Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


College of Music and Dramatic Arts

Document Type



Paul Schoenfield’s Trio for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano draws extensively on the traditional Klezmer music of the Ashkenazi Jewish people of Eastern Europe. The blending of three very different instruments, as well as the Klezmer elements, unusual for the classically trained musicians, creat difficulties, as well as opportunities, for the composer and for the performers alike.

Music is often considered a language. As with any language, in order to be fluent, one must understand the cultural aspects that shape that language and the people who speak it. The way the performers present a piece greatly influences the way it is received. Understanding the culture that shaped Klezmer music leads to a meaningful and effective performance of this Trio. Klezmer music is, like any folk music, mostly an oral tradition. This oral tradition is often daunting for most classical musicians, trained to read music. Therefore, one must look into the details that give Klezmer music its specific sound and style.

This document provides an extensive look at the Klezmer elements in Paul Schoenfield’s Trio for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano, from the perspective of a classically trained violinist.



Committee Chair

He, Lin