Sarmatisation of the Polish Christmas carol—posthumous success of the Jagiellonian dynastic ideology
Marchwica, Wojciech M.
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The Sarmatian ideology appears in 15th c. Polish political thought as a means of ideologically linking together a multi-ethnic state. The creation of the category—superordinate with respect to ethnic-national connotations—of the Sarmata (who could be a Pole, Ruthenian or Lithuanian, as well as a Pomeranian or Silesian—here we are speaking of ethnic nationality, not of regionalism) aimed to assemble all persons of noble birth around the person of the king, as well as to politically unify the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, music surviving from the Jagiellonian era alludes in decidedly greater measure to pan-European models. Only the last decades of the 16th and the first decades of the 17th cc., bring diverse examples of songs appealing to the Sarmatian ideology. Instances of this—Sarmatization and Polonization of songs are to be found in not only historic, but also religious songs—especially Christmas carols. What is more, even professional composers, in writing non-liturgical compositions intended for the Christmas season, use a stylistic staffage encompassing elements of archaization and folklorization of music. This is confirmed indirectly by the formation, at the turn of the 16th and the 17th cc., of a peculiar Sarmatian musical style.
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