Music from Galicia

Galicia’s musical heritage is very rich and diverse, reflecting the folklore of the different ethnic groups and nationalities that lived in the region as well as the different genres that swept through the region throughout the centuries. Below I’ve compiled a list of songs and artists from the region — including both historical recordings as well as the music of contemporary groups who perform traditional music from the region — trying my best to present the unique musical tradition of Galicia.

Historical Recordings

Classical Music

Original recordings of music from before the nineteenth century don’t exist, but fortunately the sheet music does, so we have the opportunity to hear what the music from that time sounded like.

Franz Xaver Mozart

Son of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, spent many years in Galicia, read more about him here.

Karol Lipiński

Famous violinist and composer, read more about him here

Mykhailo Verbytsky

Composer, composed the national anthem of Ukraine

Opera Music

Solomiya Krushelnytska

World-famous opera singer. Read more about her here.

Folk Music

Recordings by Osyp Rozdolskyi

From 1891 to 1940 Rozdolskyi recorded thousands of songs from around Galicia. In 1900 he was the first to use a phonograph to record folklore in Galicia.

Ukrainian Folklore from the First Half of the 20th Century – Volume 1

Ukrainian Folklore from the First Half of the 20th Century – Volume 2

Ukrainian Folklore from the First Half of the 20th Century – Volume 3

Filaret Kolessa’s Collection of Phonograph Cylinders

Recordings from 1904-1912, digitized from wax cylinders, including recordings done by Lesia Ukrayinka. Listen to the collection here.

Smithsonian Folkways – Music of the Ukraine (1951) Released in America in 1951, but most likely the recordings were from before the war.

Recordings of Emigrant Bands

Ukrainian Village Music Historic Recordings 1928-1933
Ukrainian Village Orchestra / Ukrayinska Selksa Orkestra – Kolomyjka Lubka

Pawlo Humeniuk – Galician fiddler (recorded in USA)

Ukrainska Orchestra Michala Thomasa – Polka z Halychyny

Postwar Recordings of Authentic Folk Music

National and Ethnic Minorities in Poland Part I (recorded 1998)

The Cracow and Tarnów Regions (recorded 1969-96)

Bervy Project (contemporary recordings of authentic folk music collected from folk expeditions):



“At the Foot of the Carpathian Chain”
Authentic Boyko music from the village Lybokhora, recorded 1997

Karpatia – Music and songs of Lemkos, Boykos & Hutsuls


Klezmer is the traditional non-liturgical music of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe.

Klezmorim in Rohatyn, Galicia, Austria-Hungary, 1912

Jonah Reisman – Der Badkh (recorded in Lviv in 1907)

Klezmer Early Yiddish Instrumental Music

Max Leibowitz – Der Galitzianer Chosid

Irsael J. Hochman and his Orchestra – Galician Sher

Wolf Schildkraut and Tsigayner Trio – Galitsyaner Tsigayner Khosidl

Yiddish Theater Songs

Recordings of Broderzinger Pepi Littman

Wandering Stars: Songs from Gimpel’s Lemberg Yiddish Theatre, 1906-1910


Bohdan Vesolovsky – Famous Ukrainian composer, best known for his dance, and especially tango music.
“His light and rowdy tracks were played in cafes and restaurants in Lviv. They were mostly played by orchestras of the time, notably the one of Leonid Yablonsky (the Yabtso orchestra), in which Veselovsky performed. However, his songs were so popular that they were played all over Galicia and Bukovyna.”

Leonid Yablonsky

Jazz band Yatso

Tea Jazz Orchestra (Henryk Wars, Eugeniusz Bodo)
“Tea-Jazz Orchestra and artistic ensamble were established by Henryk Wars – the distinguished Polish pop-and film-music composer and bandleader – in Autumn 1939 in a city of Lwów, briefly after the outbreak of WWII…The repertoire of Tea-Jazz contained many prewar Polish hits”

Przedwojenny Lwów: Oryginalne nagrania z lat 1930-40
Album of Polish songs from prewar Lviv, first track is Mieczysław Fogg’s “Serce”:

Włóczęgi – Tylko we Lwowie. Read about this song here.

Przedwojenny Lwów: Chór Dana – Tango Łyczakowskie, 1930

Renata Bogdańska (born Iryna Yarosevych)

Сон (A Dream) – Remembers of Lviv (Lwow).avi

Ignacy Podgorski i Jego Nadzwyczajna Ork – Polka go Lwowa (Polka from Lviv) from I Wouldn’t Sell You to Anyone: Eastern European Immigrant Musics in the U​.​S​.​, 1917​-​29

Mein Shtetl Belz, 1928
The Yiddish song “Beltz, Mayn Shtetele” is a moving evocation of a happy childhood spent in a shtetl. Originally this song was composed for a town which bears a similar-sounding name in Yiddish (belts), called Bălți in Moldovan/Romanian, and is located in Bessarabia (presently the Moldova Republic). Later interpretations have had the Galician town of Belz in mind.

“Miasteczko Bełz” – Adam Aston. Recorded in 1935
The Polish version of the famous Yiddish song “Mayn Shtetele Belz” – an expression of remembrance of a happy childhood spent in the Galician town of Belz.

Ze Lwowa w świat – lwowscy twórcy muzyki rozrywkowej (From Lviv to the world – Lviv composers of popular music)

Full album here.

Chór Dana – Tango łyczakowskie (Syrena Record)

Contemporary Groups

Ukrainian/Lemko/Hutsul/Polish Folk Music

A Krakowiak is a fast, syncopated Polish folk dance from the Kraków region. This one of the many variants of the song to which the dance is performed.

Polish song from the village Milatycze near Lviv

Lemko song

Klezmer Revival

Here a few groups which have strong connections to Galicia:

Budowitz – Hungarian band, features kaleidoscopic renditions of  folk music molded into the unique personal group style from the regions of Bessarabia, Galicia and Bukovina
Veretsky Pass – trio from California, performing Carpathian, Jewish, Romanian and Ottoman styles
Di Naye Kapelye – Hungarian band, plays old time Jewish music the way we imagine it was played in eastern Europe both before and after the Holocaust.

Maxwell Street Klezmer Band: Galitzianer vs Litvak

Khevrisa – Suite In A Minor: Sher

Elie Rosenblatt & Pete Rushefsky Tsimbl un Fidl: Klezmer Music for Hammered Dulcimer & Violin

Galitzianer Tanz (A Galician Dance)

Warsaw Village Band – Hasidic Dance

Galicia was the cradle of Hasidism, a mystical religious revival movement within Judaism.

Muzsikás – Chasid Lakodalmi Táncok (a Hasidic wedding dance)

Leopold Kozłowski – The Last Klezmer of Galicia

Urban Music

Warszawska Orkiestra Sentymentalna – Music from interwar Poland, including songs from Lviv, read more here

Viktor Morozov and Batyar Band Halychyna – Faiduli Fai

Львівське ретро

Hutsulka Kseniya. Tango from 1933 Lviv.
Recorded at the end of 1970s by Burya band in Canada

Бувай ми здорова

Songs about Lviv & Galicia

Ukrainia (Canadian band) – Galician Girl (Галичаночка)

Zrada (Canadian band) – Ukrainian Lion (A song about Lviv, lyrics from poem by Vasyl Symonenko)

Dudaryk (men’s choir from Lviv) – Song about a Galician Girl

Pikkardiyska Tertsia (a capella vocal group from Lviv) – Old Tramway

Los Colorados – Only in Lemberg

Віктор  Морозов – То було так давно

Dmitry Pokrovsky Folk Ensemble – Night In Galicia (2000, CD)

Vladimir Martynov’s “Night in Galicia”: Towards a New Cultural Paradigm

Lemberg Ghost – Places You Will Never Visit

Inspired by my blog post: 10 Places You Will Never Visit in Lviv

Aleš Golouh – Lipa domača

“During the First World War, 16,000 Slovenian boys in the uniforms of Austro-Hungarian regiments died on the battlefields of Galicia and the Carpathians. At that time, only around one million Slovenians lived, and so it was one of the greatest tragedies of our nation’s entire history. I dedicated my blues “Lipa domača” (Home linden tree) to their memory. The photos are authentic from the battlefields in Galicia and the Carpathians and were provided by the National Museum of Contemporary History in Ljubljana.”

Spotify Playlists

Folk Music

Ukrainian, Lemko, Hutsul, Polish, Klezmer, German Galician folk, etc.

Jazz / Tango / Pop / Yiddish Theater