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Re: Boehm & Albert systems

Let me also thank you Josh for this excellent analysis.  I think you should 
do some more of this for this book and make sure to publish it.   I don't 
know Joel Rubins or his works, but several scholars have already told me 
how problematic his book is and they are also considering writing reviews. 
  Writing up more of this would be a real service to mankind since I saw 
that Rita Ottens puts out press releases that she is the world's expert on 
klezmer music.   Reading that was hard to believe what my own eyes.  I 
didn't know to laugh or to cry.   I so regret that I uploaded that on 
YiddishNet about two years, even with the small personal comment I made 
doubting this statement.   I should have just refused the posting, 
something I very, very rarely do.

Go to it.

Reyzl Kalifowicz-Waletzky

-----Original Message-----
From:   Heiko Lehmann [SMTP:hklehmann (at) gmx(dot)de]
Sent:   Tuesday, April 04, 2000 1:25 PM
To:     World music from a Jewish slant
Subject:        Re: Boehm & Albert systems

-----Ursprungliche Nachricht-----
Von: Joshua Horowitz <horowitz (at) styria(dot)com>
An: World music from a Jewish slant <jewish-music (at) shamash(dot)org>
Gesendet: Dienstag, 28. Marz 2000 13:49
Betreff: Re: Boehm & Albert systems

?(1)The clarinet - its inventor is attributed to the Nurnberg instrument
maker, Johann Christoph Denner ca. 1690 (2) found its way into the Letsonim
ensemble relatively late. (3)As performers of the instrument which today is
considered the embodiment of klezmer music, (4) five Jews are listed around
1800 from Markisch-Friedland with side jobs as merchants, whose main
occupations were musicians, (5) among them a clarinetist.?30

Herein we find a lesson for accordionists on how to fake a history for
itself, in order to render it, once and for all, a bonafide klezmer
instrument. In analyzing the above ?fakelore,? this is what we find:

1) First, the authors prepare the reader with the date of the earliest 
of the instrument (here, 1690. Denner?s instruments actually had little in
common with the instrument which became common in klezmer ensembles more
than 200 years later). This would be analogous to using the sheng, the
portativ organ, or Michael Praetorius? 1619  expose on free reeds as proof
of the ?early accordion.?

2) Next, the term ?Letsonim? is used - an antiquated term last found to 
been used in Frankfurt, 1716, to designate wedding jesters, some of whom
played instruments. It is being used here to give the passage an archaic
ring. Tellingly, however, there were no Jewish clarinet players during the
period in which the term ?Letsonim? was used.

3) Now, the authors establish the instrument retroactively as ?the
embodiment of klezmer music,?

4) Next, through clever syntactic placment (found also in the original
German) a clause is constructed which makes it sound as though five Jews
played the clarinet (actually there were 2 violins, a hackbrett [dulcimer]
and cello).

5) Finally, in the addended clause, we see that one of them played the
clarinet. No subsequent attempts are made by the authors to present 
of historical continuity or to explain what happened to the instrument in
the decades to follow. Nor is an explanation offered as to why we are
suddenly using an area north of Dresden, which clearly falls outside of the
Pale of Settlement, which the authors themselves repeatedly propose as the
definitive klezmer region.

What the reader is not provided, is the fact that the instrument does not
become popular in the klezmer ensemble until the 2nd half of the 19th
Century. Nor that the earliest European recordings of klezmer clarinet we
have are from 1911, and in the U.S, from 1915.<<

Thank you, Josh, for this excellent analysis of the text. Let me just add
that this principle of ideological manipulation is used through large parts
of the book. Heiko.

---------------------- jewish-music (at) shamash(dot)org ---------------------+

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