What is Klezmer music?

Klezmer, a joyous and celebratory music, has its roots in the Middle Ages and combines musical styles found in the Ukraine, Belorussia, Moldavia, Greece, Turkey, Israel, the Balkans, Trans-Caucasus, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Rumania to name a few.

Deeply influenced by the khazones, the old Hassidic cantorial melodies, it has always been closely associated with the traditions of the Jewish wedding ceremony and all of the Jewish holidays. It became an integral part of daily life in pre-World War II Jewish culture.

Klezmer music was brought to the United States by Eastern European immigrants in the early twentieth century, where it was modified to some extent by American swing, and more recently, contemporary jazz. It disappeared after the Holocaust, but has been experiencing an enthusiastic revival in Western Europe and the United States since the 1970's.

© Zen Smile 2011