Oskar Kolberg

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kolberg, Oskar


Born Feb. 22, 1814, in Przysucha, Kielce Województwo; died June 3, 1890, in Krakow. Polish ethnologist and composer; founder of Polish folklore studies.

Kolberg studied in Warsaw under J. Eisner and the composer, pianist, and conductor I. Dobrzynski and completed his training in Berlin. He collected and studied a vast body of material on Polish folk poetry, culture, and everyday life and wrote adaptations of folk melodies and dances for piano. Kolberg published the collections Folksongs Arranged for Singing with a piano accompaniment (parts 1–2, 1842) and Songs of the Polish People (1857). Of considerable scholarly importance are his multivolume studies People, Their Customs, Way of Life, Language, Tales, Proverbs, Rituals, Beliefs, Amusements, Songs, Music, and Dances (vols. 1–23, 1865–90) and Ethnographic Pictures (1882; 11 volumes appeared during his lifetime). He wrote music for the theater (Janek From Ojców and The Shepherd’s King), dances, fantasias and études for piano, art songs, and adaptations of folk songs. Kolberg published several articles on Polish folk music, folk instruments, and Slavic music in Polish periodicals and in the General Encyclopedia.


Dzieta wszystkie, vols. 1–66. Wroclaw, 1961–69.


Kopernicki, I. Oskar Kolberg. Krakow, 1889.
Lam, S. Oskar Kolberg. Lvov, 1914.
Górski, R. Oskar Kolberg. [Warsaw, 1970.]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Comparing Oskar Kolberg's landmark collection of 1857 and 1863 with subsequent transcriptions, Cooley shows how a broad repertoire was streamlined by "culture brokers" (104) such as the popular promoter of the region, Dr.