History of Cocek Dance
History of Cocek Dance History of Cocek Dance

Cocek (Albanian qyqek, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian/cocek, pronounced "cho'-chek"; Macedonian, Bulgarian (kyuchek or kyutchek) is a musical genre and dance that emerged in the Balkans during the early 19th century. It features prominently in the repertoire of many Romani brass bands.

Cocek originated from Ottoman military bands, which at that time were scattered across the region, mostly throughout Serbia, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia and Romania. That led to the eventual segmentation and wide range of ethnic sub-styles in cocek.

Cocek was handed down through the generations, preserved mostly by Roma ("Gypsy") minorities, and was largely practiced at village weddings and banquets.

Cocek is especially popular among the Muslim Rom and Albanian populations of Kosovo and Metohia, South Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia.[dubious - discuss] When Tanec first came to America in 1956, they performed cocek as a Muslim woman's dance, "cupurlika" from Titov Veles.

The kyuchek, as a common musical form in the Balkans (primarily Bulgaria and Macedonia), is typically a dance with a 9/8 time signature; two variant forms have the beats divided 2-2-2-3 and 2-2-3-2. (This latter meter is sometimes referred to as "gypsy 9".) Roma musicians living in areas of the former Yugoslavia have broadened the form to include variations in 4/4 and 7/8.

In the international folk dance community, cocek is danced to many melodies. Dances in the cocek genre include Jeni Jol and Sa Sa.

Laurens Hartong, Jan (2006). Musical Terms World Wide: A Companion for the Musical Explorer. Semar Publishers Srl. p. 100. ISBN 9788877780904.

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