2009 | 7 | 185-211
Article title

CHOPIN'S HERITAGE IN CONTEMPORARY POLISH EDUCATION (Dziedzictwo chopinowskie we wspolczesnej edukacji polskiej)

Title variants
Languages of publication
The purpose of the present study is to examine Fryderyk Chopin's oeuvre from the perspective of the principles of general artistic education relating both to the subject 'Music' in all stages of education and - in accordance with the trends in contemporary teaching - in the context of interdisciplinary approach to his works. / As the analysis of coursebooks approved for school use shows, the position of Chopin's music in contemporary education has been significantly emphasized. The authors of all coursebooks included the compositions of Poland's great Romantic composer, having selected them most often by the diversity of genres, by sounds of stylized folk music, by the Polish nature of his music against the background of historical events, by the performing personalities, and by the possibility of analytical listening depending on the age of school students and their perception skills. / Primary school pupils are offered in all the coursebooks a total of 27 pieces of different genres. These include three songs (Zyczenie / [The Wish], Hulanka / [Merrymaking] and Wojak / [The Warrior]), three Polonaises (juvenile in G minor / , in A major / Op. 40 No. 1, in A flat major / Op. 53), seven Mazurkas (in B flat major / Op. 7 No. 1, in A minor / Op. 68 No. 2, in G minor / Op. 24 No. 1, in D major / Op. 33 No. 2, in C major / Op. 7 No. 5, in E major / Op. 6 No. 3, in F major / Op. 68 No. 3), three Waltzes (in D flat major / Op. 64 No. 1, in A minor / Op. 34 No. 2, in F major / Op. 34 No. 3), five Preludes (in D flat major / , in E minor / , in A major / , in D minor / , and in A flat major / Op. 28), one Etude (in C minor / Op. 10 No. 12), Scherzo in B minor / Op. 20, and the initial fragments of two first movements of Concerto in E minor / and Variations in B flat major / Op. 2. / The compositions by Chopin contained in gimnazjum / [lower secondary school] coursebooks are somewhat fewer in number. This is accounted for by the fact that, unlike the three-year cycle in primary school, in which children have music classes for three years, gimnazjum / students have only one hour of music class per week in their first year of instruction. The coursebook authors therefore recommend that students learn five Mazurkas (which are all included in the coursebooks for fourth-sixth forms): in F major / Op. 68 No. 3, in D major / Op. 33 No. 2, in B flat major / Op. 7 No. 1, in F major / Op. 68 No. 3 and in A minor / Op. 68 No. 2. The remaining pieces are Preludes (in E minor / , in A major / , in D minor / ), Polonaises in G minor / , in A major / , in A flat major / Op. 53, in C sharp minor / Op. 26 No. 1) and Scherzo in B minor, Etude in C minor / Op. 10 No. 12, Ballade in G minor, Waltz in D flat major / Op. 64 No. 1, Rondo a la Krakowiak / , Song Zyczenie / [The Wish] in a local version and in a piano arrangement by Liszt; and the fragments of both Concertos. / An analytical study concerning the place of Chopin's music in Polish coursebooks shows that there is a group of his compositions, which can be called especially popular. These are: Waltz in D flat major / Op. 64 No. 1, Mazurka in D major / Op. 33 No. 2, Polonaise in A major / Op. 40 No. 1, Polonaise in A flat major / Op. 53, Scherzo in B minor / (the fragment with the carol) and Prelude in D flat major / Op. 28 No. 15. More difficult and longer compositions, which are, consequently, intended for more mature listeners, were included only in some gimnazjum / textbooks. It should be observed that no coursebook has included any nocturnes in its repertory despite the fact that Chopin made this genre a form of piano poetry, transforming them into the most beautiful and best known lyrical compositions. / Chopin's music inspired and still inspires many artists in different fields of art and in various areas of music. This is demonstrated by countless painting and literary works, sculptures, photos, or by original musical arrangements ranging from jazz to rock. While avoiding far-reaching judgments of some of these undertakings, there is certainly no denying that their intention is to discover anew the lasting value of the beauty of Chopin's music, which in the case of young people can breed new ways to become acquainted with the oeuvre of Poland's genius composer.
  • Renata Gozdecka, Instytut Muzyki, Uniwersytetu Marii Curie-Sklodowskiej, Al. Krasnicka 2a, 20-718 Lublin
Document Type
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.