Music of Poland

  

Poland has a lively and diverse music scene and even its own music genres like the sung poetry and disco polo. From the famous composers like Chopin or Penderecki, to its traditional and regionalized folk scene.

Traditional music

Polish folk music was collected in the 19th century by Oskar Kolberg, as part of a wave of Polish national revival. With the coming of the world wars and then the Communist state, folk traditions were oppressed or subsumed into state-approved folk ensembles. The most famous of the state ensembles are Mazowsze and Śląsk, both of which still perform. Though these bands had a regional touch to their output, the overall sound was a homogenized mixture of Polish styles. There were more authentic state-supported groups, such as Słowianki, but the Communist sanitized image of folk music made the whole field seem unhip to young audiences, and many traditions dwindled rapidly.

Dance music

Polish dance music, especially the mazurka and polonaise, were popularized by Chopin, and they soon spread across Europe and elsewhere. These are triple time dances, while five-beat forms are more common in the northeast and duple-time dances like the polka and krakowiak come from the south. The polonaise comes from the French word for Polish to identify its origin among the Polish aristocracy, who had adapted the dance from a slower walking dance called chodzony. The polonaise then re-entered the lower-class musical life, and became an integral part of Polish music.

Podhale

Main article: Music of Podhale

While folk music has largely died out in Poland, especially in urban areas, the tourist destination of Podhale has retained its traditions. The regional capital, Zakopane, has been a center for art since the late 19th century, when people like composer Karol Szymanowski, who discovered Goral folk music there, made the area chic among Europe's intellectuals. Though a part of Poland, Podhale's musical life is more closely related to that found in the Carpathian mountains of Ukraine and Transylvania.

Local ensembles use string instruments like violins and a cello to play a distinctive scale called the Lydian mode. The distinctive singing style used in this scale is called lidyzowanie. The lead violin (prym) are accompanied by several second violins (sekund) and a three-stringed cello (bazy). Duple-time dances like the krzesany, zbójnicki (Brigand's Dances) and ozwodna are popular. The ozwodna has a five bar melodic structure which is quite unusual. The krzesany is an extremely swift dance, while the zbójnicki is well-known and is perceived as being most "typical" of Podhale. Folk songs typically focus on heroes like Janosik.

Other regions

Outside of Podhale, few regions have active folk scenes, though there are music festivals, such as as the Kazimierz Festival, which are well-known and popular. Regional folk bands include Gienek Wilczek Band (Bukowina), Tadeusz Jedynak Band (Przystalowice Male), Stachy Band (Hazców nad Wislokiem), Franciszek Gola Band (Kadzidło), Edward Markocki Band (Zmyslówka-Podlesie), Kazimierz Kantor Band (Głowaczowa), Swarni Band (Nowy Targ), Kazimierz Meto Band (Glina), Ludwik Mlynarczyk Band}Ludwik Młynarczyk Band (Lipnica) and Trebunie-Tutki (Poronin).

Generi:

Musicisti:

Strumenti:

  • (cordofoni) violins and a cello

  • (aerofoni)

  • (ancia libera)

  • (membranofoni)

  • (idiofoni)

 
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