Kobzardom in Ukraine

Kobzar (Ukrainian кобзар) literally means 'kobza player', a performer on Ukrainian stringed instruments of the lute family, and more broadly — a performer of the musical material associated with the kobzar tradition. The professional kobzar tradition started around the sixteenth century and got fully established during the Hetmanate Era. Kobzars accompanied their singing with a musical instrument known as the kobza, bandura, or lira. Their repertoire primarily consisted of para-liturgical psalms and songs on religious themes (called ‘kanty’, which is  originated from Latin word ‘cantus’), and also included a unique epic form known as dumas (Ukrainian equivalent of epic ballads, translated to English literally as ‘thoughts’).

PNW Kobzar Project continues the authentic Ukrainian kobzar tradition of story telling via the language of music and art songs.

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