Joshua Horowitz is the founder and director of the ensemble Budowitz and has performed and recorded on tsimbl and 19th Century accordion with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Veretski Pass, Rubin & Horowitz, Brave Old World, Adrienne Cooper, Alicia Svigals and Ruth Yaakov.
He received his Masters degree in Composition from the Academy of Music in Graz, Austria, where he taught Music Theory and served as Research Fellow and Director of the Klezmer Music Research Project for eight years. Joshua also taught Advanced Jazz Theory at Stanford University with the late saxophonist Stan Getz and is a regular teacher at The University of Vienna, KlezKamp, The Albuquerque Academy and Klez Kanada. His musicological work is featured in four books, including The Sephardic Songbook with Aron Saltiel and The Ultimate Klezmer, and he has written numerous articles on the counterpoint of J.S. Bach. He is the recipient of more than 40 awards, including the Prize of Honor for his orchestral composition, Tenebrae, presented by the Austrian government. His music was recently featured in the British film, "Some of my best friends are... Jewish / Muslim" which was awarded the Sandford St. Martin Trust Religious Broadcasting Awards. Beside his work as a musician, he led the first post-WWII music therapy group at the pioneering Beratungszentrum in Graz, Austria.
Workshop and Lectures
Joshua Horowitz offers a series of workshops and lectures on Klezmer music. The classes are structured according to the number of days allotted and the level of the participants (from beginning to advanced), and emphasize active participation. Workshop participants receive a detailed syllabus containing historical, methodological, bibliographic materials as well as a discography. All workshops, including those which emphasize theory involve active participation by the students. The lectures deal with a wide array of themes, and include ample live and recorded demonstrations. The themes listed below are best implemented in combinations rather than individually.
Accordion, Tsimbl (Dulcimer), Piano
Because the basic families of instruments are covered (wind, string and percussion) related instruments present no problem in instruction.
Doina and Kale Bazetsns
Josh Horowitz will give an in depth study of these beguiling musical Pandora Boxes through examination of the modal and motivic structure of the various types of Kale Bazetsns and doinas and their relationship to each other. Participants will play a variety of opening, developmental, transitional and cadential patterns which make up the doina and bazetsns, then construct larger forms from them. Josh will show how the phrases and modulations form building blocks for known klezmer tunes and present techniques for developing and recombining the musical units into existing and new klezmer dances. He will teach the technique of spinning out Zogekhts lines and unveil unusual and beautiful Romanian Doina types as well as recent doina developments in Romania for further development. This class is an absolute must for all professional and aspiring musicians and may provide a key to understanding what defines klezmer music at the platelet level.
Line Spinning and Improvisation
This class of Josh Horowitz is a crash course in improvisation in the old style. Participants will be shown how to extract the skeletal structure of a melody on the spot. Each of its motivic cells are then isolated and varied immediately through antiphonal playing using a pool of methodic techniques. Ornamentation and Macro-improvisation concepts will be shown in detail, giving students a sense of how to ornament small phrases as well as how to spin out complex lines within the geographic confines of each melodic contour. Classical students will be amazed at the connection to Baroque practices and Jazz musicians will be thrilled at the diversity of improvisation ideas. Line spinning inevitably results in a new repertoire of tunes which are spun out from existing ones, so composers will also find themselves on fertile creative ground.
Klezmer Dissonance: Unlocking the Mysteries of Musical Energy
Josh Horowitz's new hands-on class will exhaust the gamut of specific hidden techniques of creating musical energy for both performers and arrangers. He will show when certain harmonies and stylistic gestures tend to weaken the momentum of a tune and how to remedy the 10 most common performance maladies, the main focus being on creating as much dissonance as possible in a performance.
The class will uncover a host of secrets used by master klezmer performers and teach ways of delaying harmonic changes, jumping and staggering entrances, creating intentional clashes between melody and accompaniment, superimposing foreign modal cells, using cross-rhythmic phrasing and much more.
The class will outline the history of dissonances in western classical and compare their mechanics to those found in eastern and central European folk music in order to show how contemporary klezmer music can regain its own specific laws of dissonance which may have suffered through the overuse of classical music dissonances.
The final aim will be for students to become fluent in recognizing each and every sensitive point of a melody and to solve a tune's specific energy demands intuitively with a thorough knowledge of a its dissonant potential. The class will be geared toward advanced and intermediate players, but will benefit beginners as well.
Klezmer Modal Modulation
Josh Horowitz's pioneering class will be an exhaustive hands-on exploration of the movement between modes in klezmer music. He will deal with 31 of the most typical modulations, their tendencies of melodic movement, scaler form, motivic patterns and cadential variations and the relationship of the modes to each other in the music.
Emphasis will be on the 4 types of modulation: simple, complex, modal interchange and sequential progression. The aim will be to have students hear and react quickly to every modulation situation encountered in klezmer music and to be able to understand quickly where new modulation possibilities not found in the literature or in recordings can be developed.
Ask Dr. Klez
We've always considered the most interesting portion of our lectures to be the Q+A at the end. This is when often heated discussions happen and the audience gets a chance to participate in the event. In order to accommodate this natural occurrence, we decided to extend the Q+A. Then we took the extension to the extreme until we dispensed with the lecture portion altogether.