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 A question of Klezmer's varying styles
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2019-03-30 09:36

I was recently asked to join a fiddle and accordion in playing Klezmer music.

Of course, I've heard Klezmer off-and-on in movies, YouTube, etc. from time to time, but as I began trying to find good examples to listen to, it became obvious that:

1. The term "Klezmer" is used to cover a wide range of musical styles (some more akin to rock and roll)
2. "Klezmer" music seems to be highly influenced by the various regions in which it is played
3. "Klezmer" music has changed (much like jazz) in the last 100 years.

So, my question is this: Are there fundemental rules/roles which pertain to Klezmer music across all these differences?

I am having a difficult time defining (by ear/listening) authentic Klezmer music from the newer/regional dialects of Klezmer.

I've read many of the previous posts pertaining to Klezmer on this bboard, so I have listened to many of the suggested recordings by the suggested artists...but even those vary greatly from earlier examples of Klezmer recordings.

I've listened to a lot of accordion "lessons" on YouTube, where the player(s) describe the role of the accordion on bass/chord/beat - yet other lessons by other players describe the role totally different.

So, I'm having a tough time knowing where to look to understand authentic Klezmer vs. pretend/diluted Klezmer. I have a really hard time listening to folks who don't understand how to play early jazz, playing early jazz. I don't want to be the guy who doesn't understand how to play Klezmer, playing Klezmer. ;^)>>>

Any direction to bboard threads I might have missed, websites, books, YouTube links, etc. that would help me define (for my ear) authentic Klezmer music would be greatly appreciated.


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 Re: A question of Klezmer's varying styles
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-03-30 14:29

Dave Tarras seems to be perhaps the first musician (clarinetist) to have brought Klezmer from the Ukraine to New York in the early part of the 20th century. So listening to him and reading up on him-there is a book on him-is getting it from the horse's mouth. Your comparison with jazz is good: this form of music is always evolving, like a cathedral always a-building. Also like tango. When I was a child, I studied breifly with Tarras' son-in-law: Sam Musiker. Some people said he played better than Tarras! He did not, however, teach us Klezmer unfortunately and was no longer playing it. There was a long period during which it was not the flavor of the day.


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 Re: A question of Klezmer's varying styles
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2019-03-31 21:23

The Tarass book is good...I have also gotten a lot from Henry Sapolnik's "The Compleat Klezmer". It's a combination history, theory, and song bood.

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 Re: A question of Klezmer's varying styles
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2019-04-01 07:15

Thanks ruben and shmuelyosef!

I had listened to quite a bit of the Dave Tarras stuff on YouTube, but even his music is somewhat different from the few early (1900-1905) recordings of other groups I could find out there.

Do either of you know when "Klezmer" music came to be?

I'll keep listening to the Dave Tarras stuff and see what I can figure out. If I can't get a good grasp on it, I will look into the books you recommend.

Thanks again!

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