The polka is a fast, lively Central European
danceand also a genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemiaand is still a common genre in Czech and Slovakian folk music. Polka is still a very common folkmusic genre in Poland. In light classical music, many polkas were composed by both Johann Strauss Iand his son Johann Strauss II; a couple of well-known ones were composed by Bedřich Smetana, and Jaromír Vejvoda, the author of "Škoda lásky" ("Roll Out the Barrel").
The name comes from the Czech word "půlka" – literally, "little half" – a reference to the short half-steps featuring in the dance. The word's familiar form has been influenced by the similarity to the Czech word "polka", meaning "Polish woman". [ [http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=polka&searchmode=none Online Etymology Dictionary, "polka"] ; [http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/polka Compact Oxford English Dictionary, "polka"] ] The name has led to the dance's origin being sometimes mistakenly attributed to Poland. It should also not be confused with the "polska", a Swedish audio|3-4_rhythm_metre_meter_time_measure.ogg|3/4-beat dance with Polish roots; cf.
polka-mazurka. A related dance is the redowa. Polkas almost always have a audio|2-4_rhythm_metre_meter_time_measure.ogg|2/4 time signature. Popular musichas also been parodied several times by Weird Al Yankovicin the style of polka.
There are various styles of contemporary polka. One of the types found in the United States is the North American "Polish-style polka," which has roots in
Chicago; two sub-styles are the 'Chicago honky' (using clarinet and one trumpet) and 'Chicago push' featuring the accordion, Chemnitzer concertina, bass, drums, and (almost always) two trumpets. North American " Slovenian-style polka" is fast and features piano accordion, chromatic accordion, and/or diatonic button accordion; it is associated with Cleveland. In the USA, Slovenian-style is sometimes called "Eastern Style", associating it with the eastern US. North American "Dutchman-style" features an oom-pahsound often with a tuba, and has roots in the American Midwest. " Conjunto-style" polkas have roots in Northern Mexico, Texas, and is also called "Norteño". Traditional dances from this region reflect the influence of polka-dancing European immigrants. In the 1980s and 1990s, several bands began to combine polka with various rock styles (sometimes referred to as "punk polka"), "alternative polka", or " San Francisco-style". "Duranguense" polka from Durangois another Mexican type of music. This uses electric guitars, violins, drums, saxophones, trombones, keyboards, trumpets, tuba-keyboards or a bass guitar, and it is in a rapid beat. Artists like Grupo Montez De Durango, Alacranes Musical, Horoscopos De Durango, Conjunto Atardecer, K-paz De La Sierra are well known to the genre. Irish traditional music has also adopted the polka into its repertory, and there it has come into its own distinct flavor.
There also exist Peruvian polcas (becoming very popular in
Lima). In the pampasof Argentina, the "polca" has a very very fast beat with a 3/4 compass. Instruments used are: acoustic guitar (usually six strings, but sometimes seven strings), electric or acoustic bass (sometimes fretless), accordion (sometimes piano accordion, sometimes button accordion), and sometimes some percussion is used. The lyrics always praise the gauchowarriors from the past or tell about the life of the gauchocampeiros (provincial gauchos who keep the common way).
The polka in the classical repertoire
Bedřich Smetanaincorporated the polka in his opera " The Bartered Bride" ( _cz. Prodaná nevěsta) and in particular, Act 1.
While the polka is Bohemian in origin, most dance music composers in
Vienna(the capital of the vast Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was the cultural centre for music from all over the empire) composed polkas and included the dance in their repertoire at some point of their career. The Straussfamily in Vienna for example, while probably better-known for their waltzes also composed polkas which have survived obscurity. Josef Lannerand other Viennese composers in the 19th century also wrote many polkas to satiate the demands of the dance music-loving Viennese. In France, another dance-music composer Emile Waldteufelalso wrote many polkas in addition to his chief profession of penning waltzes.
The polka evolved during the same period into different styles and tempi. In principle, the polka written in the 19th century has a 4-theme structure; themes 1A and 1B as well as a 'Trio' section of a further 2 themes. The 'Trio' usually has an 'Intrada' to form a break between the two sections. The feminine and graceful 'French polka' (polka française) is slower in tempo and is more measured in its gaiety. Johann Strauss II's
Annen Polkaop. 114, Demolirerpolka op. 269, the Im Krapfenwald'lop. 336 and the Bitte schön!polka op. 372 are examples of this type of polka. The polka-mazurkais also another variation of the polka, being in the tempo of a mazurkabut danced in a similar manner as the polka. The final category of the polka dating around that time would be the 'polka schnell' which is a fast polka or " galop". It is in this final category Eduard Straussis better known, as he penned the 'Bahn Frei' polka op. 45 and other examples. Earlier, Johann Strauss Iand Josef Lanner wrote polkas which are either designated as a "galop" (quick tempo) or as a regular polka which may not fall into any of the categories described above.
The polka was also a further source of inspiration for the Strauss family in Vienna when it was written only for plucked string instruments (
pizzicato) resulting in the well-known 'Pizzicato Polka' jointly written by Johann II and Josef Strauss. Johann II also wrote a later 'New Pizzicato Polka' (Neu Pizzicato-Polka) op. 449 culled from music of his operetta'Fürstin Ninetta'. Much earlier, he also wrote a 'joke-polka' (German "scherz-polka") entitled 'Champagne-Polka' op. 211 which evokes the uncorking of champagne bottles.
Other composers who wrote music in the style of the polka were
Jaromír Weinberger, Dmitri Shostakovichand Igor Stravinsky.
Organizations in the United States of America
International Polka Associationbased in Chicago, USA works to preserve the cultural heritage of polka music and to honor its musicians through the Polka Hall of Fame.
