The Beginnings of Polish Musicology

by Małgorzata Sieradz (Author)
©2020 Monographs 576 Pages
Open Access


The book presents the history of the only strictly scientific Polish musicological periodical Kwartalnik Muzyczny. It shows how the editorial board of the periodi-cal met with true approval and harsh criticism. The subject allows the author to present the beginnings of Polish musicology and its evolution through three epochs: the late partitioning period, the interwar period of Poland’s independ-ence, and the early years after the Second World War

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • I Socio-institutional contexts of the establishment of Kwartalnik Muzyczny
  • 1. Panorama of Polish musicological journalism until 1910 – Roman Chojnacki’s Młoda Muzyka and Przegląd Muzyczny – WTM and Henryk Opieński’s Kwartalnik Muzyczny (1911–14) – collaboration with Adolf Chybiński – clarification of the concept of a musicological quarterly – university series
  • 2. Societies, associations, institutes of the interwar period: ‘Club of professional music press’ – Polish Society for Contemporary Music – Polish Musicological Society – Frederic Chopin Institute – Association of Early Music Lovers and Publishing Society of Polish Music as an institutional background to Kwartalnik Muzyczny
  • 3. Music magazines of the interwar period: Lwowskie Wiadomości Muzyczne i Literackie, Poznań’s Przegląd Muzyczny, Mateusz Gliński’s Muzyka – other environmental and local musical magazines – controversies over the model of an expert journal of the milieu
  • II Hopes of Polish musicology – Kwartalnik Muzyczny in the years 1928–1933
  • 1. The idea of publishing a musicological quarterly – preparatory work – establishing Kwartalnik Muzyczny: the periodical’s concept – programme assumptions: the first editorial – reactions of the milieu
  • 2. Musicological circles in Poland (Lviv, Cracow, Poznań, Warsaw) as addresses of the Kwartalnik – socio-scientific contexts: ideas about the functioning of the musicological environment – main topics of interest – other possibilities of publishing musicological studies: academic publishing
  • 3. Musicology among academic disciplines in the interwar period – systematics, discussions
  • 4. Authors and subjects: historical-musical work – ‘technical history’ (Chybiński) versus ‘live history’ (Jachimecki); contemporary music as a subject for research; music theory and acoustics; philosophy, aesthetics, sociology; psychology, pedagogy; ethnography and musical folklore; themed editions
  • 5. Muzyka Polska (1934–39) – Polski Rocznik Muzykologiczny (1935, 1936)
  • III Difficult years – Kwartalnik Muzyczny in the years 1948–1950
  • 1. New context of the functioning of the academic milieu and their publications – ‘bourgeoisie musicology’
  • 2. Ideologisation of learning about music – conferences, conventions, congresses – Marxist musicology – Państwowy Instytut Sztuki – gradual radicalisation in academia
  • 3. An attempt to continue the formula of the magazine – Adolf Chybiński and his collaborators (Zofia Lissa, Tadeusz Ochlewski, Józef M. Chomiński – scope of cooperation and organisation of editorial work) – new organisation of publishing work (PWM, PIS)
  • 4. Authors and subjects as well as concepts, problems and work methods – continuation of the pre-war work – around the current issues of musical socialist realism – thematic projects
  • Conclusion
  • Premises of the publishing crisis – change of generation – new publishing initiatives in the field of musicological periodicals: Muzyka, Studia Muzykologiczne, Rocznik Chopinowski
  • Afterword
  • Abbreviations
  • Bibliography
  • Secondary Literature
  • Primary Literature
  • Archival collections
  • Index
  • Series Index


At the beginning of the second decade of the twenty-first century, Polish musicology celebrated the centenary of the founding of the first departments at national universities – in 1911 at the Jagiellonian University under the direction of Zdzisław Jachimecki, in 1912 at the University of Lviv led by Adolf Chybiński. At the same time, though following the initiative of a musicologist not associated with any of these universities – Henryk Opieński – the activity of the first Polish music magazine which fulfilled the standards of an academic publication was inaugurated in Warsaw. In 1911 Kwartalnik Muzyczny started to appear. The periodical, which appeared for the first time exactly at the birth of Polish musicology, linked three epochs. For the first time, it accompanied the academic community at its dawn in enslaved Poland, for the second time – at the time of intensive development during the interwar period of free Poland and – ultimately – in the time of the revival of academic structures during the difficult years of the communist regime of the 1950s. Three visions of the periodical appeared over a dozen or so years of its history. The first Kwartalnik, initiated as an organ of WTM, appeared in the years 1911–14. Closed as a consequence of the turbulence of history, it reappeared in 1928, this time as a magazine of the Warsaw SMDM and TWMP and functioned until the year 1933 (the tradition of the academic journal was sustained and continued in the pages of Polski Rocznik Muzykologiczny whose editorial survived until the first days of World War II). The third incarnation took place fifteen years later, in 1948, in the reality of the turn of the 1940s and 1950s, dominated by the new ideology. Adolf Chybiński, one of the fathers of Polish musicology, was connected to the journal from the very beginnings of its existence – first as its primary author and consultant on issues of merit, and later the editor-in-chief; he bridged all editions of Kwartalnik Muzyczny.

The only magazine addressed to the small group of Polish musicologists that was taking shape, as well as musicians and music enthusiasts eager to deepen their knowledge at an academic level, had to contribute to concentrating this young environment around the title and getting people to join initiatives undertaken by editors. On the other hand, it was also the source of disputes, which created groups of supporters and critics of this type of literature and of ‘mummified’ and ‘paper’ musicology (typical for ‘technical history’ based on building a base for musicological research through arduous archival and library inquiries and making detailed and tedious analyses supported by deep specialist theoretical ←9 | 10→knowledge that were the domain of the founder of the Lviv musicological school, Adolf Chybiński). The quoted terms appeared in the press from the group of supporters of the musicology proposed by the second founding father of Polish musicology, Zdzisław Jachimecki. Opposition to the Lviv methodology was ‘living history’ cultivated by the head of the department at the Jagiellonian University and by a group of journalists, mainly from Warsaw, associated, among others, with the editors of the popular monthly Muzyka which was founded and led by Mateusz Gliński. Its expression came in publications filled with interdisciplinary erudition and a beautiful literary narrative, the lack of scientific value of which was repeatedly criticised by Chybiński and his supporters.

The formulation of the title of this work in its final form imposed two perspectives from which to look at the topic: through the history of the journal and through the history of the environment. This dualistic approach, in turn, obliged me to expand the contexts – firstly – determination of the place of Kwartalnik Muzyczny against the background of the entire Polish music periodical history and – secondly – tracing the history of various institutions that musicologists of the first and second generation created. At the same time, the foreground was occupied continuously by Adolf Chybiński, a key figure, who was the foundation for the entire era encompassing the first four decades of Polish university studies of music.

The literature which has so far brought us closer to the history of this discipline in Poland is quite rich, but above all abounds in occasional reports and contributions. Therefore, the information contained therein had to be supplemented with reading and analysis of official documents surrounding the work of organisations and institutions from the scene – statutes, reports of activities, summaries from conventions and meetings (for example, WTM, PTMW, PTM, ZKP and others), often either completely unknown or unused. For the purpose of making the whole story below, the most significant were the collections of correspondence stored in several Polish libraries as well as – most importantly – those in private hands and never before accessible. This included the family archive of Józef Michał Chomiński containing the professor’s legacy, including files with incoming and outgoing correspondence, the latter in the form of duplicate copies. In total from the period up to 1952 nearly six hundred documents, including from and to: Ignacy Blochman, Ludwik Bronarski, Mieczysław Drobner, Stanisław Golachowski, Włodzimierz Poźniak, Bronisław Romaniszyn, Marian Sobieski, Bronisław Edward Sydow, Zdzisław Jachimecki, Zygmunt Estreicher, Alicja Simon, Roman Palester, Roman Ingarden, Konstanty Régamey, Bolesław Woytowicz, Stefan Kisielewski, Zygmunt Mycielski, as well as representatives of Lviv’s musicology – Hieronim Feicht, Stefania Łobaczewska ←10 | 11→and Zofia Lissa, and their common master – Adolf Chybiński. Amongst this group, there were also official writings – including from MKiS, with PWM, ZKP, PIS, the editorship of Ruch Muzyczny. Documents from the private archive of the Chomiński family were supplemented with funds collected in university libraries in Warsaw, Cracow and Poznań (archives of Adolf Chybiński, Zofia Lissa, Tadeusz Ochlewski, Ludwik Bronarski and others).

