Chopin’s Polish biographer Zdzisław Jachimecki notes that “Chopin at every step demonstrated his Polish spirit – in the hundreds of letters that he wrote in Polish, in his attitude to Paris’ [Polish] émigrés, in his negative view of all that bore the official stamp of the powers that occupied Poland.” Likewise Chopin composed music to accompany Polish texts but never musically illustrated a single French or German text, though he numbered among his friends several great French and German poets.

According to his English biographer Arthur Hedley, Chopin “found within himself and in the tragic story of Poland the chief sources of his inspiration. The theme of Poland’s glories and sufferings was constantly before him, and he transmuted the primitive rhythms and melodies of his youth into enduring art forms.”

In asserting his own Polishness, Chopin, according to Jachimecki, exerted “a tremendous influence [toward] the nationalization of the work of numerous later composers, who have often personally – like the Czech Smetana and Norway’s Grieg – confirmed this opinion…”

The Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, Chopin’s contemporary, referred to Chopin’s Polish homeland when he wrote that Chopin “may be ranked first among musicians who have had an individual poetic sense of a particular nation.” He referred to Chopin as “a Polish artist.” Composer Robert Schumann acknowledged the strength of Chopin’s personal reaction to Russia’s suppression of the November 1830 Uprising when he wrote that in Chopin’s music one found “guns buried among the flowers.”

Some Polish writers have used, for Chopin’s surname, the Polonized phonetic spelling, “Szopen” (pronounced [ˈʂɔpɛn]).