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Dobridens at the Dawn of Klezmer, workshop with Mike Perlmutter
In this workshop, we will learn about and play through a selection of dobridens. The term “dobriden” comes from the Slavic for “good day.” These slow and stately klezmer melodies were used to greet guests and to set the mood for various wedding traditions that have since fallen out of use. The disappearance of these wedding traditions has correlated with the rarity of the music, which has been less recorded than other klezmer genres, and tends to appear mostly in older klezmer manuscripts. Though the traditional use of these tunes has faded out, their beauty still beckons. These tunes are easily adaptable for modern day gathering and processional sacred and celebratory occasions. They also stand alone and complete when played by the solo musician, fitting of these times and foretelling future gatherings and celebrations to come. We will learn more context for these melodies, read through sheet music of them, check out possible accompaniment, and talk about ideas for using these tunes today, outside of their traditional context. Sheet music will be provided in treble clef C concert and Bb transposition on KlezCalifornia’s Tune Archive. Additional transposition can be provided upon request. We’ll also share some recorded examples of these pieces. Musicians with basic proficiency on their instruments are welcome, as are singers, and those who are interested in listening in and learning about this genre.
This workshop is also being offered as part of the JCC East Bay’s 33rd Annual Tikkun (Tikn): A Day of Learning in Honor of Shavuot (Shevuis), 10am -4pm PT. To see the dozens of additional classes available free all day, register for the Tikkun (Tikn). You do not need to register for the Tikkun (Tikn) if you are interested only in this workshop.
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KlezCalifornia relies on donations from participants to cover the costs of online lectures, workshops, kumzitsn, play readings, and more. Donations of $25 (or whatever you can afford) are greatly appreciated to enable us to continue to connect you with Yiddish culture and to assist presenters, many of whom have lost most of their income.
This project has been made possible in part by a grant from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, in partnership with the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Grants for the Arts, and The California Endowment.