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Re: Meaning of "Klezmer"

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Objet : Meaning of "Klezmer"

The word "klezmer" comes from Hebrew or Aramaic "kley zemer", what indeed
means" instruments of the song".
According to this etymology, one can imagine that instruments, in the course
of history, gradually replaced the voices in this music. The oldest mention
of the term "klezmer" was found in a XVI Th century manuscript from the
Trinity College of Cambridge, where it qualifies for the first time the
musician and not the instrument.

At the very beginning, it qualified uneducated musicians who weren't able to
reed notes and played by ear (opposed to « musikant »).

Actually, it's supposed to be more or less laudatory for the musicians and
qualifies also the traditional Jewish music of eastern Europe and what
contemporary musicians make of it.
But for Giora Feidman, "klezmer" means that the instrument is only the
"loudspeaker" of the "inner voice" that sings in the heart of every human

You will find other informations about klezmer (sorry: in french, but
easy to understand!) at:

Michel Borzykowski
e-mail: borzykowski (at) infomaniak(dot)ch

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