Interview with Paweł Gancarczyk for the magazine ‘Academia’

‘Academia’ 2017 no. 4.

‘Academia’ 2017 no. 4.

In December 2017 the magazine ‘Academia’, which popularises scientific research, published Anna Kilian’s interview with Paweł Gancarczyk. In a long conversation on the subject of project SoundMe, Gancarczyk explained the idea behind it and presented the research conducted by the Warsaw team on music in Central Europe and Italy.

His comments included the following:

‘It is customary to assume that thinking in terms of the past, and referring to the music of the past, is the invention of our modern times. That is not the case, although the picture of past epochs is not one-dimensional in this respect’ (p. 21). ‘Writing a history of music, of art in general, we mainly point to works which were progressive for their time, those that introduced something new. While we are doing that we forget about the other ones, which were often outstanding but were looking back, towards the past’ (p. 22).

Later on in the interview Gancarczyk said, ‘The essence of our shared project is to change our view of the music of the 13th-16th centuries, to show that, at that time as well, Europeans regarded their musical tradition, and the sense of identity built on it, as very important’ (p. 21).

The magazine ‘Academia’ appears four times a year in paper form, and online at It presents the results of research of the various branches of learning represented at the Polish Academy of Sciences.

You can read the online interview on →