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A piece of music from Alexander Borodin's opera Prince Igor. Also spelled Polovtsian.
The Polovetsian Dances are a set of 19 dances that make up the second of three acts in the opera Prince Igor, composed by Alexander Borodin. The Polovetsian Dances were inspired by the real-life Polovtsian people, a nomadic Turkic people who lived in southern Russia and Ukraine. Borodin spent time among the Polovtsians while he was a student at the University of Dorpat, and he was greatly impressed by their culture and music. The Polovetsian Dances are scored for a large orchestra, consisting of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. The melodies are often quite simple, but the orchestration is dense and colorful, creating a rich and exotic sound. The dances are in a variety of styles, from slow and mournful to fast and lively. They are all based on the pentatonic scale, a five-note scale that is common in Eastern music. The Polovetsian Dances were first performed in 1859, as part of the premiere of Prince Igor. They quickly became popular, and have been performed by orchestras all over the world. They are a favorite of classical music fans and are often played as part of a concert program.


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How To Pronounce Polovetsian Dances