The Klezmer in Jewish Philadelphia, 1915–70

Mark Solbin

in American Klezmer

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780520227170
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935655 | DOI:
The Klezmer in Jewish Philadelphia, 1915–70

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In examining the use of music in community celebrations, one can gain deep insights into significant aspects of the American immigrant experience, including the evolution of a stylized American Jewish wedding ritual, the longevity of certain forms of European music and dance at American celebrations, the American Jewish wedding musician as heir to the European klezmer legacy, and, perhaps most important, the family celebration as an essential communal expression of American Jewish identity. This chapter offers an overview of the klezmer tradition as it developed in Philadelphia between 1915 and 1970. The timetable corresponds to the dates of the material available for research: the earliest dance folio in the author's collection was written in 1915; by 1970, the tradition was generally considered a relic, although vestiges of it remain today.

Keywords: music; community celebrations; wedding ritual; wedding musician; klezmer

Chapter.  7378 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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