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Polish National Publishing Initiatives after 1918

À propos de cet article


The revival of an independent Polish state in 1918 was conducive not only to the emergence of a new national administration or a sense of national community, but also to the establishment of new entities in science and culture, and, consequently, actions focused on Polishness and promotion of national values. Such new initiatives were based on the activities of scholars, artists and intellectuals, who had existed as a milieu before, but who either operated on a local scale or were entangled in international structures, usually remaining on their peripheries. Projects carried out in new conditions – in the now free country – often with the support of government institutions could promote the national heritage in various forms and on a large scale.

In addition to research-related objectives, young Polish musicology also sought to popularise and disseminate Poland’s musical heritage in a variety of ways: 1) by publishing, as part as of sheet music series, sources for the study of the history of Polish music; 2) new critical editions of well-known oeuvres; 3) supporting the work of young Polish composers by publishing the scores of their compositions through publishing houses set up especially for the purpose; or 4) creating fora for the exchange of scholarly reflections and for presentation of the results of research conducted by a growing number of scholars educated at Polish universities. All this with the slogans of “national pride” and “national duty” the fulfilment of which was to help with catching up and making up for the losses caused by the absence of Poland as a state for over one hundred years.

This led to initiatives by the newly emerging milieu of Polish musicologists seeking to promote the historical legacy of Polish music as well as the achievements of contemporary composers: the series “Early Polish Music”, a project to publish a complete critical edition of Fryderyk Chopin’s works, series of the Polish Music Publishing Society intended for young composers, or periodicals promoting articles on Polish subjects (Kwartalnik Muzyczny, Muzyka, Muzyka Polska, Polski Rocznik Muzykologiczny and others).