Traditional / folk music of Poland
Poland is a Slavic country with rich and diverse traditional music. Historically it has been under the influence of many European music. The oldest trace of music in Poland comes back to 13th century. Some hand written scripts has been found about polyphonic chants. The scripts were in the same style as other western and European script in Germany. Later the Polish musicians was focused on baroque religious music and also Opera started to grow in Poland music and some Polish composers started to compose Polish Opera. During these times some specific Polish folk music like polonaise and mazurka developed which are types of Polish folk dances.
Later on romantic era, the shining star of Polish music was Frédéric Chopin who was born in 1810. He made many of Polish folk music and dances popular and make them known to the world. His work was based on a monumental work by Henryk Oskar Kolberg, a Polish composer and ethnomusicologist contemporary of Chopin who put 12690 pieces of folk music and melodies and other items together. He loved Polish people and culture. He had an avant-garde character compared to his time and this was also reflected on his works. He made lots of changes to harmony, impressionism, color, expression, etc of the folk music genres which influenced many composers after him. Especially to polonaise and mazurkas music and dance.
Poland has been also a home for many Jews which comes back to eight hundred years ago. For many years it was the biggest Jew community of the world. Although from the beginning of World War II, 90 percentage of Jews were murdered or escaped. So traditional music of Poland is also influenced by Jewish music and it has things in common with their music. During World War II and also later on Soviet era Jewish music was banned. After the liberty in Poland again this music found their way into klezmer music which is very common now in many cities of Poland.
Mazurek or Mazurka
This genre of Polish folk music is one of national dances of Poland. It is a fast dance which pairs glide across the floor. It is known for its improvisation character. It allows for new steps and figures, and is usually danced by a minimum of four, and up to a dozen and more couples. It has different rhythmic structures and irregular accents.
Another national dance of Poland. This genre of folk music is from the region of Kuyavia in central Poland. It is sentimental and it has melancholic melody. It is slow and it is danced with couples.
This genre of dance is also one of the five historic national dances of Poland. It is usually the first dance in the big events. And one of the most common used in carnival parties.
Some other notable folk music and dances from Poland are oberek and krakowiak, kurpie and polska.
Two forgotten traditional music instruments of Poland are suka of Biłgoraj and fiddle of Płock (both are fiddle instruments). They reconstructed and used again by Maria Pomianowska, Polish multi-instrumentalist, singer and music educator.
If you have more information about the folk music of Poland, its genres or instruments or you know specific song on each genre, please kindly contact us and let us know about it or send them through “Post a Song” link on top of the page. Also if you see any wrong information about the song tags on the list below please kindly let us know.
Traditional / folk songs for Poland
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