Though work on this monograph lasted for many years, it was by no means a ‘path through torment.’ It was the result of a continuous, ever-deepening fascination with the described matter. I also saw justification for this research in the kind of warm interest expressed in conversations with me by many representatives of the contemporary musicological milieu in Poland, often indicating to me the trails that were worth following. I pass this monograph to international readers with the hope of creating interest in four decades of the history of Polish musicology and Polish musicological journalism.

Małgorzata Sieradz

1. Panorama of Polish musicological journalism until 1910 – Roman Chojnacki’s Młoda Muzyka and Przegląd Muzyczny – WTM and Henryk Opieński’s Kwartalnik Muzyczny (1911–14) – collaboration with Adolf Chybiński – clarification of the concept of a musicological quarterly – university series

At the end of the third decade of the twentieth century the foundation of the first Polish periodical which could be described as musicological, entirely controlled by representatives of the academic community, was preceded by almost a hundred years of activity in the field by music critics and journalists, musicians and musically educated amateurs who laid the foundations for native scientific journalism. Already in autumn 1820, a prospectus announcing the first Tygodnik Muzyczny magazine appeared in several Warsaw bookshops and music shops. Karol Kurpiński was the creator, editor and primary author of the magazine. In his own words, it was supposed to contain a ‘dissection of music in general, various information concerning music, remarks about works, about their performance and all antiquities and musical novelties. … Moreover, [there were to be] exceptions from the life of famous composers and news about new musical works.’ Kurpiński’s greatest wish was to explain to the readers the ‘grammar’ of the language of music. He lamented that the average listener could only divide music into ‘beautiful’ and ‘hideous, boring,’ having no basis and knowledge to explain why they like some music or not. Popular literary criticism at that time was based on an article, O klasyczności i romantyczności tudzież o duchu poezji polskiej1 [About classicism and romanticism and the spirit of Polish poetry] by Kazimierz Brodziński, which initiated a broad discussion and provided a powerful force and a kind of programme referring to all fields of art, and Rozprawa o metryczności i rytmiczności języka polskiego [Discourse about the metricism and rhythmicism of the Polish language] by Józef Elsner2 and Kilka rad dla ←15 | 16→piszących poezje do śpiewania [Some advice for those writing poetry for singing] from Józef Dionizy Minasowicz,3 and an artistic exemplum of patriotic poems with the title Śpiewy historyczne [Historical songs] by Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, which a group of composers set to music. Kurpiński undertook the task of bringing potential readers of his periodicals closer to texts primarily concerning the history of music (‘Historia opery aż do opery polskiej’ [The history of opera up to Polish opera], but also ‘O muzyce dawnych Egipcjan’ [About the music of ancient Egyptians]), aesthetic issues (‘O skutkach muzyki’ [About the effects of music], ‘Czy potrzebna ludziom muzyka’ [Do people need music?]) and theoretical (‘Kilka słów o fudze’ [A few words about fugue]). He mainly wrote himself, though, for example, he invited Minasowicz for the preparation of the ‘Foreign news’ section, Alojzy Żółkowski for the discussion of local news and opera reviews and a few other anonymous authors. He also tried to encourage cooperation with readers: ‘Everybody in the country, as well as eminent amateurs and artists from overseas, are invited to give remarks, insights and thoughts, or send any discoveries regarding music to the editors of this weekly.’4

The relatively slim milieu of musicians educated not only in playing instruments, but also prepared for the profession in the field of music history and theory, and the small circle of trained amateurs – aristocrats and townspeople – obliged the editor-in-chief to oscillate between ambitious intentions and the actual expectations of readers. Inviting them to cooperation, he pointed out that the ‘The style is to be clear and as far as possible easy for everyone to understand. We will try to avoid dissertations which are too-learned, as well as too long because it is not our intention to write for very learned in this art, but for all those who demand to discover its secrets.’5 He wanted to make his magazine stand out among the Warsaw press through its content and graphic design. Tadeusz Przybylski pointed out that compared to other contemporary publishing houses Tygodnik Muzyczny ‘presented itself favourably with its neat and distinctive graphic layout,’6 but alas this did not help, because it only appeared from ←16 | 17→May to October 1820 and after a short break from December 1820 to June 1821 (after reactivation with the title Tygodnik Muzyczny i Dramatyczny). He finally experienced the fate that in the future for many music magazines became the norm: a short period in press, which could almost always be described with the formula used for the first time by Karol Kurpiński: ‘for a too small number of subscribers, unable to maintain it, [the magazine] cannot be published anymore.’7

Not only an excellent pianist, but also a brilliant literary journalist and music publicist, Maurycy Mochnacki, one of the most outstanding nineteenth-century music critics, remains somewhat on the margins of the history of Polish music magazines, one of the Warsaw ‘young romantics,’ whose ties of close friendship linked him with Chopin, amongst others. His pen work was related only to the daily press, but he did not attempt to create a periodical for the musicians and enlightened dilettantes, as Kurpiński had earlier, and count Cichocki did a little later. He wrote at the turn of the eighteen-twenties and thirties in the journals he edited himself, Gazeta Polska and Kurier Polski. Although his texts focused primarily on performance and interpretative matters, his general erudition, literary culture and knowledge of musical issues allowed him to go beyond the context of a concert review towards polemical articles, supported by historical-musical knowledge. While practising music criticism in the pages of popular newspapers, he knew that his texts would go to a very wide group of readers, not always musical, so as Stefan Jarociński put it, he was balancing between, ‘music criticism in a broader sense … [covering] all research or consideration of music with the intention of pronouncing opinions on its subject (value judgement), [and] in a narrower – similar action, but performed by a competent person,’8 as was Mochnacki.

After several years of absence from the market of Polish music magazines, when news about concert and publishing life, sometimes information about musical events abroad or news from the life of leading composers and ←17 | 18→virtuosos only appeared in the daily press and cultural magazines and papers ‘for women,’ Józef count Cichocki, then known as a Warsaw animator and organiser of musical life, an amateur musician, activist of the Resursa Kupiecka [the Merchant Association], who served, among others, through the fact that he was one of the first to reach for Polish music ‘antiquities,’ publishing ten psalms by Mikołaj Gomółka, took up editing and publishing Pamiętnik Muzyczny Warszawski. Opening the first issue, he wrote: ‘When for a dozen years or even more, we have no separate magazine for the subject of music, when none of our artists and musical amateurs, despite their abilities, publish and seeing such a need, I undertook, until someone who is more zealous will appear, to publish Pamiętnik Muzyczny.’

Cichocki, although he was a zealous propagator of music and ‘dilettante scholar’ in this field (contrary to Kurpiński, an educated musician who had the ambition to deal with musical matter academically – according to his capabilities), his magazine was directed to undemanding recipients. Through various types of ‘reports,’ ‘varia,’ extracts from publishing catalogues, and also including musical scores brimming with a banal repertoire for piano or voice with piano, typically small salon compositions by Polish musicians, or original, little-known foreign artists, he wanted to bring the current sphere of musical life (concert, opera, publishing) closer to everyone. Apparently, however, he misjudged the target group of the magazine, because despite the lightness of the form of the Pamiętnik, the title did not gain readers and after a year, during which six numbers were published, it collapsed, despite announcing another year.

