Department of Music History

The activities of the Department of Music History focus, both in terms of research and teaching, on a broadly understood history of music and history of musical culture from the Middle Ages till the end of neoromanticism in music (i.e. the beginning of the twentieth century). The Department staff carry out multifaceted source research concerning musical works as well as musical culture of the periods in question. Research into works encompasses their musicological analysis, examination of their theoretical, aesthetic and cultural contexts, as well as identification of problems associated with their reception in the past and history of their reception. What has remained one of the most important strand of research conducted at the Department is the expansion of the existing knowledge of the Polish musical tradition from the earliest times until the twentieth century. In addition, the Department carries out editorial and publishing projects focused on the musical legacy preserved in Poland, within both its historical and present borders.

The Department of Music History offers obligatory and optional classes (lectures, practicals and seminars) in the general history of music and the history of Polish musical tradition from the Middle Ages until the early twentieth century, including classes in musical source studies and counterpoint.

The Department of Music History was established following a merger of the History of Polish Music and General History of Music Units, which had existed until 2020. That is why the scholarly profile of the Department is to a large extent a continuation of the tradition of research carried out in the two units.

Department staff: Dr hab. Irena Bieńkowska, assistant professor; Dr Tomasz Górny, assistant professor; Dr hab. Tomasz Jeż, associate professor; Dr hab. Agnieszka Leszczyńska, associate professor; Dr Aneta Markuszewska, assistant professor; Dr hab. Szymon Paczkowski, associate professor – Department Chair; Dr hab. Anna Ryszka-Komarnicka, assistant professor; Dr Katarzyna Spurgjasz, assistant professor; Emily Peppers, PhD.

Department of Systematic and Cultural Musicology

The Department of Systematic and Cultural Musicology was established in 2020 following a merger of the Ethnomusicology, Systematic Musicology, as well as Music Theory and Aesthetics Units. The shared part of their research fields – human music in the context of human beings’ biological and cultural singularities – became the foundation of the new Department, which has inherited and continues the scholarly and teaching achievements of the three previously existing units. In addition, it creates a new space for reflection on any music of the modern world. 

The topics attracting the interest of the Department staff are interdisciplinary in nature. They encompass disciplines traditionally regarded as part of systematic and comparative musicology as well as historical musicology. They concern the theory and aesthetics of music, psychoacoustics, psychology and sociology of music, as well as ethnomusicology and anthropology of music. Research projects carried out at the Department combine specifically musicological methods of analysis and interpretation with selected methods characteristic of culture studies, social sciences and other humanities. Particularly important in the Department’s activities are Polish and Poland-related topics. 

Research and teaching by the Department staff encompass the following topics:

  • music from the perspective of human beings’ singularity as a species;
  • musical practices considered in various contexts, including social, political and religious contexts;
  • studies on music thought;
  • transformations of musical styles, genres, forms and techniques;
  • contemporary methods of music analysis and interpretation;
  • musical culture of Poland’s contemporary and historical territories;
  • musical traditions of minorities;
  • European and non-European regional traditions; 
  • modern faces of traditional music; 

At the Department of Systematic and Cultural Musicology we analyse and interpret the music of human beings: immersed in their culture, encountering other cultures, assigning functions to music, creating music of the moment as well as timeless music. Whether we are dealing with the Palaeolithic or the present, the Mazowsze ensemble or Nasca, a score or a digital recording, an orchestral violin or a folk band fiddle, we are always interested in the homo musicus.

Department staff: Dr hab. Tomasz Baranowski, assistant professor; Dr Agnieszka Chwiłek, lecturer; Prof. dr hab. Piotr Dahlig, professor; Dr Mariusz Gradowski, assistant professor; Dr Ewelina Grygier, lecturer; Dr hab. Ewa Anna Gruszczyńska-Ziółkowska, associate professor; Prof. dr hab. Iwona Lindstedt, professor; Dr hab. Sylwia Makomaska, assistant professor; Dr Katarzyna Naliwajek, assistant professor; Dr hab. Tomasz Nowak, associate professor – Department Chair; Dr Paweł Siechowicz, assistant professor.

Institute’s Structure before 1.01.2021