Understanding Ukraine Through Its Music

The bandura is a traditional Ukrainian folk instrument.

To understand a country you need to understand its culture and of course its music.  Our colleague Jane Sugarman, Professor of Ethnomusicology and Director of the Ethnomusicology Program at the CUNY Graduate Center, has compiled some links to that effect.  The last (extramusical) link includes a list of charities to help the Ukranian people.  You will also find an annotated bibliography on Ukranian music at the very end of this post.


Maria Sonevytsky, “Understanding the War on Ukraine through Its Musical Culture”

Talk that Maria gave on 2 March 2022 hosted by Michigan State University. 



A live performance from 2017 of the group Dakha Brakha–the GC hosted them for a concert several years back. 



An article on Dakha Brakha in yesterday’s New York Times.



New York’s own Ukranian Village Voices, featuring two of our CUNY Graduate Center ethnomusicology students:  Brian Dolphin (vocal trio and conductor) and Natalie Oshukany (vocal soloist). 



A short video on the “Polyphony Project,” founded by young people to document rural music.



Polyphony Project website.



Ruslana – “Kolomiyka”



A list of charities offering aid in Ukraine and surrounding areas. 

Sounding a history of Ukrainian sovereignty: An annotated bibliography

Image: “bandura players” by polandeze is marked with CC BY-NC 2.0. To view the terms, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/?ref=openverse