms. The idea of emergence - of new values resulting from the combination of simple elements - is of key importance to this composer.
The paper presents the principles of organising music material in the works of Paweł Hendrich. These are, among others: periodicity, multilayered structures, permutations and flexibility. These ideas are reflected in the musical work in many dimensions, both on the level of microand macro-structure. Their application exerts a major impact on the forms created by the composer.
With the development of his musical language, the composer transforms his initial material more and more radically. Simple elements and processes that underlie the construction of his works become progressively more and more difficult to reconstruct, largely due to the application of a computer in the composition process. A comprehensive look at Paweł Hendrich’s entire output of compositions proves that his work is emergent as a whole. With each new piece, a new element is added, but all of them form a coherent system. No wonder, then, that one of the composer’s works bears the telling title of Emergon.
A privileged position in discourse on 19th-century opera is occupied by narration concerning the emancipation of national styles. In order to work out a fresh approach in scientific study of this subject, it seems crucial that we should abandon the ethnocentric perspective. This was one of the main postulates of Jean-Marie Pradier’s utopian project of ethnoscenology. Importantly, Pradier also stressed the physical aspect of all stage practice. In the times of Rossini, Verdi, Gounod and Moniuszko, the physicality of the spectacle was associated not only with singing, but also with choreography. The links between 19th-century opera and its broadly conceived dance component are the subject of a highly inspiring essay by Maribeth Clark, whose arguments, theses and conclusions we also present here in detail.
Stanisław Moniuszko’s operatic style is commonly associated with Polish dance rhythms. Still, salon dance should also be considered, apart from national dances, as one of the keys to the composer’s entire oeuvre. In a study of his stage works from both the Vilnius and the Warsaw periods, the dance idiom will not be limited to the presence of dance rhythms in the protagonists’ arias or to the ballet sections. Dance qualities can be discerned in Moniuszko’s music on a much deeper, fundamental level of the construction of operatic narration. Dance is frequently a hidden mechanism that serves as an axis of development for the presented events or as an element that organises the dramaturgy of entire scenes and instrumental passages.
This paper is an attempt to take a fresh look at the role of the dance idiom in Moniuszko’s operatic narrations, an initial reconnaissance, in which I point to the sources of the composer’s inspirations and illustrate my theses with specific examples.
In the second half of the 19th century, when Oskar Kolberg conducted
his folkloristic and ethnographic work, folk song and music were still
alive and, to a great extent, functioned in their natural culture context.
However, already at that time, and especially in the last decades of the
century, gradual changes were taking place within folk tradition. Those
changes were brought about by industrialization and factors in the
development of urban civilization, which varied in intensity depending
on the region. Folk music was also influenced by those changes and they
themselves were further fuelled by the final (third) Partition of Poland
by Austria, Prussia and Russia, declared in 1795 and lasting till the end
of World War I.
Oskar Kolberg noticed and described changes in the musical
landscape of villages and little towns of the former Polish Republic
in the 19th century, as well as in the choice of instruments. To be quite
precise, musical instruments are not featured as a separate subject of his
research, but various references, though scattered, are quite numerous,
and are presented against a social, cultural and musical background,
which provides an opportunity to draw certain conclusions concerning
folk music instrumental practice.
However, changes in the makeup of folk music ensembles resulted in
the disappearance of traditional instruments, which were being replaced
by the newer, factory-produced ones. This process worried Kolberg
and he noticed its symptoms also in a wider, European context, where
bagpipes or dulcimers were being supplanted not only by “itinerant
orchestras” but also by barrel organs or even violins. Writing about
our country, Poland, he combined a positive opinion on the subject
of improvised and expressive performance of folk violinists with
a negative one on clarinet players and mechanical instruments.
Summing up, the musical landscape of Polish villages and both
small and larger towns was definitely influenced in the 19th century
by the symptoms of phenomena which much later acquired a wider
dimension and were defined as globalization and commercialization.
Sensing them, Oskar Kolberg viewed the well-being of the traditional
culture heritage with apprehension.
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