The first two Polish periodicals were generally heavily criticised by historians.9 In our opinion, however, one should agree with Dobrochna Strumiłło, who proposed a favourable evaluation of the magazines mainly due to the moment of their existence both in relation to the history of the European music press, and the time in the history of the Polish state and the realities of Warsaw in the 1820s and 1830s.10

The next decades in the field of musical writing and music criticism were marked by the achievements of several of the capital’s intellectuals and artists. The statements of a well-known journalist Józef Kenig, linked from 1843 with Gazeta Warszawska, were of an opinion-forming character, as were those of cellist and musicographer Maurycy Karasowski. As I wrote earlier elsewhere, at this time ‘ “Warsaw’s bohemians,” a group of young writers and artists, once ←18 | 19→again began to create a climate for reviving the cultural life of the Kingdom. The musical milieu used the pages of Gazeta Teatralna (a magazine dedicated to theatre, music and literature) published from February 1843 [with the fact that] in the Gazeta edited by Kiesewetter … concerts and musical spectacles were only sporadically written about [mainly in the Grand Theatre] [and] for the already well-educated Warsaw music community, the magazine did not matter much.’11 Soon, however, news presented in a generally anecdotal form, a few cursory references to concerts, curiosities mostly drawn from French sources, critically evaluated by both journalists of the Warsaw press and historians involved in this field, were to be replaced by the father of modern Polish musical periodicals, Józef Sikorski.

Although Sikorski was still a representative of the second generation of romantics and did not join a positivist formation, which was then developing among intellectuals, in terms of stylistic writing, he completely broke away from the ubiquitous ‘exalted’ form of musical journalism (as described by Elżbieta Szczepańska-Lange12 in her wide raging sketch about Sikorski), and limited himself up to then mainly with concert reports: ‘through destroying a certain order in relations between the music and journalistic circles of Warsaw, he brought about the restoration of shaky criteria for the evaluation of music and the revival of musical criticism’13 absent in such a wide range since the times of Mochnacki.

The future creator of Ruch Muzyczny had all the basics to write at a high level of erudition. He studied at the Warsaw S.B. Linde Lyceum and through singing in the choir came into contact with Warsaw composers – Józef Stefani and Józef Elsner. Thanks to Elsner’s protection in the years 1827–29 he took lessons in the Conservatoire. In time, he began to independently become acquainted with the writings of Adolf Bernhard Marx, Johann Nikolaus Forkel, Friedrich Wilhelm Schilling, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. He taught himself French and German and broadened his interests in various directions. Already at the age of twenty, thirty he was a known music teacher in Warsaw; it seemed this was his calling: in 1846 he published the handbook titled Nowa szkoła na fortepiano [New school for piano] and six years later – a collection of music rules under the title Doręcznik muzyczny. Treściwe przedstawienie muzyki dzisiejszej … ze słownikiem wyrazów muzycznych [Music handbook. A comprehensive presentation of today’s music … with a dictionary of musical words]. Earlier, however, in ←19 | 20→1843, at the time when one could only read about the musical field in the pages of the aforementioned Gazeta Teatralna that only ran for a moment, Sikorski linked up with the monthly Biblioteka Warszawska, in which at the beginning he gave the text ‘O muzyce’14 [About music], and then he ran a regular column in Ruch Muzyczny. In the fifties, he also wrote for Gazeta Wielkiego Księstwa Poznańskiego, and in the sixties – for Tygodnik Ilustrowany. From the first essays, over the next several years (until 1858) Sikorski took a very in-depth look at subjects in the fields of history, theory and aesthetics of music, and also proposed his own concept of music criticism. Surrounding himself gradually with an ever-wider circle of educated artists and intellectuals, he was preparing to create a new editorial team.

The first edition of Ruch Muzyczny is dated April 1, 1857.

A group of activists and music critics became involved in cooperation around editing of the weekly – as the subtitle announced – ‘artists and music lovers’ – Maurycy Karasowski, Apolinary Kątski, Oskar Kolberg, Stanisław Moniuszko, Józef Stefani, Józef Wieniawski and others. Such an editorial team ensured a high standard for the periodical and although the authors of the monograph about Ruch Muzyczny propose to treat the magazine as something which is ‘not a professional magazine in the full sense of the word because it’s goals are primarily education and popularisation,’15 Jarociński compares the title to the European leader, François-Joseph Fétis’s Revue Musicale.16 Most of the space in the issues was occupied by reviews and criticism of current musical events, while articles about Liszt, Berlioz or Wagner became part of a discussion on new trends in European music. Aside from the current themes, the editorial team also attempted to print historical texts about both universal music,17 and also native.18 The multitude of interests of the group of journalists related to Ruch ←20 | 21→Muzyczny made it possible to publish materials from other fields of music scholarship: music theory,19 philosophy and aesthetics,20 pedagogy and psychology,21 acoustics and physiology of hearing,22 a number of articles in the field of organology and the history of instruments as well as musical folklore (including several articles from the ethnographer and composer Oskar Kolberg).23

The magazine gathered three hundred subscribers, primarily Warsaw music lovers, though of course not just, and they were given competent information ←21 | 22→about significant music events in Poland and abroad, correspondence from the provinces was also published. A large part of the volume was taken up with articles from the areas of the history and theory of music, aesthetics, music pedagogy and reviews of compositions sent to the editorial office and catalogues of music available in Warsaw bookstores. The editorial team also carried out various social initiatives, the most spectacular being the collection of contributions for Karol Kurpiński’s gravestone.

Despite the high content and editorial standards, Ruch Muzyczny struggled with financial problems, and after the suspension of operations during the January Uprising, the editorial office did not resume work again. Shortly later, in October 1865 Tomasz Le Brun (referring to the tradition of Ruch) published the first issue of the weekly Gazeta Muzyczna i Teatralna, but the magazine only survived until 29 March 1866. Among the authors related to the editors, whose short biographies were presented by Wanda Bogdany in a monograph devoted to magazine,24 it is worth mentioning August Jeske,25 F. Stevich,26 Le Brun,27 and the creator of ‘A dozen materials for the history of music in Poland,’ Kazimierz Łada. Unfortunately, after the closure of Gazeta, publicists and music critics linked with it (and other magazines) could only write for other cultural and social periodicals and the Warsaw daily newspapers.

