, not to be confused with the polka
) is the most common of Swedish folk music
and folk dances. Its name originally meant "Polish dance", and it does have Polish
roots (the name of the dance means Poland
in Polish language). It is possible that the dance originated when king Sigismund Vasa
(Sigismund III of Poland, Sigismund I of Sweden) travelled to Sweden for his coronation, was accompanied by Polish musicians.
The best known kind of polskor comes from the regions of Dalecarlia and Smalandia in Sweden, where places like Malung, Orsa, Bingsjö, Rättvik and Boda have distinctive varities.
There are three main types of polskas: the semiquaver polska or sixteenth-note polska (somewhat similar to the polonaise), the quaver polska or eighth-note polska (somewhat similar to the mazurka), and the triplet polska.
The oldest form polska is the "eighth-note", distinguished by a long second beat and a highly accented first and third beats. A sixteenth note polska, is also known as a slängpolska characterized by its fast paced dancing where the female is "swung" or virtually "thrown" across the dance floor by her male partner. A Norwegian variety played with faster music is called pols.
See also: Music of Sweden, Nyckelharpa