Encyclopaedia of Music PWM is one of the key publishing projects of Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne and, simultaneously, the most important source of knowledge about music in Poland. It is now available online for free for the logged-in users.
Encyclopaedia of Music PWM. Biographical Part is the biggest and the most spectacular research project of the Polish music community in the history of our country. The group of over 1000 authors – musicologists, music theorists, literary scholars, art historians, philosophers – for four decades were working intensively on monumental lexicographic series comprising over 10,000 entries in 12 volumes, 2 supplements and 5 special volumes (approx. 6,000 pages in total). The work started in the 1970s, by the then director of Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne, prof. Mieczysław Tomaszewski and the editor-in-chief of the Encyclopaedia, dr Elżbieta Dziębowska, in their concept and momentum, they were a phenomenon in the world of music lexicography, becoming a model for other publishing houses of this type on all continents. Not only did Polish researchers prepare extensive biographical entries, but also took into account the broad context of creation of music works, including in Encyclopaedia entries by researches from other arts and humanities. Encyclopaedia of Music PWM is still an unquestionable source of knowledge for the next generations of people professionally and amateurly interested in music.
Implementation of such a comprehensive and substantive project would not be possible without the participation of scientific editors, i.e. specialists who took care of individual sections of the Encyclopaedia, selecting entries and supervising their appropriate substantive level. As in the paper edition, the current digital one also has scientific editors supervising the updating and preparation of texts for publication. Among them, there were the most distinguished representatives of their specialties: Wojciech Błażejczyk (“acoustics”), Bogdan Chmura (“jazz musicians”), Ewa Dahlig-Turek (“ethnographers”), Magdalena Dziadek (“performers of the 19th and 20th centuries”), Aleksandra Dziurosz (“dancers”), Patryk Frankowski (“instrument builders”), Paweł Garncarczyk (“theoreticians and composers of the 5th–15th centuries”), Maciej Jochymczyk (“composers and performers of the 18th century”), Jakub Kubieniec (“antique”), Iwona Lindstedt (“composers of the 20th century born after 1900”), Maciej Negrey (“composers of the 19th century”), Ewa Schreiber (“composers of the 20th century born before 1900”), Andrzej Sitarz (“publishers and organizers”) , Marcin Trzęsiok (“lyricists, librettists”), Ryszard Wieczorek (“theoreticians and composers of the 16th century”), Piotr Wilk (“theoreticians, composers and performers of the 17th century”), Małgorzata Woźna-Stankiewicz (“theorists and historians of the 18th–20th century”), Wojciech Zając (“entertainment musicians”).
Until June 2023, we will make available 3,500 entries from printed volumes of the Encyclopaedia free of charge to logged-in users on the platform of the Polish Music Library. The most important goal of the project is to digitise the resources in the form in which they were published in the paper edition – however, due to the progress of research work since the printing of individual volumes, the editorial office, in cooperation with the authors, undertook to systematically update entries that need to be supplemented. This is a large-scale work, the effects of which can be partially seen now; subsequent entries will be gradually updated in the further stages of the project.
Giving users the first part of the entries of the Encyclopaedia of Music PWM, we are happy that we can provide free access to these unique resources – just log in to the portal to use it without restrictions. At the same time, we do not cease our efforts to provide the next part of the entries and subsequent updates, so that the digital version of the Encyclopaedia continues its tradition as the most up-to-date and reliable Polish source of knowledge about music.