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Author(s): Alexander, Philip
Date: 2016
Abstract: This research offers an original contribution to the study of contemporary klezmer music by analysing it in relation to a particular urban environment. With its origins in a largely destroyed Eastern European Jewish culture, contemporary klezmer is both historically-grounded and paradoxically rootless, cut loose from geographical specificity by the internationalism of its recent revival. Seeking to counteract the music’s modern placeless-ness, this dissertation analyses the musical and spatial means by which klezmer has been re-rooted in the distinctive material and symbolic conditions of today’s Berlin. The theoretical framework takes in questions of cultural identity, music and place, authenticities of tradition and instrumental practice, to show how this transnational and syncretic music – with few historical ties to Berlin – can be understood in relation to the city’s particular post-reunification bricolage aesthetic and subversively creative everyday tactics. Beginning by mapping the criss-crossing networks of musicians and their multiple artistic perspectives, the dissertation proceeds through an exploration of the official and unofficial spaces within which these fluid musical practices operate, leading onto ways that the city of Berlin is made manifest in the music itself – how the city is interpellated sonically and textually. Processes of musical transmission and education are analysed through the filters of tradition and pedagogical ideologies, from which my own instrument, the piano accordion, is used as a lens through which to uncover the balance between personal expression and historically-informed performance. The final chapter looks at the relationship between history, Jewish identity and music in the city. It explores the resonances between the contested discourse of memorial and present-day cultural and musical production, discovering how at times sound and music can act as a living sonic embodiment that speaks against the silence of historical memory
Author(s): Brown, Melanie
Date: 2012
Abstract: The Jewish community of Dublin has been in existence for 400 years. Nowadays, many Dublin Jews are descended from Lithuanians who settled in Dublin at the turn of the twentieth century. Most Dublin Jews are integrated into Dublin society, yet little is known of cultural practices specific to Dublin’s Jewish community. This dissertation focuses on the practice of liturgical music in Terenure synagogue, one of Dublin’s two remaining Orthodox synagogues. While music is an integral part of all synagogue services throughout the year, the musical repertoire of the Sabbath morning service has been selected as representing the music which is most commonly experienced by practicing Orthodox Jews in Dublin. Much of the music in Dublin’s Orthodox synagogue has been retained as part of a Lithuanian oral tradition. However, the Dublin Jewish community is currently undergoing a demographic shift, owing to the emigration of Dublin-born Jews coupled with migration into Dublin of Jews from a variety of social, cultural and national backgrounds. As the profile of the Jewish community changes, there is evidence of a gradual shift in the musical tradition of the synagogue. Here there is an attempt to preserve part of the Lithuanian musical tradition for the future.
Ethnographic fieldwork has been conducted among all sections of the Jewish community of Dublin in order to obtain information regarding the history, culture and identity of Dublin Jews. This has provided insight into the oral tradition which has retained the music of the Orthodox synagogue thus far. Other sources of information have included archives and further published/unpublished resources. The research has also involved recording, transcribing and analysing examples of liturgical Jewish music performed in Dublin. This has resulted in a comprehensive historical account of the Dublin Jewish community together with a discussion on Irish Jewish identity. Such material provides a background for the corpus of music which has been collected from various contributors. As well as recordings, this features six fully transcribed versions of the main sections from the Orthodox Sabbath service performed by five individuals, and a discussion on performance practice within the synagogue. It also includes examples of congregational singing which also forms a significant part of the service. Considerations are given to issues including emotion, identity, transmission, gender and the role of the congregation in the performance of music within the Orthodox synagogue of Dublin.
The findings reveal that musical performance in the synagogue assists in promoting a sense of community among those who participate. Orthodox Jewish liturgical music and the way it is disseminated whether in the synagogue or other setting also provides a link with the past, dialogue with the past being an integral part of broad Jewish culture. Prior to this, little has been documented regarding the music of the Orthodox Dublin synagogue; therefore this research provides a basis on which further study of the topic may be conducted.
Author(s): Roda, Jessica
Date: 2016
Date: 2012
Abstract: A unique moment in Sephardic music is emerging in the Republic of Serbia. Since 2000, a small but vibrant Sephardic music scene has been formed through the efforts of a small group of individuals. The scene keeps alive a repertoire that has survived many upheavals: the Holocaust and the near-total extermination of Sephardic sacred music practitioners from the region; a half-century of religious suppression under the Yugoslav government; and the political turmoil of the 1990s and the establishment of the Republic of Serbia from what was once Yugoslavia. Each of these major socio-political shifts had an impact on how today's musicians learned and contributed to the creation of Sephardic music. Since 2000, the maintenance and reworking of the Sephardic music scene in Belgrade has taken place almost entirely because of small group individuals. The Sephardic music scene that has emerged is now made up of one concert stage ensemble, Shira u’tfila [Song and Prayer], and a collection of synagogue singers. Though the scene comprises only a small number of musicians, these individuals exercise considerable power in determining how broader categories like Sephardic and Jewish are represented and contribute to the civic, state, and international public imagination.

