Klezmer Style Guide

Klezmer Style Links

by Jim Rebhan

This resource is for instrumentalists who wish to learn how to perform klezmer music in a traditional style includes links to instrument-specific materials and related audio and video files.


  • Sherry Mayrent, KlezmerAcademy.com
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jewish Music Research Centre, Lexicon of Klezmer Terminology (LKT). The LKT compiles a wide array of source materials that shed light on the historical and contemporary state of knowledge about klezmer music. Each entry includes a number of citations from primary and secondary sources that include or refer to the term in question. It also indicates whether musical notation or sound recordings are included in the source. By clicking on the bibliographic hyperlink at the end of each citation, you get the full reference.
  • General Klezmer Guide, a comprehensive cross-reference of klezmer tune names, recordings, and sheet music sources. KlezmerGuide.com
  • Classic Klezmer YouTube Videos.  This is an extensive collection of mostly pre-WWII klezmer recordings.  youtube.com/user/classicklezmer/videos

General Publications with Stylistic Information

  • Henry Sapoznik & Pete Sokolow, The Compleat Klezmer, book with CD amazon.com
  • Stacy Phillips, Mel Bay’s Klezmer Collection, book amazon.com C amazon.com Bb other sources
  • Josh Horowitz, ed., The Ultimate Klezmer, modern edition of Nat Kostowsky, International Hebrew Wedding Music (1916), book amazon.com
  • Kurt Bjorling, ed., Jewish Instrumental Folk Music – the Collections and Writings of Moshe Beregovski (2nd ed.), book muziker.org
  • Kammen International Dance Folio No. 1  & 9, books that include klezmer tunes amazon.com
  • Velvel Pasternak, The Big Klezmer Fake Bookamazon.com
  • Pete Sokolow, Klezmer Guide, book jewishmusic.com/search?q=sokolow
  • Andy Statman, Learn to Play Klezmer, DVD homespun.com
  • Yale Strom, ed., Shpil – The Art of Playing Klezmeramazon.com
  • Joel E. Rubin, New York Klezmer in the Early Twentieth Century: The Music of Naftule Brandwein and Dave Tarras (466 pages). This authoritative book places these two essential klezmer clarinetist in their social, historical cultural and musical context. It also provides a microscopically detailed taxonomy of their scales, ornamentation, modulations and articulation. The book was released in August, 2020. A fair amount of the material was discussed in Rubin’s 2001 doctoral thesis, listed below under Clarinet.
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Klezmer Transcriptions on the Web






  • Michèle Gingras, Klezmer for Klarinettistsdolmetsch.com/klezmer
  • Dave Tarras, one-hour concert (in 1978 at age 81), youtu.be/V6zKleJSYi4
  • Joel Rubin, The art of the klezmer: improvisation and ornamentation in the commercial recordings of New York clarinetists Naftule Brandwein and Dave Tarras, 1922-1929, unpublished doctoral thesis (2001), PDF, openaccess.city.ac.uk/8393/
  • Robin Seletsky, Klezmer Clarinet Tutorials, in eight parts:
    1. The Krekht
    2. The Krekht, continued
    3. The Laughing/Crying Sound; see also Oleg Lapidus video on Laughing Effect
    4. Grace Notes and Trills
    5. The Doina
    6. Sliding Between Notes
    7. The Growl
    8. Extreme High Notes
Drums & Percussion
    1. youtu.be/JQaUB7zHfGo
    2. youtu.be/eIYzirfLQ6I
    3. youtu.be/wBW1x0mHs_o





Cantorial Models

Hasidic Nigunim

Miscellaneous Links

    1. youtu.be/h1ukp6gCeko
    2. youtu.be/AxGbRFw1dNE
    3. youtu.be/YwTxqBoNGAo
    4. youtu.be/dawVXQAB8Bs
    5. youtu.be/eM6Aoz56
  • Seattle Klezmer Website. The Klezmer Resources page has links to useful audio recordings of training sessions with Kurt Bjorling and Andy Statman.