The Department of Ethnomusicology and Hymnology is – in principle – the only institution in Poland which carries out comprehensive research on Polish folk religious singing and its sources. The comprehensive work on the Polish folk religious singing comprises, in particular: recording of the rich repertoire of traditional singing, scientific work on the empirical material gathered, studies on the musical tradition of particular parishes, studies on the selected repertoire in order to prepare a monograph of particular songs or song genres, research on the musical culture of a parish or small regions, synthetic studies concerning some musical phenomena (melodic pattern, tonality, metre and rhythm, category of styles, form of folk religious singing), search for plainsong-based sources of Polish religious songs.

Furthermore, the Department of Ethnomusicology and Hymnology conducts hymnologic research aimed at survey, documentation and study of handwritten and printed sources published in Poland and abroad. These sources comprise both songbooks and cantionals, as well as other publications referring indirectly to religious singing.

The archive findings from the first (in 1970) and the subsequent field explorations formed the germ of the Archive of Music Religious Folklore at the Institute of Musicology of KUL. Nowadays, the Archive comprises a collection of 25,000 recorded songs, which is most probably the largest collection of folk religious songs in Europe. Moreover, it has a distinct profile in comparison to other archives of folklore. The AMRF stores the recordings gathered during field research continued for over 45 years. The songs of the Catholic communities, gathered in the AMRF, are treated as a source for multidimensional and interdisciplinary research, mostly in the field of musicology, and to a lesser extent in cultural studies, folklore studies and theology. The rich collections of the AMRF are used in the Institute of Musicology of KUL, in the scientific, educational and artistic work (e.g. by the circles reconstructing the traditional religious music).

Author: Kinga Strycharz-Bogacz
Last update: 07.12.2020, hr. 17:08 - Kinga Strycharz-Bogacz