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ESMERALDA, THE. American, Polka. D Major ('A' part) & A Major ('B' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Composed by Joseph Labitzky, the "Esmerelda Polka" was a favorite on dance cards throughout the United States in the the mid-to-latter 19th century. It incorporated three side-step glides. Melvin Gilber's Round Dancing (1890) explains: "The first two measures of [La Esmeralda] are the same as the first two measures of the Glide Polka. The third and fourth measures are repetitions of the second measure. (Glide Polka, two measures. Polka, two measures). See also "Esmeralda Polka (La). "La Esmeralda" takes its name from a ballet of the same name in 3 acts, 5 scenes, inspired by Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris. It was originally choreographed by Jules Perrot, with music by Cesare Pugni (see also note for "Opera Polka").
Charles D'Albert composed the "Sultan's Polka", sometimes called the "Esmerelda," but that is a different tune than the one Ford prints.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Ford (Traditional Music in America), 1940; p. 168.