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Re: Boehm & Albert systems

-- Budowitz Home Page:

> 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.

Years ago a mentor of mine gave me some wise advice about spending too much
time reviewing the works of others, which is especially relevant in this
case: He said, "Don't waste too much time criticising mediocrity. It becomes
contagious"  Josh

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
> maker
> 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
> have
> 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
> examples
> 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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