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.


“Jewish musicians used to play frequently at non-Jewish weddings and festivities where they undoubtedly played Jewish tunes in addition to the Ukrainian dance-repertoire. In the same way they brought their Ukrainian repertoire to Jewish weddings (e.g., kozačkesskočnas).” Beregovski 1935 [= Beregovski/Slobin 1982, p. 526]. (Musical notation included). 

“Let us introduce another example, a dance such as the kozak (kozačok), which was and still is widespread among Ukrainian Jews and also in Poland. There can be no doubt about the Ukrainian origin of this dance among Jews outside the Ukraine (in Poland) and to determine those features introduced by the Jews; we find such features in this music... It is noteworthy that in both belles lettres and folklore the kozačok is mentioned much more frequently than the šer. Is this perhaps because the kozačok was a male dance (though also a female dance) that was performed at the wedding in the presence of all the guests? The kozačok was basically a solo dance in which the more talented dancers could distinguish themselves.” Beregovski 1937 [= Beregovski/Slobin 1982, p. 535]

“Daddy, daddy, the groom approaches...we are going to dance a kozak.” [Warsaw, Poland, pre-World War I]. Cahan 1957, pp. 245-46 (#263)

“Also a ‘kozak’ [and a freylekhs]... were folk-dances for adults and in-laws. The youth strutted its wards in waltzes, krakoviaks, etc.” [Dubno, Poland, pre-World War II]. Katshke 1966, p. 667

“‘...Let’s dance the kozak;’... The melody is that of a ‘Polish mazurka.'” [Galicia, 1920s-30s]. Pipe 1971a, pp. 161 (#48), 307 (#48)

“The guests would request their preferred dances, such as freylekhs, volekhls, shers, kozakl, polke...Stutschewsky 1959, p. 164

“Eastern European Jews were accustomed to invite each guest to a favorite dance: one prefers the ‘freylakhs,’ another the ‘volekhl,’ after that a ‘sher,’ yet another a ‘kozakl,’...” Stutschewsky 1959, p. 169

“On the Saturday night before the wedding, two youths danced the kozak dance very energetically...” [Jerusalem, first aliyah]. Yelin 1940, p. 15