What is Ukrainian Folk Music?

Contrary to what many people think, Ukraine is not a part of Russia. Ukrainians have a unique identity, culture, and music. Yes, they love to sing. They are sometimes called Spyvuchy Narod (meaning a singing nation). Ukrainian folk music is a traditional genre of music that infuses the rich culture and sound of the native Ukrainian people.

It is needless to say that folk music in Ukraine has had its ups and downs. Now, it is experiencing a revival, and the impact of folk music has become more significant. In this blog, you will learn about Ukrainian folk music, its history, and its influence on the world. Let us begin.

The richness of its sounds

You can listen to beautiful Ukrainian songs that convey the rich and wonderful culture of the people. Music from the region is harmonically complex yet beautiful. The Ukrainian people use a plethora of vocal techniques and exquisite instruments to produce one-of-a-kind sounds. No occasion is complete without a song- it is an essential part of the culture.

They sing folk music at festivals, parties, and during holidays. Musicians sing in a group of 3 or 4 individuals called an ensemble. Some notable groups or ensembles include Velselka, Donbas, Lionok, Zoria ensemble and Tavria.

Ukraine has an extensive list of traditional instruments native to the region. Instruments like the Torban, Kobzari, and Bandura play a significant role in the evolution of folk and modern Ukrainian music.

Folklore music One of the vocal techniques invented in Ukraine is known as the white voice. This technique produces clear and bright notes. The method of singing employs the chest register and is similar to controlled yelling.

A sad past

During the 20th century, the soviet union censored Ukrainian folk music in a bid to eradicate the country’s national identity and absorb it into the state. The crackdown included mandatory registration of traditional instruments and a ban on nomadic music performances. During this period the soviet union massacred Kobzari, the itinerant, and the bandura-playing musicians. Despite the severe opposition, the Ukrainian people were resilient.

Moving forward

Folk music is one of the best-loved Ukrainian music and has been experiencing a revival in recent years. Folk music plays a fundamental role in the ‘musicscape’ of the country, and musicians are consciously heralding its second coming. Its influence has spread to popular genres in Europe and all over the world.

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