Hopak (LKT)

This entry is part of the Lexicon of Klezmer Terminology (LKT). The LKT compiles a wide array of source materials that shed light on the historical and contemporary state of knowledge about klezmer music. Each entry includes a number of citations from primary and secondary sources that include or refers to the term in question. It also indicates whether musical notation or sound recordings are included in the source. By clicking on the bibliographic hyperlink at the end of each citation, you get the full reference.


“The principal forms [of Russian folk dance] are the korovod and the trepak, the former danced by young girls holding hands,...The popular Russian dances are, properly speaking, of Cossack origin: there is the kastachok, that holds the middleground between the Polish Mazurka and the Hungarian Czardas, the Hoppak, performed by a squatting dancer alternatively thrusting his legs out in front of him and parallel to the ground, a dance possibly of Scythian or Thracian origin...” De Menil 1905, pp. 129-130

“Alongside of the kozachok the klezmers aso played the hopak. (The name hopak was folklorized into hopke.) Jewish kozachok melodies were borrowed, but in the klezmer interpretation they were given near-virtuoso features. Moreover they became multipart works. The borrowed hopak tunes did not keep their name. Alongside of literal transfers of Ukrainian kozachoks and hopaks, the klezmer repertoire also contained more or less modified ones and even freely transformed versions.” Goldin 1989, p. 15

Hopke—from the Ukrainian folk dance hopak (mus. ex. 21).” Stutschewsky 1959, p. 170. (Musical notation included). 

See Hopke.