A Kobzar ( _ua. кобзар, pl. kobzari _ua. кобзарі) was a itinerant Ukrainian bard. Kobzars were often blind, and kobzardom became the domain of the blind. "Kobzar" literally means ‘kobza player’, a Ukrainian stringed instrument of the lute family, and more broadly — a performer of the musical material associated with the kobzar tradition.

The kobzar tradition was established during the Hetmanate Era around the sixteenth century in Ukraine. Kobzars accompanied their singing with a musical instrument known as the kobza, bandura or lira. Their repertoire primarily consisted of para-religious psalms and kants but also included a unique epic form known as dumas.

In Ukraine, kobzars organized themselves into regional Guilds or Brotherhoods, known as Kobzars'kyj Tsekh. They had to undergo a rigorous apprenticeship (usually three years in length) before undergoing the first set of open examinations to become a kobzar. These guilds were thought to have been moedelled on the Orthodox Church brotherhoods as each guild was associated with a specific church. These guilds then would take care of one church icon or purchase new religious ornaments for their affiliated church (Kononeko, p. 568–9). The Orthodox Church however was often suspicious of and occasionally even hostile to kobzars.

The institution of the kobzardom essentially ended in the Ukrainian SSR in the mid 1930s during Stalin's radical transformation of rural society which included the liquidation of the kobzars of Ukraine. [ [http://grigorenko.org/_wsn/page3.html Grigorenko site] ] Kobzar performance was replaced with stylized performances of folk and classical music utilising the bandura.

In recent times there has been an interest in reviving of authentic kobzar traditions which is marked by the re-establishing the Kobzar Guild as a centre of historical authentic performance practice.

At the turn of the nineteenth century there were three regional kobzar schools: Chernihiv, Poltava, and Slobozhan, which were differentiated by repertoire and playing style.

Other use of the term

"Kobzar" is also a seminal book of poetry by Taras Shevchenko, the great national poet of Ukraine.

The term "kobzar" has on occasion been used for hurdy-gurdy players in Belarus (where the hurdy-gurdy is often referred to as a "kobza", and bagpipe players in Poland where the bagpipe is referred to as a "kobza" or "koza".


* Kononenko, Natalie O. “The Influence of the Orthodox Church on Ukrainian Dumy.” "Slavic Review" 50 (1991): 566–75.

ee also

Blind musicians

External links

* " [http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?AddButton=pagesKOKobzarIT.htm Kobzar] " at Encyclopedia of Ukraine
* " [http://kobzari.org.ua National Union of the Ukrainian Kobzars] " official site (in Ukrainian)
* [http://www.wumag.kiev.ua/index2.php?param=pgs20041/100 Kobzars in "Welcome to Ukraine" Magazine]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kobzar — Demian Symonenko tocando la bandura. Postal coloreada anterior a 1910 …   Wikipedia Español

  • kobzar — kòbzār m <G kobzóra> DEFINICIJA glazb. ukrajinski narodni pjevač, pjeva narodne pjesme biline ETIMOLOGIJA ukr …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Kobzar — Les kobzari Kravchenko et Drevchenko en 1902 Un kobzar (en ukrainien : кобзар ; pl. kobzars ou kobzari , en ukrainien : кобзарі) est un barde itinérant en Ukraine, qui chante en s accompagnant lui …   Wikipédia en Français

  • kobzar — noun An itinerant Ukrainian bard, often blind, who played the kobza …   Wiktionary

  • Kobzar (book) — Kobzar (Ukrainian: Кобзар, The bard ), is a book of poems by Ukrainian poet and painter, Taras Shevchenko [ [http://www.britannica.com/eb/topic 320815/Kobzar Encyclopedia Britannica] ] , first published by him in 1840 in Saint Petersburg, Russia …   Wikipedia

  • Kobzar guilds — Kobzar guildsRegional organizations of kobzars and lirnyks were widespread in the mid 19th century. Modeled on artisans guilds, they protected their members interests. Every brotherhood had its own secret traditions and regulations. Its members… …   Wikipedia

  • 2427 Kobzar — Infobox Planet minorplanet = yes width = 25em bgcolour = #FFFFC0 apsis = name = Kobzar symbol = caption = discovery = yes discovery ref = discoverer = N. Chernykh discovery site = Nauchnyj discovered = December 20, 1976 designations = yes mp name …   Wikipedia

  • Duma (epic) — Kobzar Ostap Veresai One of the finest exponents of Dumy in the 19th century A Duma (Ukrainian: дума, plural dumy) is a sung epic poem which originated in Ukraine during the Hetmanate Era in the sixteenth century (possibly based on earlier Kievan …   Wikipedia

  • 12th Archeological Congress — The XIIth Archeological Congress Kharkiv, 1902 Preamble In the 1867 a tradition of holding Archeological Conferences known as Congresses was established in the Russian Empire. The aim of these conferences was to discuss and to make public studies …   Wikipedia

  • Ostap Veresai — Ostap Mykytovych Veresai (Ukrainian: Остап Микитович Вересай), (1803–1890) was a renowned minstrel and kobzar from the Poltava Governorate (now Chernihiv poblast) of the Russian Empire (in today s Ukraine). He, like no other, helped in the… …   Wikipedia

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.