There were the distinctive rhythms--such as a three-beat pattern, with the first and third beats emphasized; scales and phrases reminiscent of Jewish liturgical music of the era; and common instruments including the violin, cello, trumpet, accordion, bass, flute and the tsimbl
, or hammered dulcimer--a percussion/strings hybrid in the shape of a trapezoid.
The first was the seminal 1978 Jewish Klezmer Music album with Feldman (now on a Romanian tsimbl
, the East European version of the hammered dulcimer).
"Klezmer," a word initially used to describe the musician himself, is derived from the Hebrew words "kley" and "zemer" which together mean "instrument of song." Intinerant groups of klezmer musicians, known as kapelye, were typically made up of violins, tsimbl
, string bass, and clarinet.
And there were recognizably Jewish methods for playing the instruments klezmorim used, like the fiddle or that hammer-struck zither, the tsimbl
. Eventually, there were recordings, which offer us not even a cross-section, but mere crumbs from the banquet of the klezmer repertoire.
Many brought over typical European klezmer instruments such as the tsimbl
(hammered dulcimer), harmonica (small accordion), or valve trombone.