This book explores the role of music in developing the culture of Galicia -- a part of the Polish Commonwealth which belonged to the Habsburg Monarchy from the first partition of Poland in 1772 until the end of World War I. It gives a central place to the relation the people had with shared musical objects, knowledge and practices -- both domestic and imported from cultural centers such as Vienna -- and the ways in which music emphasized social cleavages, and provided individuals and groups with a national identity, sense of community, and social status.
An analysis of the conditions of Galician society -- its social structure and dynamics, political and economic status, and cultural level and aspirations -- is followed by chapters on music as a commercial pursuit, as civic and moral pedagogy, as an expression of cultural identity, as communal experience, as status symbol, and as an expression of political attitudes of the Galicians. These themes illustrate the cultural use of music in Galician schools, theaters, musical societies, choirs, public concerts, and homes. How music satisfied the cultural and psychological needs of the Galicians was conditioned by a shortage of urban centers, as well as Enlightenment ideas that came from Austria with an emphasis on the education roles of the arts, a low level of industrialization, a lack of leadership by the local cultural elite, the heritage of the noble value system with its disdain for cities and urban occupations, and its quite explicit social prejudice which made it important to maintain social divisions and hierarchies. These conditions not only made the process of modernization in Galicia slower than elsewhere in Europe but also shaped it in a particular way.
Jolanta T. Pekacz is Professor of History at the University of Saskatchewan.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 666 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
Music in the Culture of Polish Galicia: 1772-1914 offers a fascinating cultural portrait and should be of particular interest to music scholars and to Poles with roots to Galicia. THE POLISH REVIEW
WINNER OF THE AAASS/ORBIS PRIZE FOR POLISH STUDIES
Pekacz has done remarkable scholarly work in capturing the complexity of cultural circumstances in Galicia. AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW
The real strength of this book lies in its wealth of detail...her book will amply reward the attentions of readerships in social history as well as in musicology. SLAVIC REVIEW
Music in the Culture of Polish Galicia is among the most significant English-language monographs concerning music in Poland. By exploring history through musical culture, Pekacz draws attention to an important interdisciplinary methodology that has long been overdue for broader attention. The richness of her research, the innovative approach to the material, and the elegant writing make Pekacz's Music in the Culture of Polish Galicia a compelling read. SLAVIC AND EAST EUROPEAN JOURNAL, 2006