Fascinating facts about polka music

Czech roots -
Popular today across various cultures, polka originated in 19th-century Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic.

Origin story -
Polka's origin story first appeared in the periodical 'Bohemia' in 1844.

A continental hit -
Characterized by its high energy and lively steps, it became a hit in Europe after a Prague dance instructor performed the polka in Paris.

From the countryside to the ballrooms - After spreading across the region, polka music, and dancing, made its way to the elite. By 1835, people danced polka in the ballrooms of Prague.

Etymology -
There are two theories about the origin of the word "polka." Some believe that it's derived from the Czech word Polka, meaning "Polish woman."

Another theory -
Others believe that polka may come from the Czech word půlka, which means "half." It refers both to the half-tempo and the half-jump step of the dance.

The Polish believe in a different story - Many Poles claim that polka was actually created in a Polish village, and later popularized when a Czech individual passed by and saw the dance.

The sound of polka -
Polka is known for the distinctive sound of the accordion, which acts as the foundation of the music. Basically, it's the star of polka music.

Instruments -
However, polka bands can also include fiddles, clarinets, trombones, tubas, and a rhythm section, depending on the region. 

Polka dance -
Apart from the characteristic music, polka is also a distinctive couple dance, which combines three rapid steps and a hop.

'Beer Barrel Polka' -
The song 'Beer Barrel Polka' achieved worldwide popularity during World War II.

Polka styles -
Besides the original Czech polka, there are many different styles that developed across the world.

Polka in South America -
Polka became very popular in South America as well, especially in the Peruvian capital of Lima and in southeastern Argentina. 

Scandinavian polka -
Polka also migrated to the Nordic countries, where the beats became less heavy when compared to those from Central Europe

Jazzy polka -
The highly energetic style spread even more with the introduction of jazz, ragtime, and other fresh dances of the time.

Dutchmen style -
Including a tuba and a banjo, this style has roots in the American Midwest. It also produces the famous "oom-pah" sound.

Polka Music Month is born -
To promote polka, musicians in Chicago organized the first ever Polka Music Month in 1968.

Polka party -
Although it seems like a relatively simple style, one thing is for sure: when there's polka involved, celebrations reach ultimate levels!

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