The teritory of Teschen Silesia was a subject to many political conflicts as well
as Zaolzie as its part. The pivotal circumstance was here its location (this area is
contemporary a borderland of Poland, Slovakia and Moravia in the Czech Republic).
Due to complicated history this teritory belonged in different periods to the
Polish State, to the Czech State and to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Teschen Silesia represents enormous cultural richness regarding spiritual culture
and material culture as well. The inhabitants of this borderland adopt and
transform cultural elements of neighbor countries by means of readjusting them
to their own culture, what means that local culture is more miscellaneous and
rich then the culture of central parts of mentioned political and ethnical teritories.
Teschen Silesian folk culture developed and transmuted in the same way till
1920. In this year there was made a decision concerning the division of this land
where there was set the Olza river as a political border. The teritory which remained
on the left side of the river started to function as Zaolzie (nowadays a part
of the Czech Republic). This land can be regarded as attractive research area for
folklorists, ethnologists, anthropologists as well as for musicologists.
In the years 2001—2005 the author conducted empirical research in the mentioned
area, what brought a collection of 200 folk songs. They was a subject to
musicological analysis conducted by the author. In specic cases she analysed verbal
texts too (in respect of their tonality, metro-rythmics, forms and poetics). She
classified the songs owing to the function they had fulfilled and further fulfill
within the society of Zaolzie.
For Polish inhabitants of Zaolzie singing has been an important factor preserving
their national identity due to its interconnections with the Polish language
and the local dialect. Since the division of Teschen Silesia (in 1920) local
residents has been under intense cultural influence of the country they live and
it is the song folklore (among other folklore elements such as the dialect and folk
costumes) which made possible to preserve their national difference.