|Cultural origins||Early to mid-19th century, Kingdom of Bohemia, Austrian Empire|
The polka is originally a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout all of Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic. The polka remains a popular folk music genre in many European and American countries, and is performed by folk artists.
The term polka possibly comes from the Czech word "půlka" ("half"), referring to the short half-steps featured in the dance. 400) that "polka" was supposed to mean "dance in half" ("tanec na polo"), both referring to the half-tempo 2
4 and the half-jump step of the dance. Zíbrt ironically dismisses the etymology suggested by A. Fähnrich (in Ein etymologisches Taschenbuch, Jiein, 1846) that "polka" comes from the Czech word "pole" ("field"). On the other hand, Zdeněk Nejedlý suggests that the etymology given by Fr. Doucha is nothing but an effort to prove the "true Czech folk" origin of polka. Instead, he argues that according to Jaroslav Langr ("České krakováčky" in: Čas. Čes. musea, 1835, Sebr. spisy I, 256) in the area of Hradec Králové, the tune Krakoviáky from the collection Slovanské národní písně of František Ladislav Čelakovský became very popular so that it was used to dance (Czech dances) třasák, břitva, and kvapík, and this way was called "polka". Nejedlý writes that Václav Vladivoj Tomek also claims the Hradec Králové roots of a polka. The OED suggests that the name may have been derived from the Czech Polka meaning "Polish woman" (feminine form corresponding to Polák, a Pole).
The word was widely introduced into the major European languages in the early 1840s.
4-beat (help·info) dance with Polish roots (cf. polka-mazurka). A related dance is the redowa. Polkas almost always have a
4 (help·info) time signature. Folk music of polka style appeared in written music about 1800.
The beginning of the propagation of dance and accompanying music called polka is generally attributed to a young woman, Anna Slezáková (born Anna Chadimová). The music teacher Josef Neruda noticed her dancing in an unusual way to accompany a local folk song called "Strýček Nimra koupil šimla", or "Uncle Nimra Bought a White Horse", in 1830. She is said to have called the dance Maděra ("Madeira wine") because of its liveliness. The dance was further propagated by Neruda, who put the tune to paper and taught other young men to dance it.Čeněk Zíbrt notices that a common claim that the events happened in Týnec nad Labem, Bohemia, in 1834 is incorrect. Zibrt writes that when he published this traditional story in 1894 in Narodni Listy newspaper, he received a good deal of feedback from eyewitnesses. In particular, he wrote that according to further witness, the originating event actually happened in 1830, in Kostelec nad Labem, where she worked as a housemaid. Zíbrt writes that he published the first version of the story (with incorrect place name) in Bohemia (June 5, 1844), from where it was reprinted all over Europe and in the United States. Zíbrt also wrote that simple Czech folk said they knew and danced polka long before the nobles got hold of it, i.e., it is a truly folk Czech dance.
By 1835, this dance had spread to the ballrooms of Prague. From there, it spread to Vienna by 1839,and in 1840 was introduced in Paris by Raab, a Prague dance instructor.
It was so well received by both dancers and dance masters in Paris that its popularity was referred to as "polkamania." [ citation needed ]The dance soon spread to London and was introduced to America in 1844. It remained a popular ballroom dance until the late 19th century, when it gave way to the two-step and new ragtime dances.
Polka dancing enjoyed a resurgence in popularity after World War II, when many Polish refugees moved to the US, adopting this Bohemian style as a cultural dance. Polka dances are still held on a weekly basis across many parts of the US with significant populations of central European origin. It was also found in parts of South America.[ citation needed ]
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There are various styles of contemporary polka besides the original Czech dance, which is still the chief dance at any formal or countryside ball in the Czech Republic.
One of the types found in the United States is the North American "Polish-style polka," which has roots in Chicago, with large Czech and Polish minorities; two sub-styles are "The Chicago Honky" (using clarinet and one trumpet) and "Chicago Push" featuring the accordion, Chemnitzer and Star concertinas, upright bass or bass guitar, drums, and (almost always) two trumpets. North American "Slovenian-style polka" is fast and features piano accordion, chromatic accordion, and/or diatonic button box accordion; it is associated with Cleveland. North American "Dutchmen-style" features an oom-pah sound often with a tuba and banjo, and has roots in the American Midwest. "Conjunto-style" polkas have roots in northern Mexico and Texas, and are also called "Norteño". Traditional dances from this region reflect the influence of polka-dancing European immigrants. In the 1980s and 1990s, several American bands began to combine polka with various rock styles (sometimes referred to as "punk polka"), "alternative polka", or "San Francisco-style".