The United States Polka Association is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Polka America Corporation [http://www.polkaamericacorporation.org] is a non-profit organization based out of Ringle, Wisconsin.
Grammy Awardswere first presented for polka in 1985. The first award went to America's Polka King, Frank Yankovic, for his "70 Years of Hits" album on Cleveland International Records, produced by Joey Miskulinand Dragutin Razum in 1986. Cleveland International Recordshad another Polka Grammywinner with Brave Combo'sPolkasonic in 1999. Other Polka Grammynominees on Cleveland International Recordsinclude Frank Yankovic's "America's Favorites" (1986), "Songs of the Polka King Vol. I" (Produced by Joey Miskulinand Slavko Slivovitz, 1996), "Songs of the Polka King Vol. II" (1997), and Brave Combo's"Kick Ass Polkas" (2000). Jimmy Sturr& His Orchestra is arguably the most popular polka band in America, having won 17 out of the 23 Grammy Awardsgiven for Grammy Award for Best Polka Album.
"Polka Varieties" was an hour-long television program of polka music originating from
Cleveland, Ohio. It was the only television program for this type of music in the US. From 1956 to 1975, "Polka Varieties" ran solely in WEWS-TV, Cleveland, on Sunday afternoons from 1:00 to 2:00, and was syndicated during its later years to 30 television markets. The program featured various popular Polish, Slovenian, Italian, and Bohemian-style bands. America's "Polka King" Frank Yankovic was the original band to perform on the show. Other bands included Richie Vadnal, George Staiduhar, Markic-Zagger, and Hank Haller. Original host Tom Fletcher was replaced by Paul Wilcox, whose presence became an indelible part of the show. [http://www.newsnet5.com/newschannel5/913419/detail.html] ]
* [http://www.clevelandstyle.com/ National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame]
* [http://www.wrjqradio.com/ WRJQ Radio (Internet radio station with a WIDE variety of polka music)]
* [http://www.internationalpolka.com/ International Polka Association and Hall of Fame]
* [http://mtcn.free.fr/mtcn-traditional-music-midi-dance-couple.php#polka Polka as a traditional dance from the County of Nice, France]
* [http://www.polkaamericacorporation.org Polka America Corporation]
* [http://www.wisconsinpolkamusic.com Wisconsin Polka Music]
* [http://enc.slq.qld.gov.au/logicrouter/servlet/LogicRouter?PAGE=object&OUTPUTXSL=object_enc36ui.xslt&pm_RC=REPOMODS04&pm_OI=55&pm_GT=Y&pm_IAC=Y&api_1=GET_OBJECT_XML&num_result=0 Queensland Sugar-Cane Polka music score] - digitised and held by State Library of Queensland, Australia.
* of "Jenny Lind", a polka from the Library of Congress' "California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties Collection"; performed by John Selleck (violin) on
October 2, 1939in Camino, California
Doctor N. Ginhas a polka theme in " Crash of the Titans"; it is presumed that N. Gin has a Austrian ancestry.
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Look at other dictionaries:
polka — polka … Dictionnaire des rimes
POLKA — Danse tournée, qui apparut vers 1830 en Bohême. Un couple l’exécute sur une mesure à 2/4, fortement rythmée, en sections de huit battues, dans un mouvement assez rapide, mais au tempo plus modéré que celui du galop. Il semble que l’analogie soit… … Encyclopédie Universelle
Polka — Art: Paartanz (Gesellschaftstanz, Volkstanz) Musik: Klassik, Popmusik, Volksmusik Taktart: 2/4 Takt Tempo … Deutsch Wikipedia
Polka — Polka: Der im Jahre 1831 in Prag aufgekommene und von dort übernommene Rundtanz im 2/4 Takt trägt seinen Namen zu Ehren der damals unterdrückten Polen: tschech. polka »polnischer Tanz« (poln. Polka »Polin«, polka »Polka«). – Siehe auch den… … Das Herkunftswörterbuch
Polka — Pol ka, n. [Pol. Polka a Polish woman: cf. F. & G. polka.] 1. A dance of Polish origin, but now common everywhere. It is performed by two persons in common time. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mus.) A lively Bohemian or Polish dance tune in 2 4 measure, with … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
polka — (n.) 1844, from French, from Czech polka, the dance, lit. Polish woman (Polish Polka), fem. of Polak a Pole. The word may also be an alteration of Czech pulka half, for the half steps of Bohemian peasant dances. The dance was in vogue first in… … Etymology dictionary
Polka — Polka, Rundtanz modernen Ursprungs, aus Elbeteinitz in Böhmen stammend, wo ihn ein Landmädchen, Anna Slezak, 1830 erfand, hat den Namen von dem in ihm waltenden Halbschritt (tschech. pûlka). Nachdem derselbe in Prag sowie 1840 in Wien und Paris… … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
polka — [pōl′kə] n. [Czech, Polish dance, lit., Polish woman < Pol, fem. of Polak, Pole] 1. a fast dance for couples, developed in Bohemia in the early 19th cent.: the basic step is a hop followed by three small steps 2. music for this dance, in fast… … English World dictionary
Polka — Polka, Tanz, welcher entweder von Polen nach Böhmen gekommen od. in Böhmen erfunden u. wegen des diesem Tanze eigenthümlichen Halbschrittes von dem böhmischen Worte Pulka (d. i. die Hälfte) P. genannt worden ist. Wenigstens hat sich die P. von… … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Polka — Polka, Rundtanz im 2/4 Takt, hervorgegangen aus der Ekossaise; zuerst 1835 in Prag getanzt … Kleines Konversations-Lexikon
Polka — Polka, bekannter Tanz … Herders Conversations-Lexikon