Ten years after Józef Sikorski’s debut in Biblioteka Warszawska Maurycy Karasowski began his career there as a critic and journalist, and in due course also as a historiographer. In 1858, he became associated with Ruch Muzyczny as a correspondent. An active musician, private music teacher, member of the orchestra of the Grand Theatre, he had a solid background in music history. This background not only allowed him to publish reviews of current concert and opera life, but also essays and journalistic texts both in the daily press and cultural artistic periodicals – in Biblioteka Warszawska, Ruch Muzyczny and, after ←22 | 23→years, in Echo Muzyczne i Teatralne. In these journals he maintained permanent columns (when he was in place), he sent correspondence from foreign travels – Prague, Paris, Dresden, and introduced the profiles of Polish composers.28 Karasowski was presented after his death in 1892 in the pages of Echo Muzyczne by the editor of the weekly, Jan Kleczyński, remembering his older friend as a person endearing himself to ‘all hearts,’ a person of ‘good character and nice manner,’ whose ‘journalistic pen … gave not inconsiderable service: his correspondence … was written with rare tact, always interesting …, though not sinfully lengthy.’29

Kleczyński himself also had a thorough musical education, which he obtained in Paris, where he studied theory, composition and piano. He was not only an active musician, but also a teacher and community activist, one of the founders of the Warszawskie Towarzystwo Muzyczne [WTM], and first and foremost (from 1880) long-time editor-in-chief of the bi-weekly (later weekly) Echo Muzyczne, Teatralne i Artystyczne (from the year 1882 together with Aleksander Rajchman). The magazine initially appeared under the title Echo Muzyczne. It was conceived, as put by Włodzimierz Poźniak, in reference to the tradition of the Elsner’s periodical sheet music publication (the series Wybór pięknych dzieł muzycznych i pieśni polskich [A Selection of beautiful works of music and Polish songs], which was published in a monthly cycle in the years 1803–05). In such a formula, however, under the supervision of the first director, Wincenty Kruziński, the publication did not have much success. Admittedly, the first changes – from sheet music publishing to a literary-artistic magazine – already took place under the leadership of Kruziński, but in the following months, the duties of the leader were taken over by his deputy, Jan Kleczyński. The size of the magazine increased, and the content was to be filled with materials from the fields of history, theory and aesthetics, and music criticism, in addition to the current correspondence and reports. Among the authors collaborating from almost the beginning of the new edition of Echo were great names amongst contemporary music critics, publicists and historians such as Aleksander Poliński, Józef Wieniawski, Władysław Żeleński, Zygmunt Noskowski, Maurycy Karasowski. The editor-in-chief himself, who previously published reviews and reports in the ←23 | 24→Warsaw Tygodnik Ilustrowany and the weekly Bluszcz, was one of the most prolific writers for the magazine. Małgorzata Woźna, the author of a biographical sketch about him, counted over seven hundred reviews, reports and articles that Kleczyński published in Echo in the years 1880–95, and all press publications that he wrote from 1867 to his death numbered nearly one thousand seven hundred and fifty.30 Reports and reviews were the primary forms of his writing, but he was also the author of many articles. Woźna divides Kleczyński’s work into several areas: 1) popularisation of musical knowledge, mainly in the field of knowledge about opera (French, Italian and Polish) and making the profiles of Polish composers more familiar (Żeleński, Noskowski, Zarębski) as well as foreign composers (Liszt, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, but also Palestrina, Bach, and the Viennese classicists), 2) promoting the appreciation of Chopin and introducing interpretative issues connected with his work, 3) discovering Podhale folklore, which in the last decades of the nineteenth century became a new phenomenon for readers, and 4) ‘the progressive trend in contemporary music,’ meaning Wagner’s work.

Kleczyński’s success as the leading cultural journalist at the time progressed along with the extension of the magazine’s formula to other arts, which at the same time significantly increased the circle of collaborators. Many writers joined: Eliza Orzeszkowa, Maria Konopnicka, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Bolesław Prus, Teofil Lenartowicz; to name but a few. Apart from those already mentioned, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Emanuel Kania, Ludwik Grosman and many others joined the music department. At the beginning of the new century, however, it gradually began to deviate from the interdisciplinary character of its content. The good fortune of the weekly, which lasted until Kleczyński’s death and a few years later, gradually began to turn. Włodzimierz Poźniak saw two causes for this: ‘premature decision to limit the range of Echo almost exclusively to musical matters’ and the extra-editorial passions of the heir of the editorial chair, Rajchman, who in 1900 became the director of the Warsaw Philharmonic and was mainly devoted to that function.31 The last issue of one of the longest-appearing cultural magazines (with an emphasis on musical culture) appeared in 1907.

Echo Muzyczne, Teatralne i Artystyczne was the periodical that foreshadowed a new era in the history of the native music magazine, slowly but steadily marked by a new generation of journalists and critics, often educated in ←24 | 25→European universities and conservatories. The new Warsaw periodical opened in the autumn of 1908 for the first Polish musicologists returning from foreign studies and critics associated with the new trend in Polish music, the ‘musical-literary bi-weekly,’ which de facto soon became a ‘bi-weekly dedicated to music.’ Roman Chojnacki initiated and led the journal, appearing up to the year 1914 and – after the war – in the short period in the years 1918–19 initially titled Młoda Muzyka, and from January 1910 as Przegląd Muzyczny (let us point out, ahead of the facts, that this had nothing to do with the journal of the same title directed in the 1920s in Poznań by Henryk Opieński). Along with the change of the title, the format and volume, as well as the list of cooperating authors, were also increased. The editor-in-chief was a young, but already well-known organiser and animator of musical life in Warsaw, a music critic and musician; particularly distinguished during the interwar period, when he was the head and artistic director of the Warsaw Philharmonic. In Przegląd another musician, conductor Romuald Haller, collaborated with him, and Stefan Gacki became the literary manager, after years the editor-in-chief of the avant-garde Almanach Nowej Sztuki.

The journal was created at a very fruitful moment for the musical milieu. The first years of the new century saw Warsaw brought to life by the activities of the new institution, the Philharmonic, whose directorate (after a few stormy years under Aleksander Rajchman) was taken over in 1908 by Henryk Melcer. Melcer was an outstanding personality in the musical world, an authority in the field of musical activity, a man who in a short time introduced into the concert repertoire compositions by the creators of a new trend in Polish music – representatives of Young Poland. He soon invited to conducting cooperation, among others, one of the Young Poland activists – Grzegorz Fitelberg – and supporter of the formation, the musicologist debuting at the same time, Henryk Opieński. In order to deepen the atmosphere of understanding and openness to new trends in art in this favourable artistic situation, the idea of initiating a new title in the milieu met with interest, although in full generalities and platitudes the opening words to the first number did not hide the fact that there were no illusions concerning the fact that knowledge in the field of musical culture falls on fertile ground:

Bringing to life a new magazine devoted to a wide range of serious art, we mainly set ourselves the task of promoting art as the only beauty and raising our artistic culture in our society. We started work at a time when all serious creativity, having a basis in the inspiration of real art in all its manifestations, meets with a total lack of interest on the part of society, and young pioneers of art … are condemned to eternal vegetation. … ←25 | 26→instead of spreading wings, we will encourage them to further work, raise their spirit, pour in faith and emphasise the good things with which we can expel the bad.32

After a few months of operation, although declaring, ‘independence of judgement’ and avoiding ‘involuntary subservience to any existing musical cliques,’ the editorial board, taking into account the opinions of the milieu, felt burdened with ‘grateful duty to pay more detailed attention to the young musicians who, despite possessing serious knowledge and talent, still had difficulty taking a prominent place among the well-known and respected.’33

To promote new art and new values in music in ideological solidarity with the members of the Young Composers’ Association, the editors sought authors and correspondents in the circle of modern educated musicologists and critics sympathetic to the Berlin ‘clique.’ Hence from the names most frequently hosted in the pages of Młoda Muzyka and Przegląd Muzyczny over the years it was consistently possible to mention – apart from the editor-in-chief – Zdzisław Jachimecki, Henryk Opieński, Józef Reiss, Alicja Simon and only a few times or just at the outset of education in the field of musicology Stefania Gerard-Festenburg (Łobaczewska), who before the war managed to publish three articles, but above all – Adolf Chybiński. Anna Porębowiczowa, who in the already quoted ‘Wstęp’ [Introduction] to Volume VII of Bibliografia Polskich Czasopism Muzycznych [Bibliography of Polish musical periodicals] characterised Chybiński’s achievements in Roman Chojnacki’s bi-weekly thus:

