From food and social justice to Holocaust memory and American history, the University of Colorado Boulder Peak to Peak series brings CU Boulder scholars into conversation with audiences and communities across Colorado and beyond. 

Exploring influential historical figures and events and enduring human questions, these online learning opportunities are offered through the CU Boulder Program in Jewish Studies in partnership with the Office for Outreach and Engagement Arts and Humanities Initiative and communities and organizations across Colorado including: Corazón de Trinidad Creative District, Durango Creative DistrictGarfield Public Library District, Trinidad Carnegie Public Library, Western Colorado University, Aspen Jewish CongregationBoulder JCCKavod on the Road, and Temple Aaron in Trinidad.

Klezmer Music as Jewish Dialogue and Jewish Discourse

Yonatan Malin

Associate Professor of Music Theory and Jewish Studies

Monday, December 14, 2020 

7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Mountain Time 

Zoom Webinar



This lecture will introduce klezmer music as a kind of Jewish dialogue, or Jewish discourse. Klezmer is Jewish instrumental music from Eastern Europe, and it comes from the same culture as the Yiddish literature of Sholem Aleichem, S. J. Abramovitsh, and others. It makes sense that the music and literature of this culture would share certain features. But can we specify what those are? Or are music and literature too distinct? Professor Yonatan Malin will address these questions from cognitive, cultural, and music-analytical perspectives. Musical examples will include recordings from the early 20th century to today. The lecture does not require any background in music or Yiddish.

Yonatan Malin Yonatan Malin is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, and his research areas include klezmer, Jewish liturgical music, cantillation, and German Lieder. He teaches "Music in Jewish Cultures" every other year. In the spring of 2018, he participated in the inaugural Archive Transformed Residency together with klezmer fiddler Alicia Svigals, and he has contributed to workshops at Yiddish New York and KlezKanada, as well as the first "Embodied Judaism” symposium, honoring Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the College of Music, and his book Songs in Motion: Rhythm and Meter in the German Lied was published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. He served as editor of Music Theory Online, a journal of the Society for Music Theory, from 2011 to 2014.