Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Oh come Emanuel ... Klezmer?

So being that it is Christmas time and I am listening to Bluegrass Christmas on pandora, and the new Andy Statman stuff. I was wondering if the hymn Oh come Emmanuel is a klezmer scale? And does anybody use this scale for improv?

If you don’t know Statman he is hands down the best Brooklyn based jazz, klezmer, bluegrass mandolin clarinet player…mostly since who else does that describe. ( he is still very good, I included a video) If you don’t know klezmer, it is a traditional Eastern European Jewish scale/music (think hava nagila), but I think sometimes can be in gypsy stuff.


I’m only vaguely familiar with Klezmer music and had no idea there was a Klezmer scale.

Nice musicianship all around in the video. They are really moving along.

All around wows! I need to find some of those mini-maracca rings.
Sorry, I am not familiar with the Klezmer scale. We are doing “O come, o come Immanuel” in Em. All the melody notes are in the Em scale (or G major as well).

Thanks, my ear seems to think it is outside of the regular or natural minor, but if you all are play it in Em then… I am probably off.

For the good of the order

So Wikipedia calls the Klezmer scale Phrygian dominant. I know the modes but am not into the jazz chord scales and this one seems out there. It is also the fifth mode of harmonic minor, and I generally stick to natural minor (Aeolian) because it is just the major scale on the 6th.
It is :
1 - ♭2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - ♭6 - ♭7 - 1
Beginning on C, the scale is as follows: C - D♭ - E - F - G - A♭ - B♭ - C

Of course if you don’t like the Wikipedia bit, you can change it.

I had to give that vid a second listen. That is some hot pickin! I love the little smile O’Brien and Statman share when Cleveland is going off on the fiddle.

It is pretty good, I wish the mic was closer to the guitar, but yes Cleveland is quite good, and that is a five string, which blows my mind as well.