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Klezmer music originated in the 'shtetl' (villages) and the ghettos of Eastern Europe, where itinerant Jewish troubadours, known as 'klezmorim', had performed at celebrations, particularly weddings, since the early Middle Ages. Since the 16th century, lyrics had been added to klezmer music, due to the 'badkhn' (the master of ceremony at weddings), to the 'Purimshpil' (the play of Esther at Purim) and to traditions of the Yiddish theatre, but the term gradually became synonymous with instrumental music, particularly featuring the violin and clarinet. In recent years it has again become very popular and in A Klezmer Karnival Philip Sparke has usedthree contrasting traditional tunes to form a suite that will bring a true karnival atmosphere to any concert.
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