In addition to scholarly articles in the field of early Polish music, informing readers about the state of research in Polish musicology, he writes biographical articles about Polish and foreign musicians, reviews from books and scores as well as critical articles. Thanks to him, the issue of musical ethnography appears in the pages of a music magazine for the first time. He is seconded by other intrepid people … musicologists, writing articles, reports, reviews from various fields concerning music (history, aesthetics, psychology, music pedagogy, theory, musical culture, and others).34

In the first decade of the twentieth century, Chybiński, in addition to scholarly writing, at the same time dealt with criticism and journalism, already during his studies, he sent correspondence from Munich regarding current musical events. He cooperated with the Cracow Czas, Lviv Słowo Polskie, the monthly Krytyka, the Jesuit Przegląd Powszechny, with the weekly Świat. When in 1907, in the Warsaw-based two-year-old journal Nowa Gazeta – a journal on a high ←26 | 27→literary level and with grand ambitions in the field of cultural information – the supplement Literatura i Sztuka started to appear, texts were directed to it not only by Henryk Opieński, a collaborator from the beginning with Nowa Gazeta but also Chybiński. In the extensive, two-volume monograph on Polish music criticism at the turn of the century Magdalena Dziadek devoted a longer section to this chapter of the journalistic work of the then young adept of Munich musicology, from which we learn that ‘[The Supplement to] Przegląd Muzyczny, which was entrusted to Adolf Chybiński, was at first a review of musicological literature. The critic regularly discussed Polish and foreign textbooks and dissertations on music. As a reviewer of German books, he was submissive in relation to those musicological authorities. While reviewing Polish books, he let himself be carried away by a polemical temperament, the results of which Zdzisław Jachimecki experienced. The devastating assessment of Jachimecki’s work Muzyka w Polsce … gave rise to a passionate polemic between the two young authors, continued later in the pages of Gazeta Lwowska.’35 At the same time the author also drew attention to the fact that ‘Of more enduring significance are the musical dissertations advertised in Literatura i Sztuka, which have no … highly articulated journalistic foundation … Ruch renesansowy w literaturze muzycznej [The Renaissance movement in music literature] (1907 No. 4) was one of the first Polish works synthesising the background and objectives of the movement for the revival of early music, and above all the works on Debussy, reporting the artistic foundations of the French artist based on his own writings.’36

For Adolf Chybiński Przegląd Muzyczny became a convenient forum, appropriate for his education, for publishing the research results of the first years of independent activity – let us remember that in the same year, 1908, he obtained a diploma from the University of Munich on the basis of his work Beiträge zur Geschichte des Taktschlegens und des Kapellmeisteramtes in der Epoche der Mensuralmusik.37 His research activity was focused from the very beginning primarily on historical musicology and resulted in several dozen publications in Roman Chojnacki’s Przegląd, and by following the yearbooks, we can see how wide his interests were apart from this, increasing this number by further positions. Most of the materials were created on the basis of music relics and documents ←27 | 28→found by Chybiński in the Cracow archives.38 Here is where his first materials about the royal rorantists appeared39 and also on the subject of the Tabulatura Joannis de Lublin,40 supplemented with contributions restoring the awareness of biographies of Early Polish composers – Johannes Borimius and Jacek Różycki41 and many lesser, unknown musicians. In the field of the universal history of music of earlier ages, he presented a panorama of the European Renaissance,42 a series of articles devoted to the work of Johann Sebastian Bach (moreover, left unfinished due to the suspension of the magazine’s activity) appeared in several editions from the year 1914. A considerable number of biographical materials from Chybiński’s pen, however, referred to composers of less distant epochs. In the Chopin jubilee year, a sketch was made ‘Chopin i jego wpływ’43 [Chopin and his influence], and several Moniuszko materials appeared in the post-war edition of the magazine.44 He made his contributions in occasional numbers: in the centenary of Liszt’s45 birth, in the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Debussy,46 he wrote about Mahler and Reger. At that time, however, his later fascination ←28 | 29→with Grieg’s works was not marked. An important part of Chybiński’s publication for Przegląd were materials related to the figures of the contemporary Polish artistic milieu. Befriended by musicians of the young generation – composers, performers – he devoted many pages to their accomplishments: the creative work of the hero of his future monographs, Mieczysław Karłowicz,47 Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Henryk Melcer, Ludomir Różycki, Grzegorz Fitelberg, and Karol Szymanowski barely at the beginning of their careers. In addition he had articles on a cross-section of contemporary topics – about symphonic and song music by composers of Young Poland48 and piano music.49 He revealed his interests in musical ethnography, reporting amongst other things the deliberations of the international music congress in Vienna on 25–29 May 1910 and several times later, especially in the post-war edition of the magazine.50 He also commented on the popularisation of music and promotion of the ‘high’ musical culture in the article ‘O wychowaniu muzycznym publiczności’ [About the music education of the public].51 In this he wrote about various types of listeners, about musical intelligence and about the need to create a canon of the repertoire (quite an obvious selection from the works of Bach, Haendel, the Viennese classics, nineteenth-century German composers, from Schubert and Mendelssohn, through Brahms, Bruckner and others), which would help educate conscious music lovers. This theme also includes articles by Józef Reiss,52 Henryk Opieński53 and the then starting out Stefania Gerard Festenburg (Łobaczewska).54

However, for musicology as a science and its place in the Polish university system the most important was the summary of the inaugural lecture published ←29 | 30→by Chybiński at the beginning of 1913 during the opening of the new department at the University of Lviv.55

Although Chybiński dominated as an author in the pages of Przegląd Muzyczny, the editorial office never-the-less managed to maintain the character of a forum for scholarly discussion of the just emerging milieu and invite other musicologists to it as well. In the area of publications on research about Old Polish music, the bibliography of the magazine is supplemented in principle by two important names – Zdzisław Jachimecki, the author of, amongst others, the contribution about the band of Władysław IV56 and the instrumental works of Adam Jarzębski57 and the monographic article about the song Chwała Tobie, gospodynie,58 and Józef Reiss, who twice presented materials ‘Z dawnych kancjonałów’59 [From old cantionals]. Reading Jachimecki’s other articles printed in Przegląd Muzyczny may indicate the direction – apart from old Polish music – his research interests will lead in the following years. Admittedly, his passions related to the work of the most important Polish composers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Chopin, Moniuszko, Karłowicz, Szymanowski) were only just being formed.60 However, his fascination with French and German music was already visible at that time – as with the work of specific composers (Mahler, Debussy, Strauss and first and foremost Wagner),61 and also in the context of the confrontation of both of these cultures.62

Reiss was involved in newer creative works, especially in relation to European music,63 he shared an interest in the figure and work of Richard Wagner with ←30 | 31→Jachimecki – in the occasional issue on the hundredth anniversary of the composer’s birth they both included texts about the music of Bayreuth64 (a dozen or so Wagnerian items appeared in Przegląd, which distinguishes the character and activity of this musician from the background of interest in the work of other composers). He was occupied with the role of music in culture, which he expressed in several sketches, including in a publication about folk concerts65 or in the text mentioned above about the culture of musical life. He also revealed his interest in the history of music going beyond the ranges traditionally present in musicological studies, namely antiquity,66 while with the cycle ‘Z zagadnień estetyki muzyki’ [From the riddles of musical aesthetics]67 he joined a small group of the first generation of musicologists working systematically in this field. In addition, he was one of the most prolific authors of reviews from the latest Polish and foreign musicological publications, as well as a translator of several foreign authors’ materials published in the journal.68 He himself also received reviews by both Chybiński and Jachimecki about his own article Melodie psalmowe Mikołaja Gomółki: 1580 [Psalm melodies by Mikołaj Gomółka: 1580].69

