Trying to give a extensive definition of the some point occured a semantic merging between
klezmer is quite a difficult task. Originally, this is the musician and his instrument, and klezmer
the music of the Jewish communities who lived in began to mean the artist playing the instrument.
Eastern Europe a few centuries ago. It is only in the thirties of last century that
It is a buoyant dance music meant to go along Beregowsky, the musicologist, used the word
with the events of the Jewish social life like klezmer to refer to the music.
weddings and days of celebration. Klezmer is a The klezmer was brought to Western Europe and
music capable of expressing and embracing the to North-America by the immigrants who fled the
human passions and feelings, from blessedness to persecutions and the pogroms at the end of the
unhappiness, from laugh to teardrops. 19th century. At the beginning of the 20th
In truth the word klezmer is the juxtaposition of century there was a flourishing of the Yiddish
two Hebrew words, “kli” and “zemer” which mean culture and klezmer music thanks to such clarinet
respectively instrument and song, klezmer is musicians as Dave Tarras and Naftule Brandwein.
therefore word for word the instrument of the They were both virtuoso clarinet players, each in
song, the vessel of the voice. his own style and they were prominent

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Klezmer was played by traveling musicians strolling contributors of the blossoming of Jewish life and
from Shtetl to Shtetl (the Shtetl is a yiddish word klezmer music in America.
which means village), trying to earn a living From the thirties till the seventies, the klezmer
performing their craft. There were many music was out of the limelights. The reasons why
genres which influenced klezmer, such as the klezmer sink into oblivion were multiple. Among
Hazanut (synagogue chanting), reproducing the them were the holocaust, six millions Jewish were
bending of the human voice, the hasidic nigunim murdered, the emergence of new styles of
(wordless tunes), popular dances, folk songs, or music, jazz, rock-and-roll, much more attractive
solemn hymns before prayers. for the young people in search of new ways of
Now and then the klezmorim (plural of klezmer expression, and paradoxically when the new State
which means Klezmer musicians) were invited by of Israel was created in 1948, the klezmer was
non-Jewish local nobles who asked them to play put aside because the people wanted to revoke
contemporary popular tunes. Therefore the anything evocative of the holocaust and the bad
klezmer musicians played the local repertoire such days. best online casino nj
as Hungarian, Bulgarian, Bessarabian, Romanian, It is only in the seventies that some precursor
Moldavian, Ukrainian, Russian, German, Polish… musicians like Andy Statman, Henry Sapoznik,
The klezmer music was thus inspired by the Zev Feldman, Hankus Netsky and the “klezmorim”
non-Jewish traditions and cultures, but on the in the U.S.A. and Giora Feidman in the European
other hand the local musicians of each region and continent, started what is called the “klezmer
country were in their turn influenced by the rebirth”.
klezmer. Since then, the popularity of klezmer music is
There is a certain confusion about the general continually prospering and it is loved and
term of klezmer, first it was intended to appreciated by Jewish and non-Jewish people in all
designate the musical instruments themselves. At part of our global world.

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