Klezmer Archive Blog

The Fuzzy Tune Boundaries Problem

Matthew Stein
June 10, 2022

When considering how to accurately structure the dataset of klezmer music, we must answer a surprisingly complex question: how do we define a tune? And how do we best capture our diverse and often conflicting understandings of tunes into a clean, consistent data model? The classic Y.L. Peretz short story “A gilgul fun a nign” tells the tale of a nign as it migrates from town to town, starting off as a Hasidic wedding melody, moving to the Yiddish theater, a circus, back to the Hasidic rebbe, and finally off to America. ...