Kulczycki Book Prize in Polish Studies

2006 Citation Recipient

Timothy J. Cooley

The Kulczycki Book Prize in Polish Studies (formerly the Orbis Book Prize), established in 1996 and sponsored by the Kulczycki family, former owners of the Orbis Books Ltd. of London, England, is awarded annually for the best book in any discipline, on any aspect of Polish affairs, published in the previous calendar year.

Winner: Timothy J. Cooley
Title: Making Music in the Polish Tatras: Tourists, Ethnographers, and Mountain Musicians (Indiana University Press)

Making Music in the Polish Tatras is a formidable contribution to the discipline of ethnomusicology, demonstrating Timothy Cooleys deep understanding of the subtleties of the music of Podhale. He offers a technically sophisticated presentation that will appeal to specialists in his field, but this book deserves to reach a much broader audience because of its anthropologically and historically rich exploration of Grale identity. Cooley explores how ethnicity is created and re-created, polemicizing against an essentialist understanding of folk culture by showing how Grale music is produced through the interaction of the local population with a variety of outsiders (including musicologists such as himself). Tracing the evolution of the regions music from the late 19th century to the present day, Cooley shows how tourists, scholars, and musicians from other traditions have all contributed to the definition of what authentic Grale music should sound like. At the same time, this book presents the people of Podhale as active agents in the creation of their own music, not as passive objects in an abstract process of ethnic construction. Making Music in the Polish Tatras describes this music in many settings, including private weddings, tourist restaurants, folk festivals, and even a fascinating collaborative world music project involving Grale and reggae musicians. Cooley draws upon many different methodologies to make his argument, moving from detailed technical analysis of musical forms (with a CD accompanying the book to illustrate his claims), to an archival study of early 20th century Podhale ethnography, to a participant anthropology of music making today.