There also exist Curaçaoan polkas, Peruvian polkas (becoming very popular in Lima). In the pampas of Argentina, the "polca" has a very fast beat with a 3
4 time signature. 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 gaucho warriors from the past or tell about the life of the gaucho campeiros (provincial gauchos who keep the common way). The polka was very popular in South and Southwest of Brazil, where it was mixed with other European and African styles to create the Choro. The polka (polca in the Irish language) is also one of the most popular traditional folk dances in Ireland, particularly in Sliabh Luachra, a district that spans the borders of counties Kerry, Cork and Limerick. Many of the figures of Irish set dances, which developed from Continental quadrilles, are danced to polkas. Introduced to Ireland in the late 19th century, there are today hundreds of Irish polka tunes, which are most frequently played on the fiddle or button accordion. The Irish polka is dance music form in 2
4, typically 32 bars in length and subdivided into four parts, each 8 bars in length and played AABB. Irish polkas are typically played fast, at over 130 bpm, and are typically played with an off-beat accent.
The polka also migrated to the Nordic countries where it is known by a variety of names in Denmark (galopp, hopsa), Estonia (polka), Finland (pariisipolkka, polkka), Iceland, Norway (galopp, hamborgar, hopsa/hopsar, parisarpolka, polka, polkett, skotsk) and Sweden (polka). The beats are not as heavy as those from Central Europe and the dance steps and holds also have variations not found further south. The polka is considered a part of the gammeldans tradition of music and dance. While it is nowhere near as old as the older Nordic dance and music traditions, there are still hundreds of polka tunes in each of the Nordic countries. They are played by solo instrumentalists or by bands/ensembles, most frequently with lead instruments such as accordion, fiddle, diatonic accordion, hardingfele and nyckelharpa.
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Bedřich Smetana incorporated the polka in his opera The Bartered Bride (Czech : 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 in their careers. The Strauss family in Vienna, for example, while better-known for their waltzes, also composed polkas that have survived. Josef Lanner and other Viennese composers in the 19th century also wrote polkas to satisfy the demands of the dance-music-loving Viennese. In France, another dance-music composer, Emile Waldteufel, wrote polkas in addition to waltzes.
The polka evolved during the same period into different styles and tempi. In principle, the polka written in the 19th century has a four-theme structure; themes 1A and 1B as well as a 'Trio' section of a further two 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 Polka op. 114, Demolirer polka op. 269, the Im Krapfenwald'l op. 336 and the Bitte schön! polka op. 372 are examples of this type of polka. The polka-mazurka is also another variation of the polka, being in the tempo of a mazurka but danced in a similar manner as the polka. The final category of the polka form around that time is the polka schnell, which is a fast polka or galop . Eduard Strauss is better known for this last category, as he penned the 'Bahn Frei' polka op. 45 and other examples. Earlier, Johann Strauss I and Josef Lanner wrote polkas designated as a galop (quick tempo) or as a regular polka that may not fall into any of the categories above.
The polka was a further source of inspiration for the Strauss family in Vienna when Johann II and Josef Strauss wrote one for plucked string instruments (pizzicato) only, the "Pizzicato Polka".Johann II later wrote a "New Pizzicato Polka" (Neu pizzicato-polka), opus 449, culled from music of his operetta Fürstin Ninetta. Much earlier, he also wrote a "joke-polka" (German scherz-polka) entitled "Champagne Polka", opus 211, which evokes the uncorking of champagne bottles.
Other composers who wrote music in the style of the polka were Jaromír Weinberger, Dmitri Shostakovich and Igor Stravinsky.
In the United States, polka is promoted by the International Polka Association based in Chicago, which works to preserve the cultural heritage of polka music and to honor its musicians through the Polka Hall of Fame.
Polka is popular in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the "Beer Barrel Polka" is played during the seventh-inning stretch and halftime of Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks games.Polka is also the official state dance of Wisconsin.
The United States Polka Association is a non-profit organization based in Cleveland, Ohio.The Polka Hall of Fame is in Euclid, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.
The Grammy Awards were first presented for polka in 1985. The first award went to Frankie Yankovic, known as "America's Polka King", for his 70 Years of Hits album on Cleveland International Records. Cleveland International Records had another polka Grammy winner with Brave Combo's Polkasonic in 1999. Other polka Grammy nominees included Frankie Yankovic's America's Favorites (1986), Songs of the Polka King Vol. I, Songs of the Polka King Vol. II (1997), and Brave Combo's Kick Ass Polkas (2000). Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra is one of the most popular polka bands in America, having won 18 of the 24 awards for Grammy Award for Best Polka Album.
Polka Varieties was an hour-long television program of polka music originating from Cleveland, Ohio. The show, which aired in several U.S. cities, ran from 1956 until 1983. At that time, it was the only television program for this type of music in the United States.A number of polka shows originated from the Buffalo Niagara Region in the 1960s, including WKBW-TV's Polka Time, which was hosted for its first half-year on air by Frankie Yankovic, and cross-border station CHCH-TV's Polka Party, hosted by Walter Ostanek. In 2015, when Buffalo station WBBZ-TV launched the weekly Polka Buzz. )
Beginning with its inception in 2001, the RFD-TV Network aired The Big Joe Show, a television program that included polka music and dancing. It was filmed on location in various venues throughout the United States from 1973 through 2009. RFD-TV replaced The Big Joe Show with Mollie Busta's Polka Fest in January 2011; after Big Joe's death, reruns of The Big Joe Show returned to RFD-TV in 2015.
