Klez Goes to College

Hankus Netsky

in Performing Ethnomusicology

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238749
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937178 | DOI:
Klez Goes to College

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This chapter illustrates some observations about author's experience during the past twenty-four years as one of the instigators of the music's revitalization and as a leader of academic klezmer and Yiddish music ensembles at the New England Conservatory of Music and several other colleges. In the last quarter of the twentieth century the Jewish wedding-music tradition known as klezmer reemerged in America and, later, internationally as a popular ethnic musical style and as a creative point of departure, especially for younger musicians. Until its revival in the late 1970s, klezmer music seemed an unlikely choice as a subject for academic inquiry, an orphan of a culture that affords its dance musicians a status only a small notch above that of beggars. For all of these reasons, klezmorim and their repertoire have been largely ignored by scholars of Jewish music, whose Weld has traditionally been confined to the study of more overtly religious musical traditions. This chapter later provides an overview of inventing a klezmer curriculum. Klezmer and Yiddish music became part of the official New England Conservatory curriculum in 1983, with the launching of a one-semester course entitled “Yiddish Music Performance Styles.”

Keywords: klezmer; Yiddish music; music ensembles; Jewish music

Chapter.  5931 words. 

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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