POLISH EARLY MVSIC
Composers | Essays | Sources | Feedback | Editorial
Anonymous secular songs of the Renaissance
Although we know quite a lot of sacred and instrumental early music, the number of surviving secular Renaissance songs in Polish language is pathetically small. Forget about madrigals (if there are any, they're reconstructed from incomplete tablatures). Most of the known pieces are occasional songs, for funeral, wedding, politic or satiric use, written in simple nota contra notam technique. Perhaps not all of them are to be called "masterpieces", but it's all we have.
(English titles quoted after Włodzimierz Sołtysik)
If you think that the titles are longer than the songs themselves, then remember that each of them consisted of many verses, 8 at least. Some have 40 verses or more, and the song O królach polskich (About the Polish Kings) breaks an absolute record. It has 47 parts, one for each king, real or mystical, and each part is built up from 3 verses, which makes 141 verses in total. What a way to spend an evening singing & learning history...
Back to the Composers page