THE MAUSOLEUM OF SIGISMUND I, THE RORANTYSCI CHOIR, AND CRACOW RENAISSANCE 'MUSICOLOGY'
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The article deals with the mausoleum of King Sigismund I, the first Renaissance funerary chapel in Poland, a special college of singers attached to the chapel, called the Rorantysci choir, and Renaissance 'Musicology' - a collection of musical treatises. The time bracket for the construction of the mausoleum in the Wawel Cathedral is set by the years 1519 and 1533. The author of the chapel was the Renaissance artist Bartolomeo Berrecci. The decoration includes a relief sculpture of King David and quotations from the Psalms, engraved on the frieze of the entablature. Ten years later, in 1543, the king brought into being a special choir (Rorantysci Choir), which was obliged to chant an early morning Mass (rorata) every day throughout the year. Between 1515 and the mid-1540s a number of treatises on the art of singing were published in Cracow. Writers such as Stephanus Monetarius, Sebastianus Felstinensis, Georgius Libanus, and others refer to the Pythagoreans, Plato, Cicero, St Augustine, Boethius, and more recent authors. They distinguish human music ('musica humana') as an expression of the harmony of the human soul and body, also understood as vocal music. The authors of the treatises placed great emphasis on the importance of music in the relationship between God and people, on the worship of Him by, for example, singing the Psalms, as was practised in the Sigismund mausoleum.
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