Kolomeyke (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 refer 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.


“Where are you coming from, good-brother? From the kolemeyke.” [Berhamet, Bukovina]. Cahan 1957, p. 239.

“The co-territorial repertoire consisted of local dance tunes of non-Jewish origin played by klezmorim for non-Jews, and also, at times, for Jews within a limited geographical region (such as the Polish mazurka, Ruthenian kolomeyka and Ukrainian kozachok).” Feldman 1994, pp. 9-10.

“In general, the sections of the Hasidic dance-niggunim tend to divide themselves into two-bar melodic units, and the entire section is made up of multiples of this unit... This structure is typical of several musical categories of the gentile folk environment in which the Hasidic movement arose and developed. One of these is the Ukrainian Kolomejka, which has clearly had an influence on the Hasidic niggun.” Mazor 1974, p. 143.

“Kolomeyke. Kolomeyke is a town in the Galician region of the Ukraine. Doctor [Walter] Feldman says it is also a Ruthenian dance. According to the notes for the album, ‘Leon Schwartz - Like in a Different World’... this is actually a combination of two other tunes. The first two sections are derived from one titled ‘Verkhovnya,’ the name of a region of the Carpathian Mountains. The third section is Honyl Viter, a Ukranian tune translated as Howling Wind.” Phillips 1996a, p. 104. (Musical notation and recording references included).

“'Do you have good mead, Beyle’... the melody is of the ‘kolomeykeh’ dance.’”[Galicia, 1920s-30s]. Pipe 1971a, pp. 163, 308.