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Alexander, Phil (2018) 'Our city of love and of slaughter: Berlin klezmer and the politics of place.' Ethnomusicology Forum, 27 (1). pp. 25-47.

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Although it claims little historical connection to klezmer music or Yiddish culture, the city of Berlin has hosted one of the most dynamic klezmer scenes of the past 20 years. This article analyses ways that place has been made to function as a meaningful unit in the music and lyrics of several artists living and working in Berlin, localising the transnational klezmer revival discourse by rooting the city in their music. Building on Adam Krims’ theory of ‘urban ethos’, I explore how the contemporary city is emplaced in its klezmer music, arguing that these processes of signification allow us to hear contrasting articulations of Berlin. The native Berliners ?Shmaltz! frame their city as an escapist gateway, the American songwriter Daniel Kahn sees a site of painfully unresolved history and the internationalist Knoblauch Klezmer band locate Berlin as an embodiment of playfully multilingual performativity.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of Music
ISSN: 17411912
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2021 08:53
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council

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