The expression of being Serbian, Sephardic, and Jewish is shaped and transmitted by this small group of musicians as they actively engage in a variety of discourses. These discourses concern the role of technology in the transmission of their practice, historical consciousness and nostalgia, and personal and social identities. By looking at how musical and social domains are established and promoted through performance, I show how personal taste and individual creativity play a role in representing Jewish culture in Serbia and Serbian-Jewish culture to an international audience. Ultimately, Shira u’tfila helps redefine ideas of Serbian Jewishness, and articulates an understanding of music in Jewish life as behavior that embraces both sacred and
secular, both Jewish and non-Jewish, repertoire.
Author(s): Wiens, Kathleen
Author(s): Illman, Ruth
Date: 2018
Author(s): Loentz, Elizabeth
Date: 2006
Abstract: Minority and immigrant Germans' embrace of the derogatory term Kanake as a self-ascription and of the low-status ethnolect Kanak Sprak has been compared to US rappers' combative use of "niggah" and Black English. This essay, however, compares the revaluation of the term Kanake, a non-assimilatory Kanak identity, and the ethnolect Kanak Sprak to some early 20th century German Jews' revaluation and embrace of Eastern European Jewish culture and Yiddish. It demonstrates also how non-minority and non-Jewish Germans have used Yiddish and Kanak Sprak in literature, theater, film, and popular culture to re-inscribe ethnic difference, especially at times when minorities and Jews were becoming indistinguishable from non-minority Germans (emancipation edicts or nationality law reform). Because Kanak Sprak is inseparable from HipHop culture, the second half of the essay examines the many parallels between the importation and naturalization of German HipHop and German Klezmer. Both were imported from the United States in the early 1980s; and following the fall of the Berlin Wall and German re-unification, both have played a role in German Vergangenheitsbewältigung [mastering the past]. While HipHop and Klezmer have become the soundtrack of German anti-racism, anti-Nazism, and multiculturalism; some observers are critical of non-minority and non-Jewish Germans' appropriation or instrumentalization of ethnic music, and have cited instances of antisemitism and racism in German Klezmer and HipHop.
Author(s): Illman, Ruth
Date: 2017
Abstract: This article focuses on religion and change in relation to music. Its starting point is the argument that music plays a central role as a driving force for religious change, as has recently been suggested by several researchers of religion. Music is seen to comprise elements that are central to contemporary religiosity in general: participation , embodiment, experience, emotions, and creativity. This article approaches the discussion from a Jewish point of view, connecting the theoretical perspective to an ethnographic case study conducted among progressive Jews in London with special focus on music, religious practice, and change. The article outlines the ongoing discussion on religion and change by focusing on features of individualism, personal choice, and processes of bricolage, critically assessing them from an inclusive point of view, focusing on individuals as simultaneously both personal and socially as well as culturally embedded agents. The analysis highlights a visible trend among the interviewees of wanting to combine a radically liberal theology with an increasingly traditional practice. In these accounts musical practices play a pivotal yet ambiguous role as instigators and insignia of religious change. As a conclusion, insights into more 'sonically aware religious studies' are suggested. We need a kind of … something that retains the tradition; that holds on to these precious traditions and rituals, the music and all the rest – but with an open mind and a much more questioning and open approach to Jewish law. In these words Rebecca 1 expresses what she strives to achieve in her work as an innovative yet historically perceptive and liturgically informed can-1 The names of the persons interviewed have been anonymised, and common Jewish names are used as aliases. See the reference list for or more detailed information about the ethnographic research material and research method.
Author(s): Tkachenko, Paul
Date: 2013
Abstract: The Real Deal is a term often used by musicians to describe people they perceive to be more authentic than them. Over the past seven or eight years, I have performed music from Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Turkey and beyond under the umbrella of World Music in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world: London. As I negotiated my way onto this scene and played with some of the finest musicians, I became increasingly aware of those I felt to be the Real Deal. I also began to feel that, in certain circumstances, I may also have appeared to be the Real Deal to others. Many of the musicians on this scene had begun their foray into these diverse styles with klezmer and it is this style that I explore most with relation to the Real Deal. As klezmer is a Jewish music style not played, or even enjoyed, by all Jews, this makes notions of the Real Deal much more ambiguous.

This thesis examines the movable perception that is the Real Deal and the complex interplay that results between musicians. Through discussions with twenty musicians with whom I have played regularly, I discussed the Real Deal and how it affects the way we work. Although half of the musicians self-identified as being Jewish and the other half did not, this became only one factor in the complex negotiations involved in professional music making. The often amusing anecdotes of mistaken identity that we shared raised fundamental questions about our stage performances.

