A gute nakht (LKT)

This entry is part of the Lexicon of Klezmer Terminology (LKT). The LKT compiles a wide array of source materials that shed light on the historical and contemporary state of knowledge about klezmer music. Each entry includes a number of citations from primary and secondary sources that include or refer to the term in question. It also indicates whether musical notation or sound recordings are included in the source. By clicking on the bibliographic hyperlink at the end of each citation, you get the full reference.


Dobriden, dobranoc, mazltov--these are the names of the pieces performed by the wedding band to greet the guests. These were performed for individual guests at the table. The dobranoc was performed to greet the guests arriving for the banquet at the home of the bride’s parents and should not be confused with the Dobranoc (a gute naxt); the latter was performed at the departure of the guests after the meal, while they parted with the hosts. They played  more solemn, large works for more honored guests, and smaller pieces for the rest. After the performance of such a piece they played a frejlaxs.” [Ukraine, 1930s-40s]. Beregovski 1937 [= Beregovksi/Slobin 1982, p. 500, n. 71]. (Musical notation included).

A gute nakht. ” Beregovski/Goldin 1987. (Musical notation included).

“‘Good night and good luck.’ ‘Dobranotsh and mazltov ’. At the end of the wedding they brought the bride and groom to their room and accompanied them with the good night –mazltov melody.” [Orgajev, Bessarabia, c. 1930s-1940s]. Bik 1964. (Musical notation included).

“During the rest of the entire meal, the klezmorim did not sit idly, they accompanied the guests and the young couples with the ‘dobra notsh’ (‘a gute nakht’ ). At the beginning of the melody, the badkhn used to shout in a loud voice -- for the honor of some famous important mekhuton... At the end of the melody, the badkhn used to mention again for whom it had been played. Before playing the ‘dobra notsh’, the klezmorim get a special payment.” [Dubno, pre-World War II]. Katshke 1966, p. 668

“First the klezmorim with a special song and melody ‘Have a good night [‘Hot mir a gute nakht’ ] reminded people that daybreak had already arrived. The happy and jubilant guests then dispersed.” [Frampol, Lublin, Poland, pre-World War II]. Kleydman 1966, p. 164.

“Pieces like Zay gezunt and A gute nakht were played at the end of a wedding.” Rubin 1997, p. 24. (Recording references included).

“At the end of the wedding the klezmorim played their closing melodies, ‘good night,’ ‘morning arrives’ –- ('a gute nakht,’ ‘es togt shoyn’). The celebrations draw to a close and the guests disperse.” Stuchevksy 1959, p. 176. (Musical notation included).

“From Shabbat until Wednesday... each evening there came music, and for the bride ‘guten Abend,’ a ‘dobri wetscher’ played, and every morning we heard the ‘guten-Morgen-Standchen,’ ‘dobri dsen,’ and we danced happy little dances.” [Brest Litovsk, Poland, 1848]. Wengeroff 1913, I, pp. 182-83.

See Dobranotsh and Zay gezunt.