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(klĕz`mər), form of instrumental folk music developed in the Eastern European Jewish community. The style had its beginnings in the Middle Ages; its name is a Yiddishized version of the Hebrew klei zemir [instruments of song] that until the mid-20th cent. referred to the musicians rather than, as it does today, to the music. Largely based on cantorial singing and the folk music of Eastern Europe, it was played by an ensemble of violin, flute, bass, drum, cymbal, and sometimes other popular instruments that performed at various family occasions and religious festivals. In the 19th cent. wind and brass instruments (principally the clarinet, trumpet, and tuba) were added to the group. Basically a joyous, highly ornamented dance music, klezmer is often accompanied by a solo singer. Klezmer remained a popular entertainment at weddings and other events, but in the late 20th cent. there was an enthusiastic popular revival of the style. This was particularly true in the United States, where it has sometimes been mingled with jazz, rock, and experimental music to create a more free-form style.


S. Rogovoy, The Essential Klezmer (2000); H. Sapoznik, Klezmer: Jewish Music, from Old World to Our World (2000).

References in periodicals archive ?
2) Wood's text, published fifteen years after Kirschenblatt-Gimlett's essay, seeks to situate Yiddish song as a living tradition, and as a way of life for North American Yiddishists.
The Australian Archive of Jewish Music (AAJM) (9) at Monash University contains long-play albums and 78 rpm record discs of Yiddish songs from those years.
This is a wonderful addition to the growing body of authentic European Yiddish song that has been preserved and made available to the modern reader.
Eber's use of lyrics from Yiddish songs sung in the camps, similarly, provide an emotional tone.
The Rosenthal chant to the Yiddish song `Hava Nagila' was born, ringing out throughout the title run-in.
Bie Mir Bist Du Schon (based on a Yiddish song by Sammy Cahn and Saul Chaplin), Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (restored to the charts by Bette Midler in 1973), A cover version of Al Dexter's country hit with Pistol Packin' Mama (with Bing Crosby), Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree and I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time all provided up-tempo hits.
The opening lines, never sung in the film, set a mood well known to anyone familiar with the Yiddish song and its cadences: straying from home leads to sadness and loneliness, and only the promise of return, especially to the beloved mother, offers comfort.
The melody belongs to a well-known melodic type of Jewish song, based on the famous Yiddish song |Belz' and is played in different variations throughout Eastern Europe.
Indeed, as Abigail Wood's monograph convincingly argues in some detail, Yiddish song and the singing thereof act as a kind of cultural linchpin for a community of contemporary Yiddishists that is centered in New York but stretches across North America and reaches over the Atlantic back to Europe.
Winnie begins with a more or less conventional approach to performing a Yiddish song as is the practice today--offering, in another language, an introduction that contextualizes the number and summarizes its text.
One day Jenny Grossinger showed them the music sheets for this Yiddish song called "Bei Mir Bist du Schon," and Johnny and George had a little fun
Throughout the evening, there were stops in the Weimar Republic of the 1920s, vamping it up with ``Sex Appeal,'' a Yiddish song, a Russian song, a snatch of ``Lili Marlene.