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Folk dance Kozachok.jpg
Genrefolk dance
Time signature2/4

Kozachok (meaning "little Cossack")[a] is a folk dance originating with the Cossacks in the 16th century.[1] It is a fast, linear, couple-dance in 2
, typically in a constantly increasing tempo and of an improvisatory character, typically in a minor key in Ukraine, and in a major key in Russia. The woman leads and the man follows, imitating her figures – she signals movement changes by hand clapping. In the 17th century, kozachok became fashionable in court music in Europe.[1]

The term "kozachok" can be traced back to the Vertep, the 16th to 19th century Ukrainian itinerant puppet theatre. Vertep plays consisted of two parts, the first dramatizing the birth of Christ, and the second with a secular plot, often a morality tale. It is found in Russian chronicles. In Russia there exist different versions of the kozachok dance, like the Russian Upland kozachok which originated in west-central Russia, Terek kozachok from North-Caucasus and Kuban kozachok from South Russia.[2] In Ukraine it was often a joyful celebration centered on the Cossacks from the Zaporizhian region, who sang, played the bandura, and danced. This dance became known as the "Vertepny Kozachok", literally meaning "A Cossack from Vertep" and displayed all the characteristics of the fiery Kozak temperament. Russias west-central regions like the Belgorod Oblast played an important role in East Slavic dances. In Russia, many cultural treasures can still be traced to their roots, such as to the Kozachok region in Belgorod.[2]

The first known musical arrangement of the kоzachok for lute is attributed to the Polish nobleman and composer Kazimierz Stanisław Rudomina-Dusiacki in the 17th century.[3][4] There are manuscript collections of kozachok melodies from the second half of the 18th century, and printed collections begin to appear toward the end of that century. Dusiacki's score was preserved in the Berlin State Library under the name "Dusiacki-Buch".

Kozachok melodies were used in Polish music in the 18th century.[1][5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ukrainian: кoзачо́к, Belarusian: казачо́к, казак, Russian: казачо́к


  1. ^ a b c "Kozachok". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. 1989.
  2. ^ a b "Kozachok Destination Guide (Belgorod, Russia) – Trip-Suggest". trip-suggest.com. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  3. ^ Soroker, Yakov (1995). Ukrainian Musical Elements in Classical Music. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press. p. 64. ISBN 1-895571-06-5.
  4. ^ Deasy, Aidan (2010). The Seventeenth-Century Battaglie for Lute in Italy. Edith Cowan University: Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. p. 19.
  5. ^ Findeizen, N.; Velimirovic, M.; Jensen, C.; Brown, M.; Waugh, D. C. (2008). History of Music in Russia from Antiquity to 1800. Indiana University Press. p. 388. ISBN 978-0-253-02352-0.
  6. ^ Mischakoff, A.; Heiles, A. M. (1983). Khandoshkin and the beginning of Russian string music. Russian music studies. UMI Research Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-8357-1428-0.


  • Bobri, Vladimir – Notes on the Ukrainian Folk Dances //Guitar review - #33, Summer, 1970 p. 27
  • Ukrayins'ke kozatstvo – (Entsyklopedia) Kiev, 2006