Reviving, Continuing, and Transforming: Stylistically Varied Approaches to Klezmer in the Late Twentieth and Early Twenty-First Centuries



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



“Klezmer” is the term commonly used today to refer to music Jewish music from Eastern Europe and is often associated with the Yiddish language and Ashkenazi Jews. Since the 1970s a renewed interest in klezmer has led musicians, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to explore this style with its hallmark modal melodies and rhythmic patterns, and to interpret it through their own individual cultural lenses. These varied interpretations of klezmer nonetheless share a certain set of characteristics, from melodic and harmonic tendencies to a core repertoire which has persisted since the beginning of the twentieth century. This dissertation examines how these characteristics can be applied to construct a defined klezmer style while at the same time outlining differing approaches in late twentieth and early twenty-first century klezmer performances.