Mudcat Café message #3005057 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113301   Message #3005057
Posted By: GUEST,Gerhard
12-Oct-10 - 06:27 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Clarinet Polka
Subject: RE: Origins: Clarinet Polka
As with other popular folk tunes, there are many claims to authorship, poorly supported. In particular, the site linked by GUEST,BJGawlak on 11 Oct 10 - 10:54 PM tells us a typical legend including heroic resistance against foreign oppression. As Martin Ryan has pointed out above, the story lacks support from outside Poland.

Given the extreme ambitus of the melody, it cannot possibly be composed for vocalists. Trying to sing it is an act of circus artistry, not adequate to folkloristic entertainment. If the title "Grandad's Polka" is original (which I do not think to be proven), the grandad would rather dance with grandma (in a moderate polka tempo) than yodel.

The tune as we know it makes clever and idiomatic use of the Bb-clarinet, so it is hard to believe that it was borrowed from another instrument without any changes.

Polka is a dance from Bohemia (now Czech Republic).