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Polish organ tablatures include some of the earliest and most important tablature sources of instrumental music in Europe. Particularly well-known is the Jan z Lublina tablature, which dates from mid-16th century and contains some 250 pieces. Most Polish organ tablatures use the German form of notation. The genres vary from all kinds of liturgical music to dances and vocal intabulations. This article presents a partial list of Polish organ tablatures, in chronological order.



  • Augustinians' tablature from Żagań (Sagan) (ca. 1425; also known as Sagan Keyboard MS, Sagan fragment, etc.)
A single leaf containing a Gloria fragment.[1] The piece is divided into three parts: Et in terra pax, Benedictimus te, and Glorificamus te. The omission of other movements is evidence for early alternatim practice. All of the music is in two voices, the lower voice outlining the chant (Gloria ad lib.I of the Vatican Edition), the upper voice based on octave doubling of the chant tones, interspersed with ornamental figures somewhat similar to those in Codex Faenza.[2]


Contains a large treatise on composition, modelled on Hans Buchner's Fundamentum, but surpassing it by greater number of explanations and musical examples. The treatise is followed by some 250 pieces, covering numerous genres from liturgical pieces to dances, intabulations of motets, and a number of untitled and/or undidentifiable works.[3]
Contains 101 pieces, most of which are intabulations of vocal works by well-known composers. Some compositions are also found in the Lublin tablature. Unique items include several preludes, liturgical pieces, and three settings of Polish church songs.[4]
Contains 75 liturgical pieces: 47 introits, 8 sequences, 12 pieces for the Mass ordinary (including a group of four, titled Missa solenne), and 8 Magnificat settings.[5]
Contains motet intabulations and fantasias.[1]
Includes 23 pieces by Adam of Wągrowiec: fantasias, ricercares, and liturgical paraphrases.[6]


Contains 797 transcriptions of vocal works by various composers, and 91 keyboard compositions by Polish, Italian (Merula), German, Austrian, Netherlandish, Spanish and English (Morley, Philips) composers. Furthermore, the tablature also includes twelve organ chorales by Scheidemann, Tunder, and others, added in the 2nd half of the 17th century.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Caldwell, Grove.
  2. ^ Apel 1972, 35.
  3. ^ Apel 1972, 100–101.
  4. ^ Apel 1972, 103–104.
  5. ^ Apel 1972, 104.
  6. ^ Perz, Grove.

References and further readingEdit


  • Apel, Willi. 1972. The History of Keyboard Music to 1700. Translated by Hans Tischler. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-21141-7. Originally published as Geschichte der Orgel- und Klaviermusik bis 1700 by Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel.
  • Caldwell, John. "Sources of keyboard music to 1660.". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  • Inski, W. M.. 1964. The Cracow Tablature (diss., Indiana University)
  • Perz, Miroslaw. "Adam Wagrowicensis". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  • White, John R.. 1963. The Tablature of Johannes of Lublin, MD, xvii (1963), pp. 137–62.


  • Barbara Brzezińska. Repertuar polskich tabulatur organowych z pierwszej polowy XVI wieku (Kraków, 1987).
  • Gołos, Jerzy. 1972. Polskie organy i muzyka organowa. Instytut Wydawniczy PAX.
  • Morawska, Katarzyna. 1998a. Historia muzyki polskiej: Średniowiecze, Sutkowski Edition Warsaw, 1998. ISBN 83-900790-7-0
  • Morawska, Katarzyna. 1998b. Historia muzyki polskiej: Renesans, Sutkowski Edition Warsaw, 1998. ISBN 83-900790-2-X
  • Poźniak, P. (ed.). 2004. Album Sapieżyńskie. Sub Sole Sarmatiae, Volume 9: Wileńska tabulatura organowa z XVII wieku obrazami żywota św. Franciszka zdobiona. Musica Iagellonica, Kraków. ISBN 83-7099-133-5