Polish folk music was collected in the 19th century by Oskar Kolberg, as part of a wave of Polish national revival. With the coming of the world wars and then the Communist state, folk traditions were oppressed or subsumed into state-approved folk ensembles. The most famous of the state ensembles are Mazowsze and Śląsk, both of which still perform. Though these bands had a regional touch to their output, the overall sound was a homogenized mixture of Polish styles. There were more authentic state-supported groups, such as Słowianki, but the Communist sanitized image of folk music made the whole field seem unhip to young audiences, and many traditions dwindled rapidly.
Polish dance music, especially the mazurka and polonaise, were popularized by Frederick Chopin, and they soon spread across Europe and elsewhere. These are triple time dances, while five-beat forms are more common in the northeast and duple-time dances like the krakowiak come from the south. The polonaise comes from the French word for Polish to identify its origin among the Polish aristocracy, who had adapted the dance from a slower walking dance called chodzony. The polonaise then re-entered the scene and became an integral part of Polish music.
Poland's five national dances (Mazur, Polonez, Kujawiak, Krakowiak, Waltz), as well as modern dance, contemporary dance and ballet are all widely performed today throughout the Polonia community.
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"I have a sweet tooth for song and music. This is my Polish sin."
Polonia Music's mission is to provide an online collection of the most cherished Polish songs enjoyed by people of Polish heritage. It is hoped that the collection will serve as a resource for anyone interested in traditional Polish music, Poland, and Polonia. Whenever possible, video, audio, links, lyrics and chords are provided to enhance your visit.
"Tradition is not to preserve the ashes but to pass on the flame."
- Thomas Moore
Each book is based on a certain moment in the history of Auschwitz shown from the perspective of those who took part in these events, as well as those who witnessed them. The books, recommended for readers 14 and older, were published In co-operation with The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim. If you are interested in finding out more about the collection, CLICK HERE.
Episodes from Auschwitz
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Riverhead, New York - Polish Town Street Fair & Polka Festival CLICK HERE
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Polonia Music is proud to announce that Polish crafts by Maria Rochalski are now available online at the Folk & World Music Store. Polish-Canadian author Edward Zawadzki's bestselling books featuring notable Poles are also available.