Polka music is a genre of Dance music which is well known in Europe and the Americas and is also a dance that accompanies such music. Its origins appear to be Czech from around the eighteen fifties but quickly became popular through out central and Eastern Europe. The name is derived from the Czech word "půlka" which means "little half" and directly refers to the short half steps which feature in the Polka dance. Many people think that the Polka originates from Poland because "Polka" means Polish woman in Polish and this has led many people to assume both the dance and the music are of Polish origin. It is worth mentioning that sometimes the Polka dance and music is confuse with Polska which is a Swedish dance with a 3/4 time signature where as the Polka and Polka music.
There are plenty of contemporary styles of polka and in the USA some of the well known ones are the adapted "Polish-style polka" with its Chicago roots, the "Slovenian-style polka" with its Cleveland roots and the "Dutchmen-style" with its North West influence . It does not stop there though, in Texas and Mexico there are the "Conjunto-style" polkas and heading further south Polkas have developed different styles from the mountains in Peru (Curacaon polkas) to the Pampas in Argentina. Celtic music and dance feature hundreds of Polka tunes and it is demographically very interesting to discover how Polka influences have followed the European immigrant communities through out Americas.
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