Tsimbl (cimbalom)

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Pete Rushefsky

Pete Rushefsky

Germina  Gordienko

Germina Gordienko

Lepyansky Brothers Ensemble

Lepyansky Brothers Ensemble

The tsimbl (cimbalom, or hammered dulcimer) is one of the oldest instruments in eastern European Jewish music, along with the violin, flute and drum. Pictures exist of Jewish troubadours with a tsimbl strung around their neck. They fulfilled a harmonic / rhythmic function, as can be heard in the recordings below, but some virtuosi also branched out as soloists.


Klezmer tsimbl players in the late 19th and earlier 20th centuries included:


  • Russia Lepyansky Brothers

  • USA Joseph Moskowitz


Klezmer tsimble players in the later 20th century and today include:


  • Canada Daniel Kunda Thagard, Dan Druff, Eric Stein

  • Finland Daniel Shaul (also oboe)

  • Netherlands Michiel K. Weidner

  • Russia Germina Gordienko, Zheka Lizin (also drums)

  • USA Kurt Bjorling (also clarinet), Josh Horowitz (also accordion), Paul Morrissett (also double bass), Pete Rushefsky (also guitar, banjo), Walter Zev Feldman

Zev Feldman and Andy Statman in Concert (1978)

Zev Feldman and Andy Statman in Concert (1978)

Zev Feldman (tsimbl) and Andy Statman (clarinet and mandolin) were young researchers at the time of this concert

Alte Sher performed by Germina Gordienko and Mitia Khramtsov

Alte Sher performed by Germina Gordienko and Mitia Khramtsov

Cimbalom Doina and Hora performed by Freilach mit Kneidlach

Cimbalom Doina and Hora performed by Freilach mit Kneidlach

with Daniel Shaul on tsimbl

Goldensteyn's Hora played by Alex Kontorovich (clarinet) and Eric Stein (tsimbl)

Goldensteyn's Hora played by Alex Kontorovich (clarinet) and Eric Stein (tsimbl)

A hora learned from the Moldovan-born klezmer clarinetist German Goldenshteyn

Gedankn far di neytike arbeters (Meditation for the Essential Workers) composed and performed by Pete Rushefsky

Gedankn far di neytike arbeters (Meditation for the Essential Workers) composed and performed by Pete Rushefsky

Written in 2020 during lockdown. Example of a piece for listening rather than dancing.

Sadigurer Chusid played by Joseph Moskowitz (1916)

Sadigurer Chusid played by Joseph Moskowitz (1916)

Tsimbl solo

Orientalish Melodien (Oriental Melodies) played by Max Leibowitz (violin) with tsimbl accompaniment (c1916)

Orientalish Melodien (Oriental Melodies) played by Max Leibowitz (violin) with tsimbl accompaniment (c1916)

Jewish Wedding Song played by the Lepyansky Brothers Ensemble (1930)

Jewish Wedding Song played by the Lepyansky Brothers Ensemble (1930)

Medley featuring tsimbl ensemble accompanied by piano, including a Dobriden-style tune and 'Little Sher'.

Jewish Folk Song played by the Lepyansky Brothers Ensemble (1930)

Jewish Folk Song played by the Lepyansky Brothers Ensemble (1930)

Tsimbl ensemble accompanied by piano, including an upbeat version of 'Nakhes fun Kinder'.