Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A traditionally itinerant Jewish folk musician of eastern Europe performing in a small band, as at weddings.
  • noun The Jewish folk music played by small, traditionally itinerant bands.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun countable A Jewish folk musician.
  • noun uncountable A type of popular Jewish folk music especially associated with Ashkenazi cultures.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Yiddish, from Mishnaic Hebrew kəlê zemer, musical instruments : kəlê, pl. bound form of kəlî, instrument; see kll in Semitic roots + zemer, music, song; see zmr in Semitic roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Yiddish כּלי־זמיר (klezmer), from Hebrew כְּלֵי זֶֽמֶר (k’lê zémer, "musical instruments").

Examples

  • One of the most conspicuous examples of such transmission is klezmer, which is recognizable at least back to the nineteenth century and possibly a great deal farther.

    PopMatters

  • Their music ranges from the sweet and mournful to the highly expressive sounds of Eastern European klezmer, which is best described as jazz mixed with traditional Eastern European music.

    Anderson Independent Mail Stories

  • Feb. 27 by Abraham Inc., an all-star ensemble fusing funk, jazz, hip-hop and klezmer, which is led by virtuoso clarinetist David Krakauer, trombonist Fred Wesley and "beat architect" Josh Dolgin, aka Socalled.

    BroadwayWorld.com Featured Content

  • But for me, the best kind of klezmer is already headnoddingly funky.

    Jewschool

  • In Mahler's time the word 'klezmer' wasn't used, they'd have just called it something like 'Yiddish racket'.

    BBC Blog Network

  • I was entranced by the music, the solo guitar and the lively fiddle tunes, which for some reason reminded me of Jewish klezmer music from the shtels of Eastern Europe and Russia.

    La Hacienda Ci�naga del Carmen

  • I was entranced by the music, the solo guitar and the lively fiddle tunes, which for some reason reminded me of Jewish klezmer music from the shtels of Eastern Europe and Russia.

    La Hacienda Ci�naga del Carmen

  • I was entranced by the music, the solo guitar and the lively fiddle tunes, which for some reason reminded me of Jewish klezmer music from the shtels of Eastern Europe and Russia.

    La Hacienda Ci�naga del Carmen

  • As for the tune itself: It sounds a light rock holiday note, complete with singing children and a bit of a klezmer vibe.

    Orrin Hatch does Hanukkah

  • I was entranced by the music, the solo guitar and the lively fiddle tunes, which for some reason reminded me of Jewish klezmer music from the shtels of Eastern Europe and Russia.

    La Hacienda Ci�naga del Carmen

Comments

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  • Heard a story about this type of Jewish music that is in a revival in the U.S. - on NPR today

    December 18, 2006

  • My birds love this music. I think it's the clarinet. :-)

    July 17, 2007

  • What kinds of birds do you have?

    July 17, 2007

  • Zebra finches--which sound like little horns themselves.

    July 17, 2007

  • They do!

    I wonder if they hear something we don't.

    July 17, 2007

  • I suspect they hear it as sounding like other birds and are trying to communicate with it, so they sing back. You should hear what happens when the teakettle whistles! :-)

    July 17, 2007