monodia is a Polish vocal ensemble, practicing old Polish religious and secular songs in the melodic variants collected by Adam Strug in the Lomza District and Kurpie Zielone region of Poland.  In the Polish language ‘monodia’ means singing in unison a capella or with an accompaniment of traditional instruments such as a hurdy-gurdy.

The ensemble rejects major-minor scales, which since the 18th century has dominated keyboard and operatic conventions.  They reconstructed ancient chants and early music by using ancient musical scales, the original ways of performing, and vocal manners, that were saved by the oral tradition of folk artists.

The oral tradition continued by “Monodia” includes the songs of Polish chivalry, baroque and eighteenth century prayers, romantic devotional songs, and various folk songs that express reverence and devotion to God.

The Kurpian songs that inspired ‘Monodia’ are an expression of musical and poetic genius of the people from the Polish countryside. Their mastery is on one hand reminiscent of the vocal art of the Middle East, and on the other, an integral part of Polish culture that inspired great works of Polish composers Karol Szymanowski and Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki.

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