Klezmer : music, history and memory /

Publication Type:



Feldman, Zev.


New York, NY : Oxford University Press,, United States, p.xxiv, 412 pages : (2016)

Call Number:



History and criticism., Jews, Klezmer music, Music


Includes bibliographical references (pages 391-403) and index.Part 1. The klezmer profession: social and artistic function. The music of the klezmer within East Ashkenazic music -- What's in a name?: the word klezmer and Jewish professional musicians -- The klezmer ensemble -- The role of Russia in the study of klezmer music -- The Jewish wedding and its musical repertoire -- East European Jewish dance -- Part 2. Genre and style in klezmer music. The genres and repertoires of klezmer music -- Moralishe niggunim: the musical genres of the wedding -- Rhythmic melody among the Ashkenazim: nign and zmires -- Old European components in the core repertoire -- The sher: history and choreography -- North and South in lezmer music: Northern redl and Southern freylekhs -- Skotshne and freylekhs -- The khosidl at the interface of mystical and secular expression -- The bulgar: a transnational klezmer dance genre -- Postlude: a lezmer legacy -- Appendix 1: Overview of modal usage in klezmer music."Klezmer: Music, History and Memory is the first comprehensive study of the music created by the Jewish musicians' guild of Eastern Europe--the klezmorim. Klezmer music was the unique example of an instrumental repertoire and performance style created by Jews. Its primary venue was the multi-day Jewish wedding, with its many ritual and processional melodies, its table music for listening, and its varied forms of Jewish dance. This book demonstrates the relation of klezmer music to Jewish dance, with its expressive gestures, connected both to synagogue prayer and to the Yiddish language. While a small part of this musical and choreographic repertoire was acculturated in America, this book focuses exclusively on what was most characteristic of the cultural expression of the Jews within Eastern Europe.Part One of the book tells the story of the rise of the Jewish musicians guild in 16th century Prague and its survival and transformations in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and later in the Russian Empire during the 19th century. It demonstrates how the klezmer repertoire was shaped to suit the Eastern European Jewish wedding, and devotes much attention to the nature of Jewish dance. Part Two of the book deals with both the processional and the dance repertoire of the klezmorim. This repertoire was composed for centuries by a stable combination of musical elements coming from the Ashkenazic liturgy, from the Western European Baroque, and from the music of the Ottoman Turks. Klezmer music showed a broad differentiation into a Jewish North (Lithuania/Belarus) and South (Ukraine, Galicia, Moldova), but (outside of Moldova) was not closely related to any local non-Jewish style"--