Fiddler on the Move

Fiddler on the Move


"Klezmer" is a Yiddish word for professional folk instrumentalist " the flutist, fiddler, and bass player that made brides weep and guests dance at weddings throughout Jewish eastern Europe before the culture was destroyed in the Holocaust, silenced under Stalin, and lost out to assimilation in America. Klezmer music is now experiencing a tremendous new spurt of interest worldwide with both Jews and non-Jews recreating this restless, volatile, and vibrant musical culture. Centered in the United States, klezmer has paradoxically moved back across the Atlantic as a distinctly "American" music, played throughout central and eastern Europe, as well as in many other parts of the world.

Fiddler on the Move places klezmer music squarely within American music studies, cultural studies, and ethnomusicology. An accomplished ethnomusicologist, Slobin addresses such questions as: How does klezmer overlap with, and differ from, the many other contemporary "heritage" musics based on an assumed connection with a group identity and links to a tradition? How do economics, artistic expression, and the evocation of the past interact in motivating klezmer performers and audiences? In what kinds of environment does klezmer flourish? How do stylistic features such as genre, form, and ornamentation help to define the technique, affect, and aesthetic of klezmer? With a companion website that features many of the recordings discussed in the text, this fascinating study will interest scholars, students, musicians, and klezmer fans.

"Written by one of the most distinguished ethnomusicologists working today and accompanied by an illustrative [companion website], Fiddler on the Move is a thoughtful, essay-like contemplation of klezmer music in contemporary US society and of its culture-historical background....Addressing music scholars and informed music lovers, Slobin synthesizes theoretical perspectives from which klezmer music may be studied and thus contributes to ethnomusicological method and theory as well as to American and Jewish studies.""Bruno Nettl, Professor Emeritus of Music and Anthropology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, in Choice

"A beautifully written book on a timely topic....important for anyone interested in contemporary Jewish and American studies and current trends in ethnomusicology."-- Notes

"Well researched and rich in anecdotes...makes a compelling case for the importance of Klezmer in American musical and cultural studies."-- Library Journal

Mark Slobin, an accomplished Klezmer musician, is Professor of Music at Wesleyan University. He is general editor of Oxford"s American Musicspheres series.

Audio Files

The following audio files are from Fiddler on the Move by Mark Slobin.

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