Klezmer : Music, History and Memory

by Walter Zev Feldman

Publication of the latest study on klezmer music, written by researcher, musician and dancer Walter Zev Feldman

Klezmer : Music, History and Memory is latest study of the music created by the Jewish musicians of Eastern Europe. Klezmer music was the unique example of an instrumental repertoire and performance style created by Jews. Its primary venue was the 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 connected both to synagogue prayer and to the Yiddish language.

The first part of the book tells the story of the rise of the Jewish musician’s guild in 16th century Prague and its survival and transformations in Poland and Lithuania and later in the Russian Empire during the 19th century.
The second part 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.

Author Walter Zev Feldman examines the major sources principally in Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Romanian from the 16th to the 20th centuries, including interviews with authoritative European-born klezmorim conducted over a period of more than thirty years in America, Eastern Europe, and Israel. In its musical analysis, this book draws upon the foundational collections of the late Tsarist and early Soviet periods, plus rare cantorial and klezmer manuscripts from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries.

Learn more and order the book

You may also like

Du salon au front : Fernand Halphen (1872-1917), composer, patron and director of military music

A collective work published in April 2017 under the direction of Laure Schnapper, with the collaboration of Pierre-André Meyer – Preface by Hervé (…)

Discovering Jewish music: a conference by Hervé Roten

On May 3rd 2017 at 7 pm in the synagogue of Bordeaux, Hervé Roten will hold a conference on Jewish music, illustrated with many audio and video (…)

Marc-Alain Ouaknin invites Hervé Roten on his radio show « Talmudiques » broadcasted on France Culture

Radion Program on April 9 and 16 2017, from 9h10 am to 9h42 am. The blooming encounters of Jewish traditional songs with French variety gave (…)

Centennial of the passing of Fernand Halphen

For the centennial year of the passing of Fernand Halphen (1872 - 1917), several events will take place : Concerts, publication of a collective (…)

Courses cycle: Jewish art music in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries (Italy, France, Holland)

The Elie Wiesel Institute organizes with the European Institute for Jewish Music a four courses cycle, on January 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th 2017 (…)