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DougC

Klezmer - the best has yet to come

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I've been ruminating on this idea for some time, and folks that have read my posts on Mandolin Cafe know some of my promises to start a 'resource' for klezmer mandolin here.

The general notion is that I want a place to share really good acoustic music in klezmer. There is very little klezmer out there on the internet played on mandolins and I want to change it here.

So, what is klezmer music, or what is the 'pure drop' as they say in Irish music. And how does mandolin fit into this 'pure' or ideal notion of klezmer. There is plenty of discussion elsewhere.

But I get asked often, "is mandolin a traditional klezmer instrument?" And I always answer "no...however it may have been played on the Russian Domra, a similar instrument" And certainly the klezmer musicians in Greece used mandolins. Click image for larger version. 

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In the 1970's Henry Sapoznik introduced the tenor banjo to klezmer and it worked. Driving rhythm, some 'fill' and harmony. Yes indeed, mandolin can do the same.
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There is more however, melody or lead playing. Beautiful melody and rich acoustic sounds on strings. This is what I want to explore.

Rich and beautiful string sound? I'm sure you all have your favorite.



The beautiful tunes in klezmer are rare. Most of what people know about are the dance tunes. The ceremonial music from the old world wedding for example 'seating the bride'. Or the 'tish music'; listening music for the reception, are relatively unappreciated. Recordings like "Khevrisa" and "Wedding without a Bride" are some of the few examples of 'the pretty stuff'.

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