A case study of Albrecht Górecki – political player, printer, musical inventor?

On Monday, January 29, at 2:00 pm, the seminar of Dr. Emily Peppers (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Institute of Musicology, Faculty of Arts and Culture, University of Warsaw) will take place at the Centre for the History of Renaissance Knowledge, room 143 at the Staszic Palace. During the seminar, held within the ‘Renaissance Mind‘ cycle, Dr. Peppers will speak about ‘The MusiConduits project and high-risk, high gain research at the University of Warsaw. A case study of Albrecht Górecki – political player, printer, musical inventor?’. Below is the abstract of the presentation.

In this presentation, Emily will discuss the European Commission-funded MusiConduits project, exploring the Early Modern musical culture of Poland-Lithuania through its material objects. In addition,  Emily will present exciting new research that embodies the European Commission’s ‘high-risk, high-gain’ ethos, highlighting a major musicological discovery through the seventeenth-century knowledge communication channels of Samuel Hartlib, committed to the advancement of science and learning:

Albrecht (Wojciech) Górecki and the invention of the wire-wound string

In 1659, the ephemerides (diary or letter index) of Samuel Hartlib, renowned intelligencer, provides the first known claim of who invented a new form of lute string – gut or silk string wrapped with silver wire: ‘Goretsky hath an invention of lute strings covered with silver wyer, or strings which make a most admirable musick’. Beyond the Hartlib reference, the trail of modern scholarship on the credited inventor runs cold. But who was this ‘Goretsky’? Exciting new research from the MusiConduits project has revealed that this man was Albrecht (Wojciech) Górecki ( – 1684), a nobleman from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. With interests in scientific inventions, religious reform and political advancement, he was connected to both the Polish royal court and Janusz Radziwiłł (crown prince of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) during the turbulent times of the mid-seventeenth century. Key details of his life will be explored, from his early years to evidence of his scientific interests and inventions including wire-wound strings, to his suspected later years as a printer in Kraków and after-death inventory that notes not only lasting personal ties to the scientific and religious reforms of the international Hartlib circle, and key Oxford instrument makers of the time. It is the first time this ground-breaking research has been presented, exposing an essential and hitherto unknown player in one of the most important developments in plucked and bowed string instrument history in the last 500 years, a technology which would enable the versatile expansion and dominance of string instruments in music from the Baroque to the Present day. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Log In

Create an account
Europejski Sondaż Społeczny | European Social SurveyEuropejski Sondaż Społeczny | European Social Survey