A traditional Polish country dance (orig. sung as well as danced). Originated in Mazovia, near Warsaw, inhabitants being Mazurs. It spread in the early 18th cent. to Ger. and then to Paris, and early in the 19th to Brit. and the USA. It is in triple time with a certain accentuation of the 2nd beat of each measure and an ending of the phrases on that beat; dotted notes are a feature. It is not a fast dance, and a certain aristocratic pride of bearing, sometimes combined with a touch of abandon, helps to differentiate it from the waltz. Its place in concert mus. was est. by Chopin, who wrote c.60 for pf. These are in a greatly refined style and the tempo and rhythm are sometimes changed from those that are traditional.
The polka‐mazurka differs from the Polka in being in triple time and from the Mazurka in having an accent on the 3rd beat of the measure.