The Klezmer Music As a Universal Language

Through an universal and formal language Leibniz wanted to express metaphysical, scientific and mathematical concepts: an ideographic language. Those theories can apply to music, Klezmer is a collection of musicographic ideograms, thus it is an universal idiom and a cosmopolitan way of communication.

The juxtaposition and combination of simple elements and signs logically related (the musical notation) is translated into a comprehensible semantic message. The Art (with a Capital A) is to translate this message into feelings, emotions and sensibility.

This is why we said that in Klezmer the interpretation is more important than the music as it is written.

Klezmer is an inclusive music, it absorbed and sublimated different musical cultures, styles and genres into an unmistakable and unique sound of music. During 2000 years Jews wandered across the Old and then the New World, in quest of the promise land, most of the times persecuted and sometimes not, but always in a process of cultural exchange. This intellectual mixing had a determining impact on the progress of humanity. Klezmer is a blessed outcome of this process.

Giora Feidman said that music (Klezmer) is a spiritual nourishment for the soul, like bread for the physical body. And once again this inner food may and must be provided to the humanity without any restriction of any kind, not religious, dogmatic nor cultural.

The key for the Klezmer musician is not showing off but instead to hide his technical virtuosity in a mantle of emotional power.

The music is the core, the Klezmer is the taylor who dresses the notes with dark or joyful color clothes, winter or summer outfit, mourning suit or carnaval disguise.

A final thought: to play Klezmer you don’t have to be Jewish, nor to be a Spaniard to play Flamenco or a Hindu to play the sitar. Although there is for sure an atavic cultural background in the genes, a collective memory which predisposes the members of a cultural identity to nurture the tradition of their ancestors, more and more non Jewish musicians are prominent Klezmer players. Like the universe, the Klezmer is in expansion.

Klezmer may not be considered as a music genre but rather as a way of interpreting music. It crosses the boundaries of a purely Jewish folklore to elevate it to a higher level, as a part of an universal language, the “Characteristica Universalis” of Leibniz.

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