The Krakowiak is a fast, syncopated Polish folk dance from the region of Kraków. The folk outfit worn for the dance has become the national costume of Poland, most notably, the rogatywka peaked hat with peacock feathers.
It became a popular ballroom dance in Europe where, with the polonaise and the mazurka, it signaled sympathy towards a picturesque, distant and oppressed nation. In Russia a krakowiak was featured in Mikhail Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar and, ever since, became an identifiable symbol of Polish culture in the Russian Empire, especially due to the rogatywka hat.
James L. King III’s arrangement is fast, delightful and bright, with plenty of opportunities for expression. Lyrics and a translation are included in the Special Notes section.
Key: D minor
Mood: excited, energetic
Pedagogy: left hand patterns, syncopation, crescendo