Three Major Elements Of Composition Commonly Found In Baroque Music Jewish Music

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Jewish Music

What is Jewish music?

Jewish music can be studied from many perspectives. Among them are historical, liturgical, and secular music of pre-biblical Jews (Pharaonic Egypt); Religious Music in Solomon’s First and Second Temples; Musical activities immediately following the Exodus; the seemingly impoverished practice of religious music in the early Middle Ages; From the middle of the 19th century, the concept of Jewish music arose; his national orientation was established in an important book Jewish music in its historical development (1929) AZ Idelsohn (1882-1938) and finally Israeli art and popular music.

Jewish musical themes and the beginnings of the so-called “Jewish idea” in European music can be traced back to the works of Salamone Rossi (1570-1630). Later, they overshadowed the works of Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), the grandson of the famous Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786).

Fromenthal Halevi (1799-1862) opera La Juive And the occasional use of some Jewish themes belies the fact that there was “no Jew” in his almost contemporary composer Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880), who was precisely Jewish and grew up in a direct Jewish tradition.

It is interesting to note how the Jewish Music Society of St. Petersburg, led by composer and critic Joel Engel (1868-1927), discovered its Jewish roots. Inspired by the nationalist movement in Russian music described by Rimsky-Korsakov, Caesar Cui, and others, they noted how they reached the shtetls and meticulously recorded and transcribed thousands of Yiddish folk songs.

Ernst Block (1880-1959) Shelomo violin and orchestra, esp Holy Office is an attempt to create a “Jewish Requiem” for orchestra, chorus and soloists.

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s (1895-1968) Sephardic upbringing and its influence on music Second Violin Concerto and in many of his song and choral works; cantata Naomi and Ruth, Queen of Shiba and oratorios The Book of Jonah among others also worth noting.

Many scholars have not missed the synagogue motifs and melodies in George Gershwin’s compositions. Porgy and Bess. Gershwin’s biographer Edward Jablonsky called the tune “Not necessarily” is taken from the Haftrah blessing, and others associate it with the Torah blessing.

Other observers have also identified some 800 Gershwin songs with provocative words in Jewish music. One musicologist discovered a “strange similarity” between the two “folk tunes”.Havenu Shalom Aleichem“and spiritual”It takes a long time to get there“.

Contemporary Israeli composers include Chaya Chernovin, Betty Olivera, Tzipi Fleischer, Mark Kopytman, and Yitzhak Yedid.

There are also very important works by non-Jewish composers in Jewish music. Maurice Ravel with him Kaddish for violin and piano, based on traditional liturgical melodies and Max Bruch’s popular arrangement of the Yom Kippur prayer Kol Nidrei Because the violin and orchestra are the most popular.

Sergei Prokofiev’s Overture sur des Themes Juives string quartet, piano, and clarinet clearly demonstrate the source of inspiration for secular Jewish music. Melodic, modal, and rhythmic material and the use of the clarinet as the leading melodic instrument are typical sounds of Jewish folk and secular music.

Dmitri Shostakovich had a profound influence on Jewish music. This can be seen in many of his compositions, especially in song cycles From Jewish folk poetryand inside Second Piano Trio. However, his most impressive contribution to Jewish culture is beyond doubt 13th. Symphony “Babi Yar“.

How much Jewish music is there?

After the Exodus, the Jews spread throughout the world, and its three main groups form the main character of Jewish music that spread throughout the world. Geographically spread across continents, these communities and their unique interactions with local communities have given rise to a variety of music, languages ​​and customs.

After the exile, according to the geographical settlements, the Jews formed three main branches: Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Mizrahi.

Roughly, they are located as follows: Ashkenazi in Eastern and Western Europe, the Balkans, (to a lesser extent) Turkey and Greece; Sephardi in Spain, Morocco, North Africa, and later the Ottoman Empire (Turkey); Mizrahi Lebanon, Syria, East Asia, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt.

The music of these communities was naturally linked to local traditions and developed accordingly.

Ashkenazi and Klezmer

“Ashkenazi” refers to the Jews who began to settle along the Rhine in the 9th century.

Today, the term “Ashkenazi” refers to most European and Western Jews.

In addition to Hebrew, Yiddish is often used in speech and song.

Traditional Ashkenazi music, originating in Eastern Europe, migrated from there in all directions to form the main branch of Jewish music in North America. This includes the famous Klezmer music. Klezmer is the Hebrew word klei zemer, which means “sound instrument”. The word came to denote the musician himself, which is somewhat similar to the European troubadour.

