Jan z Lublina

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Jan z Lublina, or Joannis de Lublin, was a Polish composer and organist who lived in the first half of the 16th century. Not much is known about his life - he was a member of the Order of Canons Regular of the Lateran, circa 1540 he was possibly the organist at the convent in Kraśnik, near Lublin. Perhaps he is identical to one of the two Jans, the first of which received his master's degree in artibus et philosophia in 1499, and the second his baccalariatus in artibus in 1508 in the Kazimierz Academy in Krakow. From 1537 to 1548, he created the famous organ tablature, whose title is Tabulatura Ioannis de Lyublyn Canonic[orum] Reg[u]lariu[m] de Crasnyk. This is the largest organ tablature in the world (more than 350 compositions and a theoretical treatise) and one of the earliest. It contains several compositions by Nicolaus Cracoviensis, as well as numerous intabulations of works written by Josquin, Heinrich Finck, Janequin, Ludwig Senfl, Claudin de Sermisy, Philippe Verdelot, Johann Walter, etc.

Jan of Lublin was probably the first owner of the organ tablature manuscript now kept in the PAN Library (Academy of Sciences Library) under the signature Ms. 1716. Perhaps he wrote some of it himself; his name is only given embossed on the cover, while on one of the pages inside the signature "Valentinus scripsit" appears. The tablature, numbering 260 pages, is considered the most comprehensive source of organ music in Europe. It includes transcriptions of religious and secular vocal music, and independent religious organ music, as well as preludes and dances. It also contains a treatise and exercises of a didactic nature in the fields of composition and organ improvisation and advice for tuning organs. Most of the repertoire is preserved in anonymous tabulature, but with many works the authorship has been identified, and some compositions have been identified from other sources. In total we can name 20 French, Dutch, German and Italian composers whose work is represented in the manuscript, and from the Poles - Seweryn Koń and the initials of Mikołaj of Krakow and Mikołaj of Chrzanów (NC N.Ch., NZ).


  • Piotr Poźniak Jan z Lublina in: Encyclopedia of Music PWM, vol. 4, PWM, Kraków