Dobranotsh (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. To view the full reference, click on the bibliographic hyperlink at the end of each citation.


“With what sort of piece did the musicians start a wedding (mazltov, dobranoc)?” Beregovski 1937 [=Beregovski/Slobin 1982, pp. 535, 546]

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.” Beregovksi/Slobin 1982, p. 500, n. 71

Dobranoc.” Beregovski/Goldin 1987, #4, 6-7, 9, 11. (Musical notation included). 

Dobranoc (mazltov).” Beregovski/Goldin 1987, #8, 10. (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). 

“With a drummer alone you cannot play a ‘dobre-notsh’ [‘good night’]. Bik 1977, p. 147.  

“A mazltov (congratulatory tune), along with a dobriden (welcome tune) and dobranitsh (farewell tune), are pieces performed by the wedding band to greet the guests.” Bjorling 1996a, p. 42. (Recording references included). 

“At a wedding they used to play in honor of each in-law a ‘vivat ’ and in the morning later a ‘frimorgns’ or a ‘dzshan dobri’, in Yiddish euphemistic language therefore one was called by euphemisms: ‘opshpiln a bezon, a viston, a frimorgen’, ‘obgeshpilt a dobranots’, obgeshpilt a vivat..” Elzet 1918, pp. 34-35.

“Non-dance metrical genres included wedding ritual tunes such as dobraden, dobranoch...” Feldman 1994, p. 7

“In Beregovski 1987 there are four doinas: one was borrowed in toto, one partially, and two reproduce the typical roulades, rhythms and intonations of Moldavian doinas. A taksim and a dobranoch were also borrowed in toto.” Goldin 1989, p. 27

“During the rest of the entire meal, the klezmorim did not sit idly, they accompanied the guests and the young couples the ‘dobra notsh’ (‘a gute nakht’), from the beginning of the melody, the badkhn used to shout in a loud voice -- for the honor of the famous important in-law... 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, Poland, pre-World War II]. Katshke 1966, p. 668

“At the bride’s later that evening was a dobranots: the klezmorim used to play various dances, and the bride’s friends danced and received honors. Thereafter the klezmorim used to go play at the close relatives’... The reception at the groom’s on the night before the badekns was called -- kaboles-ponem.” Lerer 1924. pp. 392-393

“Tunes in triple time are one of the most intriguing questions about klezmer music... But we have a lot of these tunes which are not connected with dancing... There are quite a number  of tunes like the Dobriden tunes you can find in Beregovski. They didn’t come to America much. They were part of the traditional wedding that died out very quickly in America. Those have a particular relationship of melody to rhythm that show various influences, Polish, Tatar certainly...” Phillips 1996b, p. 176

“[Tsederboym writes] about the ‘dobranotsh’ (good night) on the shabos before the wedding. Generally it began Saturday night after havdole.” Rivkind 1960, p. 24

“Such dobranotsh melodies (Slav. = good night) were used to salute the arriving guests to the so-called forshpil or dobranotsh banquet at the home of the bride’s parents.” Rubin 1997, p. 22. (Musical notation included). 

“Sunday, the day following the wedding, is called the Rumpel (from a German word meaning tumult) and is marked by specific entertainments... At the close of the Rumpel, there is a specific farewell dance.” [late nineteenth century]. Schauss 1950, p. 196

“The musicians’ work would began on Saturday night before the wedding. Young men and women would gather at the bride’s home for a “goodbye party” and dancing. The klezmers would play until late at night. Their melodies were known by the names ‘zmires’ or ‘motsey shabes.’ The Ukrainian musicians had a tradition to play at this event to honor the guests ‘dobranots’ (good night), a sentimental quiet melody (mus. ex. 5). The badkhn would perform humoristic, witty rhymes with the musicians in Yiddish and Hebrew.  Sometimes he would also incorporate rhymes in Ukrainian, Polish, Russian and would entertain the guest and even make fun of them...” Stuchevsky 1959, p. 156. (Musical notation included).

“‘Good evening (dobranitsh) with mazltov.’” Stuchevsky 1959. (Musical notation included). 

“From Shabbat until Wednesday... each evening there was 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 A gute nakht and Zay gezunt.