Tsu der khupe (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.


“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].

tsu der khupe (freylekhs).” Beregovski/Goldin 1987, #15

Khupe march...When they bring the bride and groom to the khupe the ‘tsu-der-khupe marsh’ is heard.” [Orgajev, Bessarabia, c. 1930s-40s]. Bik 1964. (Musical notation included). 

“‘And the klezmers are playing the mazltov melody [as the bride is led to the khupe].” [Gedara, Palestine, first aliya, c. 1910s]. Fridhaber 1992, p. 398

“From the distance could already be heard the strains of the khupe-march, played on a fiddle, a clarinet, a drum, and a cymbal and fife/whistle... After that the bridesmaids brought the bride to the sound of music... People danced around the bride inside the house.” [Staro-Konstantin, Ukraine, 1820s-30s]. Fridkin 1925, p. 46

“The klezmorim stood by ready outside and waited for the groom to be led to the khupe. Amidst the sound of music, the groom was led to the synagogue, where they waited for the khupe... Later, the bride [was brought], who had endured several hours because of the marching through the streets with the klezmorim and dancing.” [Frampol, Lublin, Poland, pre-World War II]. Kleydman 1966, pp. 163-164

“On Friday evenings the streets would be filled with the echoes of the sweet tune that Hayim the Fiddler had especially prepared for his band to play when escorting the bridegroom to the Huppah.” [Zhagare, Lithuania, late nineteenth-century]. Sachs 1928, p. 146

“At dawn... Maharil and a few notables of the community go to the home of the bridegroom and bring him to the courtyard of the synagogue. The bridegroom leads the way, followed by the Maharil and the notables. The musicians, playing their instruments, and a large group of townsfolk, carrying lighted torches, follow. After the bridegroom is escorted into the courtyard, the crowd and the musicians go to the home of the bride to escort her and her retinue to the wedding...Now to the strains of music the bride is conducted from her home to the door of the synagogue....Maharil always insists upon music at every wedding.” [Mayence, 15th century]. Schauss 1950, pp. 171-74

“We... found... [this tune] on a copy of a 78 recording of a Yiddish theater wedding scene. It is peformed by the State Ensemble of Jewish Folk Music of the Ukrainian S.S.R. recorded in the early to mid-1930s. They play the tune as a freylekhs tsu der khupe [sic] (to the wedding canopy), terminating the kale bazetsn (seating of the bride).” Schelp 1996, p. 45

“Music had the chief function of the wedding: ‘livchot et ha-kalah’[kale baveynen]. Processional song in the entrance of the bride with the in-laws, processional song for the leading of the groom to the wedding canopy, ‘mazl tov’ after the wedding ceremony, wedding-meal music, and the dances and the ‘freylekhs’ after the meal, that made merry until the next morning!” Stutschewsky 1958, p. 42

“The groom was brought soon after the ‘bedecken’ with music -- a Marsch was played -- before the khupe... and the music stops and the ceremony begins...” [Brest-Litovsk, Poland, 1848]. Wengeroff 1913, I, pp. 187-88

“[After the badekns,] the bridegrooms took the groom and all mekhutonim in a march with the klezmer out to the khupe.” [Vilna, Lithuania, c. 1890s-1900s]. Zizmor 1922a, p. 874

See also Freylekhs, Gas-nign and Khupe-marsh.