Goldensteyn Khosidl

Barry handed out four new pieces on Tuesday night at the first meeting of the klezmer band class for the year. They’re all attributed to Goldensteyn (no first name given), who’s not the composer but the musicologist who collected them. Someone collected a large number of klezmer tunes in the Soviet Union in the ’30s; I don’t know if that was this guy or someone else.

In any event, we tried playing a couple of them. I was having a terrible time sight reading them, because they’re written for C instruments in a fairly high register. I needed to take them down an octave and transpose them for trummpet at the same time. Sight reading slowly is usually OK. Down an octave is OK, once I have a good idea of how the tune goes. Transposing is marginal, if there are not a lot of accidentals, but in these pieces there are. All three at once, and I have all I can do to play an occasional riff without getting lost.

The only hope is to re-transcribe the pieces into Finale, get it to do the transposition, and print out parts that I can read in the right key and register. Well! Surprisingly, I got halfway through entering one piece last night. I learned shortcuts for dotted notes, got lots quicker at changing time values of notes, and got the first and second endings and repeat marks working. This morning I got the transposition to work the way I wanted, and printed it out, and practiced that half of the piece so it started to sound like music!

It’s a Khosidl, a slow dance that’s more stomp-y than runny-jumpy-kick-y. With luck and a little time over the weekend, I’ll know it by next Tuesday.

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