General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Polish Musical Traditions
Language English
Module lecturer prof. dr hab. Ryszard Golianek, dr Łukasz Smoluch, dr Jakub Kasperski
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position
Faculty Faculty of Arts Studies
Semester 2024/2025 (winter)
Duration 30


Module aim (aims)

The aim of the module is to present Polish musical traditions in their broad spectrum, including folk, professional and popular music. In the course, historical and cultural features and contexts of Polish music will be included, with the idea to reconstruct the older traditions, to demonstrate the present state of music in Poland, as well as to describe numerous changes and variants that have appeared in Polish musical practice and history.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Interest in music and Polish culture


Week 1: Ethnomusical regionalization of Poland (ŁS)
Week 2: Traditional music and its context (ŁS)
Week 3: Polish traditional instruments (ŁS)
Week 4: Professional music in Poland – a historical outline (RDG)
Week 5: Two patterns of the 19th century Polish music: Chopin and Moniuszko (RDG)
Week 6: The Tatra highlanders' style in Polish professional music (RDG)
Week 7: Imaginary Poland and musical stereotypes in European symphonic music (RDG)
Week 8: Polish themes in European opera (RDG)
Week 9: Traditional music revival in urban context (ŁS)
Week 10: Examples of Polish folk-rock and folk-pop fusions (ŁS)
Week 11: The phenomenon of the Polish big-beat music (JK)
Week 12: Czesław Niemen and Polish art rock of the 70s (JK)
Week 13: Official and underground scenes of the Polish “rock boom” of the 80s and 90s (JK)
Week 14: Polish sung poetry: between cabaret and singer-songwriter traditions (JK)
Week 15: Polish hip-hop at the turn of the 21st century (JK)

Reading list

Chlebowska, Edyta; Chlebowski, Piotr (ed.), Czesław Niemen i jego płytowe dzieła, Lublin 2015. 

Czekanowska, Anna, Pathways of Ethnomusicology, edited by Piotr Dahlig, Warszawa 2000. 

Czekanowska, Anna, Polish Folk Music, Cambridge 1990. 

Golianek, Ryszard Daniel, Imaginary Poland. The Musical Depiction of a Non-existent Country in Instrumental Music by Nineteenth-century Foreign Composers, “Ad Parnassum”, 12 (2014), No. 23, pp. 107-133.

Golianek, Ryszard Daniel,The Concept of Polish Music: In Search of Adequate Criteria, “Musicology Today”, 15 (2018), pp. 5-16.

Golianek, Ryszard Daniel, “Pologne” (1883) by Augusta Holmès: A Symphonic Poem about Freedom and National Memory, w: Beethoven 8, Studies and Interpretations, red. Magdalena Chrenkoff, Kraków, Akademia Muzyczna im. K. Pendereckiego, 2021, pp. 117-124

Idzikowska-Czubaj, Anna, Rock w PRL-u. O paradoksach współistnienia, Poznań 2011. 

Pekacz, Jolanta, Did Rock Smash the Wall? The Role of Rock in Political Transition, “Popular Music”, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Jan., 1994), pp. 41-49.  

Rogala, Jacek, Polish Music in the Twentieth Century, Kraków 2000. 

Ryback, Timothy W., Rock Around the Block. A History of Rock Music in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, New York-Oxford 1990. 

Stęszewski, Jan, Uwagi o etnomuzycznej regionalizacji Polski, in: Podlipniak, Piotr; Walter-Mazur, Magdalena (ed.), Rzeczy, świadomość, nazwy o muzyce i muzykologii, Poznań 2009, pp. 41-64. 

Trochimczyk, Maja, After Chopin: Essays in Polish Music, Los Angeles 2000.