The Way of the Klezmer
– an exploration of the history and development of Jewish Music,
with an emphasis on the Ashkenazi stream.
Jewish Music is a diverse phenomenon, as diverse as the many cultures within which Jewish people have lived over the centuries. The interactions between Jewish communal and religious music and the musics of the surrounding non-Jewish cultures have given rise to many innovations and unique forms of expression. Beginning with a general overview of the phenomenon of Jewish Music, The Way of the Klezmer will focus its attention on the Ashkenazi stream of Jewish Music, namely, the music invented by the Jews of Europe and latterly the Americas. This music includes Klezmer, Yiddish song, and classical art forms. The Way of the Klezmer aims to give insight into the prevailing attitudes of Jewish musicians (klezmorim), and the hallmarks of their creativity.
Definitions of Klezmer: a) literally “an instrument of song”, it denotes the Jewish musician.
b) it has also come to signify the instrumental Jewish celebration music from Eastern Europe.