The World of Polish Folk Music

Folk music is an essential part of the culture of Poland, Eastern Europe and surrounding region. It has been there from the very beginning and it is not disappearing soon. Various types of music, ranging from classical music to pop music are available nowadays. This music originates from the centuries old traditional cultural values, which are still quite strong today.

Various bands playing traditional Polish folk music constantly search for fresh inspirations and thus create a certain revision of their own original songs in order to smuggling them into the younger generations. Modern Polish or neofolk as it is also called, draws from several sources such as folk music literature, mythological beliefs and legendary stories. It is a very interesting mixture of the two genres. The 19th century was a historical period which saw major changes in national and international cultures, and also in the history of the Polish nation. A lot of changes happened in Poland, which gave birth to numerous legends and myths.

One of the most popular forms of Polish folk music, which was born in the late nineteenth century, is the polonaise zaplatka. This particular type of music is characterized by its soulful melodies and haunting harmonies. The basic melody of this type of folk song is actually based on a male theme and hence bears a strong resemblance to male love stories. In addition, polonaise zaplatka was used to celebrate important events like wedding, birthdays and anniversary. It has since become a popular traditional folk song and is regularly played at weddings and parties. As a matter of fact, polonaise zaplatka is now even considered as a national heritage.

Another very popular music among Polish composers is the nasty blade. This type of tune is greatly different from the European, customary style where the melody is highly rhythmic. However, the key signature of the nasza bladzie is still based on simple blues-based musical forms. Nasza blade actually emerged from a struggle of Polish composers to create more attractive and melodious music for the masses.

Finally, another very important and long standing musical form in Polish folklore and folk music, which also emerged in the late nineteenth century, is the minute. Minuets are usually four minutes long and are intended to express one idea or issue repeatedly. In the Polish tradition, there is also the saying that the king speaks with three birds, indicating that there are different genres within the polka. Some examples of these genres are folk songs, lyrics and instrumental.

Today, many contemporary composers have adopted the polish music and are producing fresh and innovative compositions. As has been mentioned before, the main composers of Polish folk melodies and traditional compositions are Boleslawski, Mladen Rogowski, Wiadzo Jaki and Adam Michalak, while contemporary Polish composers who have become famous overnight include Jan Grabowsian and Pawel Botnansky. All these artists have created some of the most popular music of our times. However, not all of them worked in the same era, as some of these names were much younger when they composed their works. However, the majority of Polish composers worked during the post WWI period and are now much older than the people who composed most of their work.