Klezmer is a very popular genre found in Hasidic and Ashkenazi Judaism, but is also deeply connected to the Ashkenazi tradition.

Around the 15th century, a secular Jewish musical tradition was developed by musicians known as kleyzmorim or kleyzmerim. They draw on a devotional tradition that stretches back to biblical times, and their musical legacy, Klezmer, continues to this day. Ury San is mostly dance songs for weddings and other celebrations. Because of the Ashkenazi origins of this music, the words, terms, and song titles are often in Yiddish.

From the middle of the 20th century, this term for musicians began to describe a genre of music that is sometimes referred to as “Yiddish” music.

Sephardi

“Sephardi” literally means Spanish and refers primarily to Jews from North Africa, Greece, and Egypt outside of Spain.

In 1492, after the expulsion of all non-Christians who were forced to convert to Christianity or into exile, the very rich, cultured and productive Jewish culture that existed in Spain moved to the Ottoman Empire and formed the main group of Jews living in Turkey today. .

Besides Hebrew, their language is called Ladino. Ladino is the 15th. Spanish century. Most of their musical repertoire is in that language. Sephardi music mixes many elements from Arabic, North African and Turkish traditional idioms.

In medieval Spain, the “cantions” played at the royal court formed the basis of Sephardic music.

Spiritual, ceremonial and recreational songs all coexist in Sephardic music. The verses of religious songs are generally written in Hebrew, others in Ladino.

The genre absorbed many musical elements as it spread to North Africa, Turkey, Greece, the Balkans, and Egypt. These include the high-pitched, extended songs of North Africa; Balkan rhythm, for example 9/8 time; Modes of Turkish makam.

Female vocals are preferred, while the oud and kanun, which are not traditional Jewish instruments, are included.

Some popular Sephardic music was released as commercial recordings in the early 20th century. Among the first popular singers of this genre were men, including the Turks Jacques Mayesh, Haim Effendi, and Yitzhak Algazi. Later, a new generation of singers appeared, many of whom were not Sephardic themselves. Gloria Levy, Pasharos Sephardies and Flori Jagoda.

Mizrahi

“Mizrahi” means Eastern and refers to the Jews of the Eastern Mediterranean and further east.

The music also incorporates local traditions. A musical tradition with an “oriental flavor” spanning countries as far east as Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and India.

Middle Eastern percussion instruments share an important part with the violin in typical Mizrahi songs. In general, the music is usually loud.

Mizrahi music is very popular in Israel today.

In the 1950s, the “Mizrahit Music” movement was born. Often with performers from ethnic Israeli neighborhoods: Yemeni Kerem HaTemanim neighborhood of Tel Aviv, Moroccan, Iranian, Iraqi immigrants – perform at weddings and other events.

The songs were in Hebrew, but with a distinctly Arabic style on traditional Arabic instruments, the Oud, the Qanun, and the Darbuka.

Classical Hebrew literature and poems and poems by medieval Jewish poets formed the main sources of lyrics.

Music in the Jewish Liturgy

There is an extensive and sometimes conflicting literature on all aspects of the use of music in Jewish liturgy. The most agreed-upon facts are the exclusion of women’s voices from religious services and the prohibition of the use of musical instruments in synagogue services.

However, some rabbinic authorities soften these straight positions, but do not deny the female voice. For example, the Talmudic statement that “the bridegroom should make the bride happy with music” during the wedding ceremony could be seen as a way to allow musical and non-religious music at the wedding ceremony, but it had to be done outside the Synagogue.

The highly influential writings of Maimonides (1135-1204), a Spanish rabbi, physician, and philosopher, on the one hand strongly opposed all forms of music that were incompatible with religious worship, and on the other hand recommended instrumental music as a means of healing it. authority.

The healing powers and mystical forms hidden within musical partitas were often sought in medieval, renaissance, and pre-baroque compositions. Interestingly, in a recently published fiction novel “Imprimatur“Written by musicologist Rita Monaldi and co-writer Francesco Solti, the entire text is built around the composition of the important Jewish composer Salomone Rossi (1570-1630).

Jewish mystical writings such as the Kabbalah, especially after the 13 In this century, the moral, magical and therapeutic powers of music are often discussed. Enrichment of the religious experience by music, especially the art of singing, is expressed in many places.

Although there is no unified position on music in Jewish thought, a common basic idea emerges: music is the true expression of human feelings in religious and secular life.

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