A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Polo

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POLO or OLE, a Spanish dance accompanied by singing, which took its origin in Andalusia. It is said to be identical with the Romalis, which is 'danced to an old religious Eastern tune, low and melancholy, diatonic, not chromatic, and full of sudden pauses, which are strange and [1]startling,' and is only danced by the Spanish gipsies. It resembles the oriental dances in being full of wild energy and contortions of the body, while the feet merely glide or shuffle along the ground. The words ('coplas') of these dances are generally of a jocose character, and differ from those of the Seguidilla in wanting the 'estrevillo,' or refrain; several examples of them may be found in Preciso's 'Coleccionde Las Mejores Coplasde Seguidillas, Tirañas y Polos' (Madrid, 1816). They are sung in unison by a chorus, who mark the time by clapping their hands. Some characteristic examples of the music of the Polo will be found in J. Gansino's 'La Joya de Andalucia' (Madrid, Romero).

[ W. B. S. ]