The klezmer history is intrinsically linked to the Jewish history and the fate of Jewish people throughout the
centuries, from the Levites in Biblical Jerusalem to the klezmer revival.
The diaspora, the expulsions, the migrations, the persecutions, the ghettos, the plagues were part of the daily
life of the Jewish communities in Europe.
From the destruction of the temple and the mourning that followed, the prohibition of instrumental music
prevented the flourishing of the music. Nevertheless, the music was aimed to accompany joyful secular events,
birthdays, but also religious celebrations ('simkhes') like weddings, circumcisions, or inauguration of new tora's
At the end of the Middle-Age appeared the first guilds of Jewish musicians and gradually the banning was
In the next pages we will try to enlighten some aspects of klezmer history like the origin of klezmer and an introduction to klezmer, discover or rediscover
some great figures of the klezmer history like Joseph
Gusikov, the virtuoso straw fiddle players who amazed the concert halls and musical salons of the 19th century
or A.Z. Idelsohn, the great ethnomusicologist
who compiled hundreds of traditional melodies, the emblematic "Hava Nagila", the best known Israeli song . Finally we will
discuss some milestones like the klezmer
revival, why it was put into oblivion and why it came to life again.