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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

MPAL Exhibits 2020-2021: Polka!

Documents exhibits at the Music and Performing Arts Library during the 2020-2021 academic year.

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Below are links to related subject searches in the UIUC Library Catalog. Some results are physical items in MPAL and are only available by request.

Polka Playlists

About This Exhibit

It's polka time!!!  This exhibit celebrates polka, referring to both this genre of lively music played in duple meter and the Bohemian half-step dance.  The word "polka" originates from the Czech phrase "pulka" meaning "half-step".  This style of light hop-step-hop-step dance originated with Czech peasant dances.  It became wildly popular in Prague in 1840, then shortly afterward in France and in the United States.  Some of the musical instruments used in a traditional polka band are tubas, trumpets and clarinets.  Mainstream polka bands often feature accordions, concertinas and percussion.

This exhibit contains resources on the history of polka, examples of different polka styles from Central Europe and the United States, polka dance lessons and links to organizations for polka enthusiasts.  This exhibit was chosen for March in honor of Lawrence Welk, whose birthday was on March 11, 1903.

Selected Items

Online items are available for immediate access. Physical items can be requested through the library catalog for pick-up.