The first comprehensive study of the musical structure and social history of klezmer music, the music of the Jewish musicians’ guild of Eastern Europe. Emerging in 16th century Prague, the klezmer became a central cultural feature of the largest transnational Jewish community of modern times – the Ashkenazim of Eastern Europe. Much of the musical and choreographic history of the Ashkenazim is embedded in the klezmer repertoire, which functioned as a kind of non-verbal communal memory. The complex of speech, dance, and musical gesture is deeply rooted in Jewish expressive culture, and reached its highest development in Eastern Europe.
Faculty: Walter Zev Feldman