What are the roots of klezmer? Where was the music rooted? What occasions was it played for and in what language? What does “klezmer” literally mean?
Did klezmer remain isolated to its original community? Are klezmer ‘major’ and ‘minor’ scales the same as Western ‘major’ and ‘minor’ scales? If not, where did klezmer scales derive from?
Under what circumstances did the Jewish diaspora first become “a people without a home”? What are the two predominant instruments in contemporary klezmer and what do they emulate?
Vocabulary: krekht, kvetch, freylekh, Hasid, nigun (plural “niggunim”), devekut
What are Klezmorim? What was their status and reputation in the Old World? What larger purpose has (the musical style now called) klezmer served for the Jewish diaspora?
Under Russian law, what two groups were permitted to be professional musicians outside an orchestra? What is the most famous klezmer tune in the world and where did it come from?
What musical stylistic influence did klezmer absorb with in the UK, and the US, in the early-to-mid 20th century? Where was klezmer preserved, adapted, and named as such in the 1970s? What film played a key role in the Jewish roots revival? Who is Henry Sapoznik? What were the ‘benefits’ of labeling Yiddish music as ‘klezmer’ in the 1970s and going forward? In all the new forms of klezmer and all the stylistic mashups that incorporate klezmer, what remains constant in the musical tradition?
Note: There will also be a few questions from the short readings.