In 2009, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which hosts the Grammy Awards, announced that it was eliminating the polka category"to ensure the awards process remains representative of the current musical landscape". A declining number of polka albums were considered for the award in previous years.
The Donegal fiddle tradition is the way of playing the fiddle that is traditional in County Donegal, Ireland. It is one of the distinct fiddle traditions within Irish traditional music.
Frank John "Frankie" Yankovic was an American accordion player and polka musician. Known as "America's Polka King," Yankovic was considered the premier artist to play in the Slovenian style during his long career. He is not related to fellow accordionist "Weird Al" Yankovic, although the two have collaborated.
Pizzicato is a playing technique that involves plucking the strings of a string instrument. The exact technique varies somewhat depending on the type of instrument:
Tejano music or Tex-Mex music, also música tejana, is various forms of folk and popular music originating among the Mexican-American populations of Central and Southern Texas. With roots in the late 19th century, it became a music genre with a wider audience in the late 20th century thanks to artists such as Selena, Mazz, La Mafia, Ram Herrera, La Sombra, Elida Reyna, Elsa García, Laura Canales, Oscar Estrada, Jay Perez, Emilio Navaira, Esteban "Steve" Jordan, Shelly Lares, David Lee Garza, Jennifer Peña, and La Fiebre.
The Ländler is a folk dance in 3
4 time which was popular in Austria, Bavaria, German Switzerland, and Slovenia at the end of the 18th century.
The Mazurka is a Polish folk dance in triple meter, usually at a lively tempo, and with "strong accents unsystematically placed on the second or third beat". Originally from the cultural region of Mazovia, it is one of Poland's national dances. The Mazurka, alongside the polka dance, became popular at the ballrooms of Europe in the 19th century, particularly through the notable works by Frédéric Chopin.
The vast majority of the inhabitants of the United States are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. This article will focus on the music of these communities and discuss its roots in countries across Africa, Europe and Asia, excluding only Native American music, indigenous and immigrant Latinos, Puerto Rican music, Hawaiian music and African American music. The music of Irish- and Scottish-Americans will be a special focus, due to their extreme influence on Appalachian folk music and other genres. These sorts of music are often sustained and promoted by a variety of ethnic organizations.
Josef Strauss was an Austrian composer.
The Fleadh Cheoil is an Irish music festival run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ), a not for profit organisation.
Norteño or Norteña, also música norteña, is a genre of Regional Mexican music from Northern Mexico, hence the name. The music is most often based on a polka or waltz tempo and its lyrics often deal with socially relevant topics. The accordion and the bajo sexto are traditional norteño's most characteristic instruments. Norteña music developed in the late 19th century, as a mixture between German folk music, and local Northern Mexican music.
Celtic music is primarily associated with the folk traditions of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Wales, as well as the popular styles derived from folk culture. In addition, a number of other areas of the world are known for the use of Celtic musical styles and techniques, including Newfoundland, and much of the folk music of Canada's Maritimes, especially on Cape Breton Island and Prince Edward Island.
Traditional Nordic dance music is a type of traditional music or folk music that once was common in the mainland part of the Nordic countries — Scandinavia plus Finland. The person who plays this kind of music might be called speleman (Swedish/Norwegian), spelman (Swedish), spel(l)emann (Norwegian), pelimanni (Finnish) or spillemand (Danish). Finnish traditional dance music is often called pelimanni music in English, while there does not seem to exist a similar, widespread term for the corresponding music from the other countries. It is often more meaningful to distinguish between the traditional dance music from different regions than between music from the countries as such. Some concepts in the field can be defined as Norwegian or Finnish, but most are either common to all four countries or local. Besides the dance music tradition, all countries also have other traditions of folk music that are not shared to a similar extent.
Otakar Zich was a distinguished Czech composer and aesthetician.
Bush dance is a style of dance from Australia, particularly where the music is provided by a bush band. The dances are mainly based on the traditional folk dances of the UK, Ireland and central Europe.
John Doherty was an Irish folk fiddler.
Joe Derrane was an Irish-American button accordion player, known for re-popularizing the D/C# system diatonic button accordion.
Polka is a music and dance style that originated in Europe in the 1830s and came to American society when people immigrated from Eastern Europe. A fast style in 2/4 time, and often associated with the pre–World War II era, polka remains a dynamic "niche" music in America.
Irish traditional music is a genre of folk music that developed in Ireland.
The accordion is in a wide variety of musical genres, mainly in traditional and popular music. In some regions, such as Europe and North-America it has become mainly restricted to traditional, folk and ethnic music. In other regions such as Mexico, the instrument is very popular in genres like Norteño, and in Brazil, it is a fixture in popular music styles as Sertanejo and Forró. In art music it is used in jazz music, an important exponent having been the North American accordionist Frank Marocco and in transcriptions from the operatic and light-classical music repertoire.
Paddy O'Brien was an Irish button accordion player and composer. He was instrumental in establishing the B/C style of button accordion playing in Irish traditional music.
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