Modern Jews and Their Musical Agendas (Studies in by Ezra Mendelsohn

By Ezra Mendelsohn

This quantity examines music's position within the means of Jewish assimilation into the fashionable ecu bourgeoisie and the position assigned to tune in forging a brand new Jewish Israeli nationwide identification, in retaining a separate Sephardic id, and in keeping a standard Jewish existence. Contributions contain "On the Jewish Presence in 19th Century ecu Musical Life," through Ezra Mendelsohn, "Musical lifestyles within the vital ecu Jewish Village," by way of Philip V. Bohlman, "Jews and Hungarians in smooth Hungarian Musical Culture," by means of Judit Frigyesi, "New instructions within the tune of the Sephardic Jews," via Edwin Seroussi, "The Eretz Israeli music and the Jewish nationwide Fund," by means of Natan Shahar, "Alexander U. Boskovitch and the hunt for an Israeli Musical Style," by means of Jehoash Hirshberg, and "Music of Holy Argument," by means of Lionel Wolberger. the amount additionally comprises essays, booklet reports, and a listing of modern dissertations within the box.

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Relatively few were trained musical ethnographers and even fewer had an understanding that music in oral tradition could represent the culture of the Jewish village. With the exception of the folklorist Max Grunwald, no scholar during the nineteenth and early twentieth century went to the village in search of Jewish music. 24 But these visitors experienced music, a great deal in fact, and their accounts bear witness to the importance of the musical life in the village. Such travel accounts were not, of course, concerned with definitions of what was or was not Jewish music; they were not particularly burdened with questions of definition of any kind.

In his extensive studies of Jewish instrumental music in Central Europe, Walter Salmen has 32 Philip V. 40 The instrumental ensembles and various orchestras of eastern Austria and western Hungary, still active in the early twentieth century, engaged in musical exchange between genres and ethnic repertories, and were thus emblematic of the presence of cultural diversity among the Jewish communities. Musical exchange was, in fact, most extensive within the repertories of rural Jewish instrumental music, transforming the performers of these repertories into active agents of musical and cultural change.

The nineteenth century brought with it new patterns of exchange that redirected the Jewish histories of Speyer and Otterstadt. That a village such as Otterstadt ceased to have a Jewish community is less at issue than the considerable role the village played in offering alternative historical paths in the Jewish history of the Palatinate. One might interpret the pattern of exchange in the case of Otterstadt as a response to political tension in Speyer that was resolved by the village. It would be more difficult to reduce the exchange between a second village type, represented by Sulzburg and its neighbors, to the same resolution of political tension; indeed, the extended history of the Jewish presence in Sulzburg indicates an inner stability that Otterstadt never maintained.

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