The next ‘university’ musicologist invited by Chojnacki to the group of authors of the bi-weekly was Henryk Opieński. Opieński was soon to be the editor of the milieu’s competing journal, Kwartalnik Muzyczny – the organ of the WTM. With his account of the first performance of Karol Szymanowski’s Second Symphony ←31 | 32→and the presentation of the work, he joined the group of people propagating the then young composer’s work at that time.70 Concerning ‘Old Polish’ matters, he reminded everyone of the lutenist Jakub Polak,71 and he interested himself in the singing movement and published a methodology of teaching singing, ‘reflections and wishes.’72

Against the background of the four most important authors, both in terms of quality, and also ‘productivity,’ the editor-in-chief of Młoda Muzyka and Przegląd Muzyczny, Roman Chojnacki, presents himself as an efficient organiser of the magazine and, above all, a chronicler of daily life. He was the author of short biographies in the regular column ‘Współcześni muzycy polscy’ [Contemporary Polish musicians], also a few obituaries and memories, and he also presented some of the most important European conservatories,73 but he did not, however, take up topics from music history or even the periphery of musicology, leaving this domain to pens already experienced in scholarly publications. Other collaborators for Przegląd were generally music critics or publicists, though, perhaps because of the Board’s editorial declarations to cut themselves off from all cliques, the magazine did not attract the hottest names present in the daily and cultural press. A small amount of materials were submitted for printing by Piotr Rytel, who was freshly promoted at the Institute of Music in the field of composition and piano playing (in later years an active music critic).74 Having already experience as a journalist in Russian magazines and referring to his performed profession, Mateusz Gliński75 in 1919 made his debut in the Polish environment with an article in Przegląd. Correspondence was sent by practising musicians, such as pianist Aleksander Wielhorski76 or composer and conductor Ignacy Neumark dealing with German music, primarily from the second half of the nineteenth ←32 | 33→century (Reger, Wagner), although he also reached for Mendelssohn’s legacy (in the centenary of his birth). Regional materials came from Russia – from the historian and music researcher Nikolai Findeisen who wrote about composers from the new Russian school,77 or from Czechia – from Jan Löwenbach writing about Prague as a focus of musical life.78 In addition, many translations of ‘classic’ readings appeared – Wagner, Berlioz, Liszt, Riemann.79

The magazine was not in debt to its most important authors. In correspondence and chronicles, information about their subsequent scholarly successes and new publications appeared. In the January issue of 1909 it was reported that Zdzisław Jachimecki ‘was appointed director of the musical Conservatoire in Cracow,’ and ‘Adolf Chybiński, music historian, a permanent collaborator of our magazine, received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the department of music at the University of Munich based on his thesis called Beitrage zur Geschichte des Taktschlegens und des Kapellmeisteramtes in der Epoche der Mensuralmusik. Mr. Chybiński is the third80 Pole, who has a doctorate in music and the first who achieved this degree in Germany. The newly decorated fellow countryman was invited to become a permanent member of the Polish music department in Dr Riemann’s music encyclopedia.’81

From the local chronicle, we also learn about scholarships awarded for research purposes (such as that granted from the funds of W. Orłowski to Adolf Chybiński at the beginning of 1910 ‘for academic-music research in foreign archives and libraries’),82 about appearances abroad by young musicologists ←33 | 34→(like Henryk Opieński’s readings on Chopin and Polish music in Prague in May 1910),83 and about the participation of Chybiński and Jachimecki in an international project about the creation of a Corpus scriptorum de musica (together with Adler, Sandberger, Wagner, Wolf and others). By not being limited to cooperation with authors from Warsaw, the editorial office could count on a wide reception in the country. This is also how it was. From time to time, flattering reviews about Przegląd Muzyczny which appeared in the capital and in the provincial press were cited. However, after the war break, it failed to return to its thriving activity from the turn of the first and second decade. Roman Chojnacki undertook different activities in the interwar years. He was almost continuously the artistic director of the Warsaw Philharmonic and was also a professor of music theory at the Warsaw Conservatoire. The title of the magazine itself appeared in Poznań in the 1920s, but the publication to which it was given did not refer in any way to the Warsaw bi-weekly.

The only link between the magazines seems to be Henryk Opieński, who was one of the most active authors of the bi-weekly. Later, for a short time, he was the editor of the Poznań Przegląd Muzyczny. In the first decade of the century, he was very much connected with the Warsaw milieu, primarily the environment of the local Musical Society. This gave him the opportunity to create a journal in competition to that made by Chojnacki, addressed primarily to readers well educated in the field of music knowledge, but dealing with issues of current musical life in a limited way. Until now, all music magazines, including those with the most ambitious profile, with editors-in-chief of such great erudition as Józef Sikorski or Jan Kleczyński, may have been occupied with both lesser and more educated music lovers, sometimes only music enthusiasts who are eager for information about current curiosities from musical life. Kwartalnik Muzyczny was supposed to stand in opposition to them, called into existence as an organ of the WTM. A short history of the Society is worth recalling here.

Already in 1869 in the pages of Kłosy (number 232), a weekly dedicated to literature, science and art, Warsaw music critic and pedagogue Władysław Wiślicki, presented a project to create a ‘literary and artistic club’ independent of the Instytut Muzyczny [Music institute] and the Warsaw Opera. The fate of the initiative was considered during 1870, and finally, in mid-January 1871, the WTM was established.84 The founders and the first members of the society were, amongst others, music journalists and musicians: Władysław Wiślicki, August ←34 | 35→Freyer, Emanuel Kania, Jan Kleczyński, Józef Sikorski, Adam Münchheimer, Stanisław Moniuszko, Ignacy Krzyżanowski, Józef Wieniawski; Sergiusz Muchanow became the president, and Aleksander Zarzycki became the Musical Director. As part of its activities, WTM fulfilled, amongst others, the missions to popularise creative work and maintain the memory of the most important Polish composers – Frederic Chopin and (following his death) Stanisław Moniuszko. The Society’s constitution contains basic assumptions and tasks that included, among others, regular organisation of concerts, popularisation of Polish musical creativity (including through publication), announcing composition competitions, supporting a system of scholarships for musically talented youth, organising amateur music groups; in the mid-1880s, a music school was established alongside WTM. In these initial assumptions, there was no question of leading and supporting scholarly activity.

Gradually, noticing the necessity of separating and dedicating its primary and basic tasks, the most exertive activists of the institution, started to draw out further Sections. On the initiative of the well-known linguist and ethnographer, Jan Karłowicz, the Stanisław Moniuszko Section was established at the end of 1891 to collect manuscripts and music prints and memorabilia of the composer, as well as publishing his works. The Church Music Section was founded in 1894 and five years later – this time at the initiative of the doctor and composer Henryk Dobrzycki – the Frederic Chopin Section. In 1905 Mieczysław Karłowicz became Musical director of the WTM, and shortly after that, in 1906, proposed the establishment of two new sections: Collective Music and Scientific. In the annual report the WTM reported that ‘On the 21 December last year the Committee confirmed the regulations governing the Society’s newly established Scientific Section … The aim of this Section will be to encourage research and historical-scholarly research, as well as comparative studies in the field of music and related sciences and mutual learning, and finally the dissemination of Polish knowledge and musical art at home and abroad . …’85

After the period of its initial organisation, the actual work of the Section restarted in the second half of 1907. The honorary president was Fr. Józef Surzyński and the Board was comprised of Henryk Opieński (chairman), Lucjan Marczewski (secretary, treasurer), Mieczysław Surzyński (librarian) and a few members, including amongst others Roman Statkowski and Felicjan Szopski. This was the formation that joined the International Music Society ←35 | 36→as representatives for the Polish Section, and in order to strengthen contacts with European musicology, they subscribed to Sammelbände der internationalen Musikgesellschaft and Zeitschrift der internationale Musikgesellschaft (which was also noted in the annual report). At the beginning of the activity, the Board proposed a series of readings, the first of which was in November 1907, ‘about early Polish dances of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,’ given by Henryk Opieński.86

