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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 ?
Instead of continuing their reinterpretation of the traditional klezmer, NIFTY's second album Naftularasa' (2009) opted for a bold combination of a wide range of sounds, from klezmer to metal to polka and surf-rock, thereby creating very own sound.
One cannot read this book without recognizing that its author has, almost singlehandedly, inspired the revival of the klezmer musical genre, which for decades had been a distant memory of a few surviving elderly musicians or aficionados, turning it into a musical style appreciated by Jews and non-Jews, young and old.
Julian Rowlands' recent Schott Publication Klezmer Piano Collection: 22 tunes from the Klezmer and Yiddish traditions for solo piano includes late-intermediate arrangements that may be familiar to a more mainstream audience.
In Part 2, "Yiddish Song and the 'Klezmer Revival,'" Wood contextualizes the resurgence of the Yiddish language and culture within the larger revived interest in Klezmer music and focuses on key Yiddish and Klezmer musicians such as Adrienne Cooper and her band Mikveh, Lorin Sklamberg and the Klezmatics, Michael Alpert, Sruli Dresdner, Frank London, Sophie Solomon, and Josh Dolgin.
Ethnomusicologist Mark Slobin of Wesleyan University puts it more bluntly: "There was no such thing as klezmer music" until the 1970s when the songs and style of Eastern Europe's Jewish musicians experienced a revival.
Formed by musicians from Huddersfield and Calderdale, they came together to bring a taste of Klezmer to the region.
Jewish musicians like John Zorn and Steven Bernstein sought to bring Jewish music into jazz in a way that foregrounded such questioning, while African American jazz clarinetist Don Byron challenged the monopoly of Jews in Jewish music (and Jewish jazz) by recording an album featuring the comedic klezmer music of Mickey Katz.
The middle eastern style drums help make up the rhythms on the several klezmer and Yiddish ensembles and (Claudine) she has gathered musicians from around the world, that make up the diverse group.
Yiddish Festival Hanukkah concert, featuring the "Klezmer Nutcracker'' by the klezmer band, Shirim, 7 p.
They include: songs used for teaching language, learning about and expressing Jewish culture, and commemorating the Holocaust (chapter 1); the discursive space opened up within printed anthologies of Yiddish song from 1945 onwards (chapter 2); the ideological and aesthetic uses for Yiddish in the klezmer revival as it negotiates past and present (chapter 3); the fraught creative spaces in klezmer music opened up by Jewish-American encounters with modern Europe (chapter 4); the role for Hasidic nigunim among nonHasidic Yiddishists and this repertoire's unique performance aesthetics (chapter 5); and, finally, the layered cultural dynamics of klezmer-hip-hop fusions embarked upon by younger Yiddishists (chapter 6).
The Other Europeans, a collaboration of klezmer (Yiddish) and lautari (Roma) musicians.
The Portland neo-cabaret Gypsy pop ensemble plays a combination of cabaret, burlesque, tango, Balkan beats, klezmer, rock, Arabian music, Parisian hot jazz and of course, enough opera to get your noggin rotating.