Klezmer

Hi Everyone! Welcome to my Klezmer Page.

This page is meant to be a resource page for people looking to learn more about the middle voice accompaniment role in klezmer. I hope people can use the patterns I’ve posted below to get the hang of some of the basics of single note accompaniment. Eventually, I plan on creating some more advanced tools, so that people can get more into the nuances of this style. I also plan on creating some resources for klezmer ornamentation on the trombone.

In the meantime, to start off, here’s a recording of the South Fallsburg Bulgar by Dave Tarras, performed by myself on trombone and Nick Millevoi on guitar:

Now for some resources:

The trombone’s role in traditional klezmer is to act as a middle voice that connects the melody, harmony and rhythm instruments together by weaving parts of each voice into an improvised line. Here are some basic patterns for different types klezmer tunes:

Klezmer Accompaniment Patterns Bass
Klezmer Accompaniment Patterns Treble
Klezmer Accompaniment Patterns Bb
Klezmer Accompaniment Patterns Eb

These patterns first give the basic rhythm without notes and then give examples of the rhythm with notes, and sometimes slight harmonic and rhythmic variations.

I’m presenting these patterns in a very general way, so it’s important to try them out in the context of a whole band, so you can hear which ones work better than others. For example, a specific variation of the same basic rhythm might only work at fast tempos or slow tempos. And there are countless more variations that exist and have yet to exist! The key to figuring out your way through it is to listen to the music and try to recognize the patterns and possibilities in what you hear.

Please feel free to email me questions about these patterns.

By popular demand, here are lead sheets for the tunes from the 2011 Klezkamp Ear Band.

Ear Band Day 1
Ear Band Day 2
Ear Band Day 3
Ear Band Day 4 (South Fallsburg Bulgar)

Here are a bunch great of klezmer links:

Klezmer workshops and programs
Yiddish New York: http://www.yiddishnewyork.com/
Klezkanada: http://klezkanada.org/
Yiddish Summer Weimar: http://www.yiddishsummer.eu/

Musicians & Bands:
Michael Winograd
Tarras Band
Veretski Pass

Finally, please enjoy this great collection of footage from several performances at the Richmond Folk Festival: