Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Guelker-Cone, Leslie. “A Monument of the Polish Renaissance: Mikołaj Gomółka’s Psalter.” The Choral Journal 38 (May 1988): 15-22.

Mikoła Gomółkas’s Melodie na psałterz polski, his only surviving work, contains 152 short psalm settings which actively reflect the composer’s interest in Calvinist theology and humanistic philosophy. The settings can be divided into four categories. The first type of settings resembles Protestant chorales, with syllabic melodies and note-against-note accompaniment. The second type was influenced by the secular madrigal and chanson and features free polyphony. The psalms in the third category have more complex settings, with imitation between two or three voices. The last category of psalm settings was influenced by secular genres; pieces in this group either resemble German Lieder or are set in triple meter and have a dance-like character that is similar to an Italian villanelle. Several psalm settings also feature borrowed melodies from a variety of sources, including Gomółkas’s own music, Czech and German hymn books, Polish psalters, and Clemens non Papa’s setting of the Dutch Souterliedekens. Gomółka’s work showcases the cultural multiplicity of Polish society and the popularity of vernacular psalm settings in Poland during the 1500s.

Works: Mikołaj Gomólkas: Melodie na psałterz polski (15-22).

Sources: Clemens non Papa: Souterliedekens (18); Martin Luther: Ein feste Burg (18).

Index Classifications: 1500s

Contributed by: Cynthia Dretel, Matthew G. Leone

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