I examine the complex issues surrounding klezmer as a style of music and the unique scene that has developed from the American revival in London. I consider the role of the Jewish Music Institute and how it serves the Jewish community and professional musicians in London and beyond. Finally, I assess how my discussions with musicians and the Jewish Music Institute have not only changed and shaped this evolving scene, but forced me to question my own attitudes and practice.
Date: 2013
Author(s): Roda, Jessica
Date: 2012
Abstract: La question centrale de cette recherche s’inscrit dans la foulée des problématiques autour de
la patrimonialisation, de la performance et de la mise en scène des pratiques musicales. Elle
vise plus précisément à comprendre comment et pourquoi les Judéo-espagnols de France,
installés depuis le début du XXe siècle, utilisent les pratiques singulières des musiciens et
chanteurs professionnels majoritairement externes à la communauté pour revendiquer leur
patrimoine musical collectif et affirmer leur identité. La chercheuse replonge dans le passé
afin de saisir comment le répertoire musical s’est construit et est devenu un objet quasiment
exclusif au monde de l’art, alors qu’il reste associé aux répertoires dits « traditionnels ». En
vue d’interroger la judéo-hispanité musicale et déterminer ce qui la caractérise au présent, une
ethnographie multi-site auprès des artistes et de la communauté est proposée. Enfin, pour
comprendre le sens des pratiques, différents espaces de performance sont examinés à partir de
l’analyse des interactions entre les pôles de production et de réception, en cohérence avec le
contexte général de la pratique et de l’ensemble des paramètres performanciels. La conclusion
révèle notamment que la relation entre les artistes et la communauté génère un nouvel espace
familial et intimiste et que chacun des espaces forme un système interrelationnel dont
l’interaction permet de produire un équilibre qui consiste à faire vivre et à investir le
patrimoine musical au présent. Par ce biais, c’est notamment la problématique des catégories
musicales (musiques populaires, musiques traditionnelles, musiques de scène) reliées aux
espaces de pratique qui est interrogée.
Author(s): Borts, Barbara
Date: 2014
Abstract: The Movement for Reform Judaism [MRJ] - has been undergoing substantial changes in its style and patterns of worship. The introduction of a new prayer book has been accompanied by a pronounced focus on the music of the various synagogues, as a key element in the re-envisioning of prayer and spirituality in 21st century congregations. These have taken place within the context of the wider context of synagogue renewal, which surfaced first in the USA as Synagogue 2000 (now Synagogue 3000), entailing study, reflection and implementation of a variety of different changes in the hope of attracting and retaining Jews in synagogue services.

This thesis focuses on the relationship between forms of liturgical and ritual music and patterns of spirituality and identity within the UK Reform Jewish world during a period of significant social change. ‘Getting the music right’ is, for some, a major aspect in synagogal renewal and commands a central place in the focus on Judaism into the twenty-first century. Focusing on attitudes towards and experiments with music afford a distinctive manner to access the complexities involved in the interplay of diverse community traditions and contemporary pressures for change.

The complexities of this examination are mirrored in the interdisciplinary perspective of this thesis, as it encompasses the theoretical resources of theological, historical, and social scientific disciplines. Through the historical expansion of the movement, and the synagogues in which I have engaged in ethnographic research, we will note the shifts in movement and synagogal musical cultures, each affording a unique perspective on music in worship. Each helps to elucidate a little bit what constitutes the perspectives and preoccupations of the Anglo-Reform Jewish world.
Date: 2009
Abstract: The subject of the article has been the evolution of stage performances and musical production as a mechanism of showing Jewish identity in Bulgaria in the wake of 1989. The text points out how the working out and presentation of cultural products through stage performance and amateur artistic activities turn into a way of shaping new models of Jewish identity in the wake of 1989 (construed as an element of a newly established “fabricated” tradition in the view of Eric Hobsbawm, in a period when classical folklore is losing its positions in everyday culture). The article focuses on the shows of several Jewish vocal and dancing formations, choir ensembles and soloists, who through their repertories enforce new folklore models as part of the creation of the new collective image of Bulgarian Jewry during the past 15-20 years. Two major components have been taken into consideration exerting the strongest impact on the artistic models: on the one hand, the historical relationship of the Bulgarian Jews with the Sephardic cultural tradition and, on the other, the Israeli culture penetrating along most diverse formal and informal channels. The paper raises the question about the relationship between the presentation of this culture and its consumption; between its creation and recreation in response to the changing post-modern society. Commentaries have also been offered as to how this situation contributes to the formation of the collective Jewish identity, giving precedence to the ethnic.