Definition of dumka in English:


noundumkas, dumky

  • A piece of Slavic music, originating as a folk ballad or lament, typically melancholy with contrasting lively sections.

    • ‘Nothing is more characteristic of Czech music than the ‘dumka’, which Dvorák made particularly his own, notably in his Op 90 Piano Trio, which strings six of them together.’
    • ‘Some late 19th-century composers used such national dance forms as the furiant or dumka in their scherzos, while some of these draw on Austrian dances and otherwise grotesque elements.’
    • ‘The musical canvas of the Polish carol is formed above all by the melodies and rhythms of dances such as mazurkas, krakowiaks, obereks, kujawiaks, polonaises, and sentimental dumkas or elegies.’
    • ‘The whole set consists of rather humorous songs based on folk rhythms, melancholic dumkas and lyrical or even dramatic romances.’
    • ‘They crooned lengthy dumkas, folk songs in which sadness and gaiety mingled freely.’
    • ‘He presents a series of six dumkas which are poignant, musical representations in the style of epic and heroic tales from Czech folk life.’
    • ‘The waltzes, polkas, reels, and dumkas (the dumka is a ballad-form, in which elegiac and fast tempi alternate) of his native Bohemia were successfully integrated into classical structures.’
    • ‘The concert concluded with the lavish main course presentation of Dvorak's ‘Trio in E minor, Op. 90,’ a big work made up of six large-scale dumkas, hence its nickname, ‘The Dumky.’’
    • ‘For Dvorák's Trio Number 4 in E Minor, Opus 90, B.166, they surrendered their smooth tone for more folk-like nuances, as is appropriate to the work's nature; the dumkas (Slavic folk songs) were elegiac, and the lively sections sparkled with dynamic contrasts.’


Late 19th century via Czech and Polish from Ukrainian.