is a Klezmer?
Mark Slobin, the American Jewish ethnomusicologist, points out
that klezmer music was never considered an identity symbol for Jews previous to
its "revival" in the 1970s.
In traditional Yiddish society a musician
is a sort of necessary evil you have to have them to fulfill the
commandment to make the bride happy at a wedding, but you would rather your
daughter did not marry one.
The word "klezmer" refers to a
yikhes, a social rank, and a rather low at that. Klezmer
were families dynasties of hereditary musicians. In Iasi, in
fact, the klezmer families had their own synagogue. The word
klezmer, in reference to a musician, is rarely used by older Romanian
Jews they prefer musikant or shpiler.
the older generation of Jewish musicians bristled at the word klezmer
Dave Tarras said that the word referred to somebody who could only play
Jewish music, while he was a Jewish musician.