After his arrival in Warsaw in 1901, Opieński immediately became involved in various activities in the musical milieu of the capital.87 He already became interested in music criticism during the time of his studies in Berlin: he became – after taking over the task from Karłowicz – one of the correspondents for Echo Muzyczne, Teatralne i Artystyczne. While Opieński’s own periodical remained as a plan for the time being, he spent the years of the first decade of the twentieth century passing between Warsaw and Leipzig, though, as Wojciech Jędrzejczak wrote in his memoir about him, ‘throughout this period he did not neglect … his pen – he wrote reviews, discussed concert programmes …, he printed an article on Chopin (1909) and his works …, he published the history of common music in outline (1912), worked on a doctoral dissertation about Bálint Bakfark.’88 He was one of the authors working since 1905 on the initiative of the Academy of Learning in Cracow by Stanisław Estreicher89 Encyklopedia polska [Polish encyclopaedia]; on this occasion, he even coordinated the editorial team’s cooperation with other musicologists – Chybiński and Jachimecki. Sometimes he ‘scandalously’ – as he himself wrote – neglected ‘… many things; ←36 | 37→now I must play “horribile dictu” with an orchestra for 10 days for the gramophone – to earn some extra money!’90 One of his most important plans, however, was the establishment and conduct of the first scientific journal of a strictly academic character, and the opportunity soon came.

Apart from reporting the events of the previous year, the WTM Report for 1907 presents the aims of the association’s activities: ‘concentrating the work on the history of Polish music, pedagogy and the theory of music in general, [the Management Board wishes] to fill a tangible gap in these areas …. One of the first activities of the Board is work on gathering and preparing material for the “Leksykon polskiej muzyki” [Lexicon of Polish music], further plans include a monograph on Moniuszko … and setting up a professional music journal of a purely scholarly nature.’91 Therefore, towards the end of 1909, Opieński began to send letters to well-known musicians, music critics and, above all, the few, but already functioning Polish musicologists. In the first place, he turned to Adolf Chybiński, who was well-known for his first serious achievements, presenting in the letter planned obligations for the editor on the one hand and expectations as to the nature of ordered material on the other hand:

Well, the question is coming to bear of Kwartalnik [emphasis H.O.] from 1910 (the first issue comes out in March) – of course the first thing is that I turn to you Sir with a request for collaboration – namely, for dissertations in the field of history and aesthetics – they may have musical examples and illustrations, of course from the outset our conditions are modest, so only 20 roubles paid by the page – maybe you have some work ready – maybe from the areas mentioned in the list (if such a facsimile were possible, it would be wonderful) … would be perfect for the first number right away. Of course, we want to keep … the tone very objective – very calm and non-aggressive, like in a scholarly quarterly.92

Despite the plans of Opieński and the Committee of WTM,93 the ‘expert magazine’ still had to wait a little longer. In March 1910, the future editors continued ←37 | 38→seeking permission from the authorities which was necessary to operate, and which was finally granted on April 26. It was decided to wait until September with the publication of the inaugural number, which meant that the materials should have been ready for publication at the end of July. Unfortunately, already at that time the editor of the new periodical realised that in the future he would often face delays due to reasons beyond his control: ‘the deadline depends only on us, or rather on me; and I depend on the honourable co-workers, of whom nobody has yet sent an article on time.’94 At the beginning of November, he asked Chybiński for a manuscript or even the title of an article for the edition which had already gone to press. The material finally arrived in the middle of the month, but Kwartalnik only appeared at the beginning of 1911, and the event was announced by a leaflet presenting the contents of the edition illustrated with a facsimile of a card from the Tabulatura Joannis de Lublin and a photograph from the collection of Mieczysław Karłowicz depicting Marcin Groblicz’s violin.

According to the words of the first editorial, when preparing to publish Kwartalnik, the editors strictly defined their mission and target recipients, wanting to

fill the gap that prevails in our musical literature, without possessing an organ that would be able to devote its columns to more strictly professional articles and dissertations in the field of the history of music aesthetics and theory, and to gather relevant historical materials for further research. We would like to fulfil those needs indicated by the increasing number of Polish musicological works in recent times, and we want to do this through publishing Kwartalnik Muzyczny, which, aside from all ‘directions’ in art, excluding all personal sympathies and antipathies, will combine in its columns the views of the most diverse shades in accordance with the principle that from a serious juxtaposition of different judgements and views on art, conclusions as close to true as possible can be drawn.

The editorial office’s message can be supplemented by the words of one of its members, Felicjan Szopski, who in his article about ‘pedagogy’ published on the following pages of the inaugural edition mentioned that ‘Desiring in articles of our Kwartalnik to penetrate into all the most important factors, being a catapult for the musical movement, the development of musicality and musical knowledge, we will pay close attention to the state of musical pedagogy. … We will devote the pages of our magazine to these matters from time to time, willingly ←38 | 39→posting rational opinions of experts, founded on knowledge, experience and wider views.’95

For a time, it seemed that the fate of the periodical would proceed undisturbed. From the very beginning, Konstanty Sarnecki, a well-known Warsaw music lover and patron of the arts, provided strong financial support; Opieński probably wrote about it at the beginning of 1908 to Chybiński: ‘a debate has started about a specialist monthly – because there is someone who can give money.’96 Unfortunately, the benefactor died soon thereafter, in the middle of 1911, and the editorial office remained without material support for one and a half years. After this time, it was reported that ‘Kwartalnik Muzyczny thanks to the support of Mianowski’s estate and private subsidy from Count Zamoyski, Juliusz Herman, Piotr Wertheim and Miss Elżbieta Zalewska, has current survival guaranteed [100 roubles to each number]. Apart from additions to individual numbers, the editors of the quarterly will separately publish older and newer compositions exclusively Polish or having direct contact with Polish music.’97

The next three years brought somewhat irregular publications, as in previous years, and they proceeded with continuous skirmishes with the unreliable printing press on the one hand, and on the other – with authors forever being late with their work. Opieński complained quite emphatically, saying that ‘for each number of Kwartalnik it is always necessary to use forceps and a cesarean section.’98 The Sprawozdania written in 1915 for the previous year reported that only two editions were published, and the next editions were constantly presented as the main goal. In 1914 we read that the ‘Scientific Section, as in previous years, limited its activity exclusively to publishing a music quarterly.’99 Unfortunately, the last two editions appeared in 1914, and the set of publications only covers two years: year I – numbers from January 1911, April 1911, October 1912 and a number from January 1913 (though indicated as year II); year II – edition from October 1913 and from May 1914. In the summary of the year 1915 the Committee of WTM reported on the difficulties resulting from the wartime hostilities and forced absences from Warsaw of Henryk Opieński, an Austrian subject, who was the ‘soul and pillar,’ ‘most active member’ of the Scientific Section: ‘The activities of the Scientific Section due to the … scattering of its ←39 | 40→members, and above all the absence of its head, Mr Henryk Opieński, who from the moment of the outbreak of war to the last days was forced to stay abroad – were temporarily suspended.’100

This situation also stretched into the next year. In the new historical reality, after the year 1918, Kwartalnik was not reactivated as an organ of WTM. Opieński, who left the country at the beginning of the war operations, stopped on the way for three weeks with Father Józef Surzyński in Kościan and then at some village in the Sieradz region, arriving then to Switzerland, from where he returned – first to Warsaw, afterwards to Poznań – in the year 1919. During his several-year stay in Poznań, he had a second editorial episode, when in 1925–26 he ran his own Przegląd Muzyczny, also important on a national scale.

