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Re: In defense of the recorder


Let me just finish this particular point.

What you described below is rulings within a particular 'tekh' of one town 
or one small region.  It says nothing about jurisdictions across larger 
towns or regions.  What is being described below  is probably descriptive 
for what always goes on within any band in the world and the word 'union' 
seems to be an oversized term for what is being described.   Nothing in 
what I wrote denies the hegemony of band leaders within their bands or even 
one band over a town.   Nor did it deny that each town had bands that tried 
to control the market or its members, but the implication of a regional 
guild in the way that other guilds functioned, e.g., dyers, textile 
workers, etc.,  was overstated and incorrect.   I can't even remember now 
how the thread started and I have no idea what else Hescheles said about 
music guilds in Eastern Europe, but the way that those ideas were first 
represented  on this list had to be corrected.

Reyzl Kalifowicz-Waletzky

-----Original Message-----
From:   Joshua Horowitz [SMTP:horowitz (at) styria(dot)com]
Sent:   Saturday, March 25, 2000 8:14 PM
To:     World music from a Jewish slant
Subject:        Re: In defense of the recorder

-- Budowitz Home Page:

Indeed there were Jewish guilds all over eastern Europe and what today is
Germany. Documents exist as early as the 16th century. Mr Hescheles said
that the guild (called "tekh") which served his town (Gliniany) was quite
strict, though I haven't heard or read that these restrictions involved the
instrumentation of kapelyes. Beregovsky writes that there were czarist
restrictions in the Ukraine for a time which had such restrictions, but 
is definitely not the guild, but rather the government.

here is an excerpt from the lined notes of our new CD regarding one
conversation I had with Mr. Hescheles:

This piece was attributed to a shalosh sudes tune, the third and last meal
of shabbes, eaten Saturday evening. It was probably played by the leader of
the Gliner Kapelye of Gliniany, Pesakhye Wolf, who was the uncle of the
famous klezmer violinist (formerly trumpet player) Beresh Katz. Beresh
recorded the piece in 1927 with the Boibriker Kapelle, led by the 
Hersh Gross, in New York.  ?Back in Gliniany, Beresh wouldn?t have dared to
play it, because in the tekh [guild], Pesakhye would have had a khasuke [a
hold, or rights] on that tune. That means it would have been considered
Pesakhye?s tune. But when Beresh came to America, he and his kapelye
[ensemble] remembered it and played it, because they were no longer under
the jurisdiction of the tekh there...?

The text to Budowitz Mother tongue also deals with guilds and we have had
previous discussions about this on the list. It points to a fact that the
whole economic and social structure of klezmer music was probably much more
sophisticated than we portray it today...Josh

Guilds held control over the composition of kapelyes.

What?  Who?  Where?  Maybe music directors in the Warsaw theater made
formal exclusions, and this still needs to be checked if its true, but no
such guilds existed in towns and villages.  You can not find take one
little fact and rip it out of its context to make general, sweeping
statements this way.

Reyzl Kalifowicz-Waletzky

From:  Matt Jaffey [SMTP:mjaffey2 (at) mum(dot)edu]
Sent:  Friday, March 24, 2000 10:12 AM
To:  World music from a Jewish slant
Subject:  Re: In defense of the recorder

Regarding suitability of an instrument for playing klezmer - of course,
tastes change. I have been told that, at the time when brass instruments
were being introduced in kapelyes in the Ukraine, they were being
rigorously excluded from kapelyes in the more conservative Poland, where
guilds held control over the composition of kapelyes. Not only that, all
but the very best of clarinetists were also being excluded in Poland. So
for them, brass, and most clarinet playing, were considered unsuitable.
This is supposedly from Mr. Hescheles. If anyone has more definitive info
on this, I'd be happy to hear about it.

Hope Ehn wrote:
<<While many recorders, including good plastic ones, do have a coupling
between pitch and volume, expensive wooden recorders do have the capacity
to change volume without changing pitch.>>

Perhaps a coupling between pitch and volume need not be considered a
liability when playing klezmer. Last summer, I attended a workshop intended
to show how Hassidic singing practice could inform klezmer performance.
Amongst the more obvious things were how some klezmer ornaments are
intended to imitate the human voice. It was also pointed out that untrained
voices singing nigunim tended to naturally rise in volume and intensity as
pitch rose, whereas, voice training has as one goal to smooth out volume,
and musical instruments (such as the clarinets and violins at the workshop)
tend to have a much wider range of pitch without appreciable affect on
volume. It was interesting to attempt to imitate untrained voice on the
violin, by moving the bow away from the bridge when descending a scale, and
toward the bridge when ascending, or by using less and more bow etc. Of
course this would have to be integrated into a whole repertoire of possible
tools, and always with an eye toward playing musically. But maybe this
would actually be easier on the recorder?

Regarding the overall volume of a recorder being "too quiet", I have been
surprised by how well some recorders can carry, for example, I've seen a
recorder successfully used in an outdoor setting, as a primary melodic
instrument for dancing, with other activities going on in the vicinity.


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