«Shchedryk»,– it is not a song layout, it is a precious piece of music that is illuminated by a ray of genius and which is worthy to occupy (and will occupy) not the last place in the world’s treasury of music».


Leontovych’s associate composer P. Kozytskyi

Certainly «Shchedryk» remains Leontovych’s card work. The folk source of the choir belongs to the oldest samples of Ukrainian folklore. In shchedrivka the joy of work is sung, wishes of well-being and family happiness are expressed. The melody of the work is a one-stroke – for four sounds – motif in the volume of small third on the development of which the whole choir is built. Here the brilliantly applied classical polyphonic technique is ostinato. The soprano solo begins singing «Shchedryk», then the whole group flows into performance of the motif. Over his steady sounding first the altos and then the tenors lead down warding voices, painted in a kind of harmonious color. The farther away, the dense monotheme is surrounded by new expression lines, each of which is intended to depict a separate detail of the image. All together – it is a sophisticated, fanciful by pattern, an incredibly beautiful sound net as if woven by a folk master’s poetic hand. The peculiarity of the musical movement in the work – from gentle, transparent initial beats through a gradual acoustic growth and emotional build-up to a culmination (20 – 24 beats) and again a general decline. Thus, the whole «Shchedryk» is a united, slim due to architectonics emotional wave. Impresses the subtle sense of the author of the holistic artistic form, as an expression of deep conception. It is difficult to name another piece in Ukrainian choral literature in which content, artistry and craftsmanship are combined with such power.


Author: musicologist , Candidate of Art Studies Anatolii Zavalniuk.

Shchedryk (Christmas carol)

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In the times of pre-Ukrainian archaic in the folk art words and melody of «Shchedryk» are formed.  Underlying – conciseness, simplicity of language, spring image. The ritual of congratulating the owner and charming the house for good is in action. The chant was transmitted as oral folk art. The especially popular «Shchedryk» was on the Right Bank, in particular in Podillia and Volyn.

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Finding Shchedryk

1901 – 1902 – created the first edition of the arrangement of «Shchedryk» by Leontovych

1906 – 1908 – created the second edition of the arrangement

1914 – created the third edition of the arrangement

1916 – created the fourth edition of the arrangement

1919 – created the fifth edition of the arrangement


Shchedryk, shchedryk, shchedrivochka

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Presentation of Shchedryk

January 7, 1917 (December 25, 1916 by the old style) – for the first time «Shchedryk» was performed by the choir of the Kyiv University under the direction of Koshyts in the walls of the native Kiev National University named after St. Volodymyr (now T. Shevchenko University). At that time Leontovych was working in Kyiv. The performance of the work has brought a great success in music circles and among the general public.

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Shchedryck’s migration

May 11, 1919 – European premiere of «Shchedryk» in Prague (Narodni divadlo) performed by the Oleksandr Koshyts Ukrainian Republican Chapel.

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Way of Shchedryk

October 5, 1922 – Shchedryk was performed for the first time at a concert at the Carnegie Hall in New York by the Olexander Koshyts choir.

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Duplication of Shchedryk

The first audio recording of «Shchedryk» was made in the performance of Olexander Koshyts choir.


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Internationality of Shchedryk

1936 – American of Ukrainian descent Petro (Peter) Wilhousky, who worked for NBC radio, translated «Shchedryk»



Hark how the bells,
sweet silver bells,
all seem to say,
throw cares away…

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In 1955, Shchedryck could already be heard in the Christmas issue of CBS.

CBS is an American television and radio network. The network appeared in 1928 after William S. Paley acquired 16 radio stations. Under his leadership the company became one of the largest radio networks in the USA and later one of the three largest US television networks.


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Shchedryk conquered the universe

«Shchedryk» becomes a calling tune for American spacecraft «Space Shuttle».



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Shchedryk and pop culture

1990 – the record – breaking American Christmas comedy by Chris Columbus with the participation of young Macaulay Culkin «Home alone» came out on the screens. Then four more sequels. Thus, in the 1990s of the previous century, the Ukrainian Shchedryk rose to the highest wave of cultural life.

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Shchedryk returns home

In 2018, in the framework of the Leontovych Art-quarter project, implemented with the support of the Government and the Ministry of Culture, the grand opening of the monument “Shchedryk” was in Tulchyn.

Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman took part in the action.