Due to the interest of the then editor-in-chief as well as the ‘profile’ of the musicological milieu emerging at the time, the vast majority of the quarterly was filled with historical works, primarily in the history of Polish music. The first years of the twentieth century were a period when, in a short time, the first generation of well-educated Polish musicologists began to return from foreign studies at German, Swiss and Viennese universities, though not all – as some people noticed years later – deserved to be called well-educated.101

For the first issue of the new magazine, the editorial team invited the two musicologists who were best prepared to conduct academic research at that time – Adolf Chybiński and Zdzisław Jachimecki wrote an article for the first issue – Tabulatura organowa Jana z Lublina (1540) [Organ Tabulatura Joannis de Lublin (1540)] giving the opportunity to inaugurate the journal’s work.102 In subsequent issues the alumnus of the University of Munich maintained the subject ←40 | 41→of Old Polish themes103 and once organological material: he supplemented the edition of Mieczysław Karłowicz’s notes on early Polish violins with his own contribution on the same subject.104 Jachimecki initially announced an article about Chopin’s harmony for the first issue, but he only provided short material on ‘Several incomplete polyphonic compositions by Polish masters from the sixteenth century.’105 Other authors of articles and historical materials were: Aleksander Poliński,106 Jan Wilusz (co-author, along with Chybiński, of an edition of eighteenth-century musical inventories from the Podhorce castle),107 Teresa Panieńska,108 Piotr Maszyński,109 Mieczysław Skolimowski,110 Alicja Simon111 and two people recommended by Chybiński from the newly opened department of musicology in Lviv – Bronisława Wójcikówna112 and ←41 | 42→Stefania Łobaczewska-Festenburg.113 Texts touching theoretical and aesthetic issues appeared sporadically and were signed twice by Józef Rosenzweig114 and Adolf Gużewski115 and Felicjan Szopski, leading the ‘theoretical’ section, signed under the above-mentioned communique about ‘our [Polish] musical pedagogy.’ As stated, along with Kętrzyński, Opieński himself prepared material about the fifteenth-century hymn Cracovia civitas and – independently – an edition ‘Notatki o dawnych polskich skrzypcach’ [A note about early Polish violins] by Mieczysław Karłowicz, who died tragically two years earlier (‘as an expression of remembrance about him and his work, so important and comprehensive for Polish arts’116). In the fourth edition, Opieński undertook a ‘musical dissection’ of Symphony in B minor by Ignacy Jan Paderewski,117 which gave rise to an entire series of ‘Paderewskianas’ written by him and heralded a deep, many year, almost lifelong attachment to the Master from Riond-Bosson. Some selected materials also appeared in separate copies of the Kwartalnik: piano transcriptions prepared by Opieński from lute and organ tablatures, Chybiński’s first article, or the preludes for organ from the Tabulatura Joannis de Lublin. Chybiński was also a frequent contributor to the reporting department of the magazine.118

Judging from the frequency of the publication of the articles by Chybiński, it can be assumed that Opieński highly valued him as a musicologist, believing him equal to the level of education, erudition, meticulous research of the best European models. One cannot forget, however, that the remaining authors also acquired knowledge of foreign centres in the field of history or theory of music. Józef Rosenzweig, lawyer, writer, pianist and musicologist, who spoke several languages, alongside law studies at the University of Warsaw, attended lectures in musicology given by Hugo Riemann in Leipzig. When in 1900 he settled in Warsaw, he undertook music journalism, and cooperated, amongst others with ←42 | 43→Echo Muzyczne, Teatralne i Artystyczne, periodical Słowo and Kurier Poranny. He taught classes on the history and aesthetics of music in the WTM music school and in the F. Chopin Music Institute (and after years, according to the Polski Słownik Biograficzny, from 1923 he also lectured on the history of music at the University of Warsaw).119 In WTM he was a member of the Committee and from 1905, secretary of the Society.

Mieczysław Surzyński, brother of Father Józef Surzyński, organist, conductor and pedagogue, gained education in Berlin in the field of music theory and composition. In Poznań, where he lived in the eighteen-nineties, he founded the Musical Society; after settling in Warsaw, he became associated with the Instytut Muzyczny [Musical Institute] and the WTM Music School. He gained experience as an author of historical-musical works by co-editing the magazine Śpiew Kościelny, in which he also published his own articles.120

Adolf Gużewski and Piotr Maszyński, composers, organisers of musical life, both, although at different times, studied composition with Zygmunt Noskowski, and were associated with the circles of WTM. Maszyński joined WTM already in the year 1880, and at that time, he began to write reports from Warsaw’s musical life in Gazeta Polska; Gużewski, a composer and pianist, sympathised with the circle of musicians of the Young Poland movement and was – apart from Karłowicz and Opieński among others – one of the signatories of the protest against the management of the Warsaw Philharmonic not allowing the performance of Young Polish composers to the concert repertoire. He devoted himself to pedagogy, but he also dealt with musical-aesthetic issues.121

As can be seen, Opieński made available the pages of Kwartalnik to tested, personally known researchers, musicographers and people of the pen, although he did not close himself to contacts with his opponents, such as Aleksander Poliński (the author included material ‘Nieznany skarb muzyczny’ [Unknown musical treasure] in the third number of Kwartalnik about sources discovered in the Gdańsk City Library), with whom he repeatedly battled polemics, sometimes even dealing with civil lawsuits.122 Establishing a journal with scholarly aspirations, he realised from whom he could find the greatest support: the milieu was still very small, as was said, the first musicologists – and authors and ←43 | 44→potential readers – were just returning from studies and scholarships abroad. However, limiting the programme – through a consistently implemented ‘academic’ profile of the magazine – the circle of readers in this small, newly formed group, the editors condemned Kwartalnik to a short life. It is hard to disagree with Kornel Michałowski, who, in excessive ambitions and material problems, sought a mere few-years-long vegetation of the title,123 differently than Opieński himself, who was convinced that closing the periodical was influenced by not low reception or financial problems, but current events.

As to the content of the magazine, it can be stated that even a cursory reading of the publication draws attention to the phenomenon of the writing dominance of Adolf Chybiński in the first edition of Kwartalnik Muzyczny. For the future founder of Lviv musicology, it was a perfect moment to ‘anchor’ himself permanently in the history of the journalistic milieu, and his privileged position on the list of authors without a doubt – apart from the great scholarly fertility of the young researcher – was related to the familiarity that connected him with Opieński. The beginnings of their acquaintance reached back to the ‘Munich’ times, dated a few years earlier. During his foreign studies, Chybiński began to acquire his first honours as a correspondent and rapporteur in the field of events related to Polish music in Zeitschrift der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft (from the year 1905) and in Allgemeines Litteraturblatt and Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (from the year 1906), he also collaborated with the editors of the Riemann dictionary. At the same time, he also made contact with a group of young Polish musicians staying in Berlin.124 Several times in 1906 and 1907 Mieczysław Karłowicz, whom he met in Zakopane, and who belonged to this artistic formation, visited him in Munich. Chybiński125 himself thought that it is probably from him that Opieński got the Munich address, as he stayed in the city temporarily, getting acquainted with the Hofbibliothek with Bakfarek’s lute compositions (and making copies of them), which was part of his research work related to the ←44 | 45→subject of a doctorate written under the guidance of Hugo Riemann in Leipzig.126 They met many times, and their acquaintance in the following years moved from a purely social plane to a strictly professional, involved in musicological activity in its various aspects.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Open Access
Publication date
2020 (April)
Music Sociology History of Musical Periods Musical Sociology
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2020. 576 pp.

Biographical notes

Małgorzata Sieradz (Author)

Dr Małgorzata Sieradz focuses her research on the Polish musical culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, along with the history of music journals.


Title: The Beginnings of Polish Musicology
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578 pages