Tish-nign (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 refers 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.


“Then there were tunes ‘for the table,’ for the guests to listen to and to let the musicians show off and make money: a vulekhl or a doina, some zmires (religious folk songs), kind of lik Black spirituals, and Yiddish folk songs or theater songs.” Alpert 1996a, p. 16

“These klezmorim know many pieces: dance, instrumental works played at the table, street tunes (accompanying the march to the xupe [wedding canopy], leading the in-laws, etc.).” Beregovski 1937 [= Beregovski/Slobin 1982, p. 532].  

“There’s also a whole huge body of what they call tish nigunim, very close to cantorial music, which I think as you go back, serve as the basis for the klezmer repertoire. From what I understand, the best klezmorim didn’t even play the dance tunes, they’d just come and play the tish nigunim, which were very moving, introspective meditative pieces....” Shapiro 1996, p. 35.


For more information on this concept see Tish by Yaakov Mazor.