Polish Music

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The hymn was being used as a chant as far back as the 13th century, and also served as a national anthem. It was sung by Polish troops, especially during defensive wars with the knights of the Cross. The Gaude Mater Polonia (Rejoice, Mother Poland), a hymn in praise of St. Stanislaus, is to this day, sung at the beginning of every academic year in most of the Polish universities. With the unification of Poland and Lithuania in 1569, the music of Poland integrated the influences of the Germans, Jews, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Tartars and Scandinavians. The 16th and 17th centuries were periods of economic prosperity coupled with peaceful conditions. This era was conducive to the development of all forms of art and is also referred to as the Golden Age of Polish music. The royal court granted patronage to musicians from all the countries of Europe, while many were employed in the chapels of the aristocracy. This period saw great growth in the musical tradition of Poland when many forms of vocal polyphony (choral music) were created. Music was also an integral part of court life, with its dances and other forms of entertainment, all accompanied by music.