THE MELODICS OF THE 'LITANY' BY DAMIAN STACHOWICZ IN THE LIGHT OF ANALYSIS USING THE METHOD OF NICOLAS RUWET
The article analyses a composition by Damian Stachowicz, 'Litaniae de BMV'. Stachowicz was one of the most prominent Polish composers of the second half of the seventeenth century, although unfortunately so far little research has been devoted to his legacy. The composition may be regarded as a representative example of Father Damian's technique both in terms of texture, use of instruments, leading the vocal parts, and in relation to the attitude to the text, harmonic solutions or producing the melodic contour. The basic premise of the Ruwet method (used to create the model) is the assumption that a work consists of a definite number of units, of which some are repeated and others are not. Repetition is thus the criterion of segmentation here. Such an approach to the problem allows one to investigate a composition on its various levels, since repetition may involve shape, melodics, rhythm, harmonics, etc. 'Litaniae de BMV' by Stachowicz is a work of focused, prayer-like character, in which the basic compositional principle is the repetition of certain musical wholes. The demonstration of the syntagmatic-paradigmatic model of the Litany is aimed not only at acquainting the reader with the most characteristic features of Stachowicz's melodics. It also provides an example of the application of a method to analysing early music, and an attempt to demonstrate the usefulness of this method in such a research context.
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