Music of the Masses?: The Klezmer Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Klezmer is the traditional music of Jews from Eastern Europe. Do you know a khosidl from freylekhs? Take the quiz and test your knowledge of klezmer.

What was the original meaning of the word "klezmer" in Yiddish?

Although today the word "klezmer" refers to Jewish folk music, its original meaning was "musician."


Who are Ashkenazi Jews?

Jews from Germany or Eastern Europe are known as Ashkenazi Jews.


What is the name of a hammered-dulcimer instrument in a trapezoidal box?

The cimbalom, or tsimbl, was popular in klezmer music dating back to the Middle Ages.


What is the plural of klezmer?

Musicians who play klezmer music are known as "klezmorim."


In what decade did the klezmer revival begin?

In the United States, klezmer music fell into decline from the 1920s to the 1960s. Then, in the 1970s, a revival began, which continues to this day.


How many Jews arrived in the United States between 1880 and 1924?

The period between 1880 and 1920 was one of great Jewish migration, as roughly 2.5 million Jews immigrated to the United States to flee persecution and political turmoil in Europe.


What type of song is a freylekhs?

A freylekhs, one of the most popular and identifiable klezmer songs, is a happy, upbeat dance tune.


What is another word for a sher?

The sher or "scissors dance" is a mid-tempo Russian square dance.


What type of song is a khosidl?

The khosidl is a slow, improvised solo dance.


The band The Klezmorim was formed in what city?

A pioneer of klezmer revival, The Klezmorim was formed in Berkeley, Calif., playing its first show at the North Berkeley branch library in 1976.


What two instruments does klezmer revivalist Andy Statman play?

Klezmer revivalist Andy Statman started playing the mandolin in bluegrass bands and later picked up the clarinet under the tutelage of klezmer legend Dave Tarras.


Where was Dave Tarras born?

Dave Tarras, an influential klezmer clarinetist, was born in the town of Ternovka in present-day Ukraine, but he later immigrated to New York City.


Some klezmer purists claim that klezmer music doesn't include what instrument?

Although traditional klezmer music didn't use drums, today, most klezmer revival bands do employ a full rhythm section.


What does the root "-zmer" mean?

The word "klezmer," which has its roots in the Middle Ages, actually comes from two Hebrew words: "kley" (vessel or tools) and "zmer" (melody).


Lev Liberman founded what klezmer revival band?

Liberman was one of the founding members of The Klezmorim, an early klezmer revival band that succeeded in popularizing klezmer for a modern audience.


What klezmer revival band was featured on the NPR program "A Prairie Home Companion?"

Beginning in 1984, The Klezmer Conservatory Band was featured on Garrison Keillor's NPR show "A Prairie Home Companion." The band performed on the show several other times in the years that followed.


What instrument does Hankus Netsky play?

Klezmer revival saxophonist Hankus Netsky was the founding member of The Klezmer Conservatory Band.


What law, passed in the mid-1920s, severely limited immigration to the United States from Eastern Europe?

The Johnson-Reed Act, also known as the Immigration Act of 1924, limited the number of immigrants from any country to 2 percent of the people from that country already living in the U.S.


Beginning in the late 18th century, Jews in Eastern Europe were forced to settle where?

In Tsarist Russia, Jews were confined to an area known as the Pale of Settlement in what is now Poland, Lithuania and Romania.


What is a shtetl?

Up until World War II, Jews in Eastern Europe lived in shtetls, or small towns, where klezmer flourished.


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