Khosid/Khosidl (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. By clicking on the bibliographic hyperlink at the end of each citation, you get the full reference.


“These two khusidlekh [Hasidic-style danec tunes, singular khusid] were cornerstones of Leon’s old-time, Jewish dance repertoire. He often referred to them as a mitsve-tentsl [mitsve dance], alluding to their frequent use at Jewish weddings to accompany the mitsve [ritual commandment/good deed] of dancing with or for the bride. Among Jews from the Bukovina region where Hasidism was predominant, the term khusidl can correspond to the more widespread freylekhs or freylekh [lit. ‘a merry tune’].” Alpert 1993, p. 3. (Recording references included). 

“Khusidl, Khosidl, or Khosid: A slow circle or line dance in Hasidic style, in a stately 2/4 rhythm. In some regions of Eastern Europe, synonomous with freylekhs.” Alpert 1996b, p. 59. (Recording references included). 

“The xosid is a grotesque solo dance imitating a dancing Hasid.” Beregovski 1962 [= Beregovski/Slobin 1982, p. 503, n. 95]

Khosidl.Beregovski/Goldin 1987, #210-16. (Musical notation included). 

“Recent research with Gypsy musicians from Transylvania (Romania) has shown that these musicians had performed a specific repertoire for Hungarian and Yiddish-speaking Jews consisting of core-repertoire dances of the freylekhs types (called there husid or khosid)...” Feldman 1994, p. 32

Khosidl. Chassid; Chassidic tune or dance.” Harkavi 1928, p. 230

“‘Khosidl #1.’ This piece was originally recorded by Belf’s Orchestra in Romania in 1910... It represents the old country style of klezmer with no added Americanisms.” Phillips 1996a, pp. 22. (Musical notation and recording references included). 

“‘Khosidl #2’ [A. Statman]... ‘Khusidelkh’ [Leon Schwartz]... ‘Der Skyliner Khosid’ [A. Statman; A. Schwartz]... ‘Yiddish Khosidl’ [M. Liebowitz]... ‘Behusher Khosid’ [M. Liebowitz]... ‘Bessarabier Khosidl’ [I.J. Hochman; Kapelye]... ‘Sadeger Khosid’ [J. Moskowitz, 1916].” Phillips 1996a, pp. 23, 25, 44-45, 52, 80-81, 84-85, 140. (Musical notation and recording references included).

“‘Opshpiel far di mekhatonim.’ Dave Tarras performed this medley... The title translates roughly as Prelude (or Overture) for the In-Laws... The second piece is on the cusp between a khosidl and an up-tempo freylakh.” Phillips 1996a, pp. 34-35. (Musical notation and recording references included).

“‘Dem Reben Khusid’... was played at freylakh tempo in 1923 by... Naftule Brandwein [Galicia].” Phillips 1996a, pp. 38-39. (Musical notation and recording references included).

“‘Dem Reben’s Tanz.’ I believe this khosidl sounds best in as high an octave as is comfortable... [Art Shryer, 1929].” Phillips 1996a, pp. 40. (Musical notation and recording references included).

“‘Tanz Far Alle Mekhatonim.’ This tune is almost sufficiently lively to be a freylakh but I’ll label it a khosidl on a split decision. The Abe Schwartz Orchestra recording upon which this is based sounds like a brisk march...” Phillips 1996a, pp. 43. (Musical notation and recording references included).

“‘Der Glater Bulgar’... is based on the playing of Dave Tarras... Though set at a freylakh speed the rhythm by the accompanying accordion and trap set seems more like a khosidl.” Phillips 1996a, pp. 98-99. (Musical notation and recording references included).

“Khosid Dance. This tune is adapted from the violin playing of Csaba Okros [Transylvania]... The melody was accompanied by the drones and strums of various stringed instruments in gypsy style. The overall structure and tempo of this piece is related to a freylakh but it is performed closer to the local style of csardas. That is, the effect is more Hungarian than klezmer.” Phillips 1996a, p. 157. (Musical notation and recording references included).

“There were many names for the freylakh, which was the most important Jewish dance. In Hungary they called them khussidls or husit. That word was used for two very different things. It could be used for something identical to freylakhs. But there are other tunes called khussidls which I think originate in vocal music. Some of this music is purely instrumental and some is ambivalent. It could be used as vocal music.” Phillips 1996b, p. 178

Mitsve-tants... The first melody is one of the tunes sung by the badkhn as he invites various guests up to dance the mitsve tants, the religious obligation to dance with the bride. Max wrote the second section of the melody in the style of a kale bazetsn, the ritual seating of the bride. The third section is a well-known khusidl (hasidic-style) melody which may have been associated with the mitsve tants.” Rubin and Ottens 1995, “ pp. 21-22. (Recording references included). 

“‘Bukoviner Freylakh.’ This tune is also in the active repertorie of klezmer violinist Leon Schwartz of Queens, New York. Schwartz, a native of the Bukoviner region, calls this piece Khosidl or A Mitsve Tentsl but does not include the middle section. He recalls hearing it played in the 1910s by klezmorim from the East Galician town of Sniatyn... The first section is a very popular Romanian tune (both Jewish and non-Jewish) common in both hora (3/8) and bulgar (2/4) time. Leon Schwartz calls this tune bulgar and plays it in both rhythms.” Schlesinger, Alpert and Rubin 1989. (Recording references included). 

“The Khosidl / A slower dance in duple meter (2/4 or 4/4), in which the melody moves slowly enough to invite embellishment by clarinet, violin, or flute to a greater degree than allowed by the brighter Freylekh tempo...” Sokolow 1987, p. 19. (Musical notation included).

Rikud hakhosidl... khosidl.” Stutschewsky 1959, pp. 175, 214. (Musical notation included).

Khosedl (-ekh) (type of) Hasidic dance.” Weinreich 1977, p. 606

See Freylekhs.