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Adler, Israellocked

  • William Y. Elias

(b Berlin, Jan 17, 1925). Israeli musicologist of German birth. He settled in Palestine in 1937, and studied music at the Paris Conservatoire (1949–53) and under Corbin at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (diploma 1961). He then attended the musicology institute at the Sorbonne, where he studied with Chailley and in 1963 took a doctorat de 3ème cycle with a dissertation on learned musical practice in several Jewish communities in 17th- and 18th-century Europe. Concurrently, he was head of the Hebraica-Judaica section at the Bibliothèque Nationale (1950–63). He returned to Israel to become the director of the music department and national sound archives at the Jewish National and Hebrew University library in Jerusalem (1963–9), and was subsequently director of the library (1969–71). In 1964 he founded the Jewish music research centre at the Hebrew University and was its director (1964–9, 1971–96), after which he became chairman of the academic committee. He was an associate professor of musicology at Tel-Aviv University (1971) and the Hebrew University (1973) and was then appointed professor in 1975, until his retirement when he was made professor emeritus (1994). He also chaired the department of musicology at the Hebrew University (1974–7, 1987–9) and was a guest professor at a variety of universities, including the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College (1979, 1994), the University of São Paulo (1989) and Queens College, Yale University. His main area of research is Jewish music from the medieval period to the 18th century, focussing on notational relics of traditional music and cantillation, with a particular study of the Jewish music collections at the Vernadskya Central Library, Kiev. He has researched art music practices in European communities, music theory and philosophy, the history of rabbinic attitude to music and the musical heritage of the Jews of Djerba. He has chaired the Israel Musicological Society (1967–9, 1976–8) and has also held the positions of president of the provisional council of the International Association of Sound Archives (1968–9), vice president of the Association Internationale des Bibliothèques Musicales (1974–7) and from 1967 has been on the research committee of RISM. He has edited music by Carlo Grossi and Louis Saladin and a volume of ceremonial music for the inauguration of the Siena synagogue in 1786. He has edited Yuval: Studies of the Jewish Music Research Centre since its inception in 1968 and the Yuval monograph series since 1974, and in 1985 he founded and co-directed YUVAL in France. A Festschrift was planned in his honour in 2000.


  • ‘Musique juive’, FasquelleD
  • Le livre hébraïque: incunables, publications israéliennes (Paris, 1962)
  • La pratique musicale savante dans quelques communautés juives en Europe aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (diss., U. of Paris, 1963; Paris, 1966)
  • ‘Les chants synagogaux, notés au XIIe siècle (ca. 1103–1150) par Abdias, le prosélyte normand’, RdM, 51 (1965), 19–51; abridged in Ariel [Jerusalem], no.15 (1966), 27–41
  • ‘The Rise of Art Music in the Italian Ghetto’, Jewish Medieval and Renaissance Studies, ed. A. Altman (Cambridge, MA, 1967), 321–64
  • ‘Histoire de la musique religieuse juive’, Encyclopédie des musiques sacrées, ed. J. Porte, 1 (1968), 469–93
  • ‘Fragment hébraïque d’un traité attribué à Marchetto de Padoue’, Yuval, 2 (1971), 1–10
  • Musical Life and Traditions of the Portuguese Jewish Community of Amsterdam in the XVIIIth Century (Jerusalem, 1974)
  • ed.: Hebrew Writings Concerning Music in Manuscripts and Printed Books from Geonic Times up to 1800, RISM, B/IX/2 (1975)
  • with J. Cohen: Catalogue of the A.Z. Idelsohn Archives at the Jewish National and University Library (Jerusalem, 1976)
  • ‘Schoenbergiana at the Jewish National and University Library, Jerusalem’, Israel Studies in Musicology, 2 (1980), 9–26
  • ‘Das Georg Alter Archiv: Dokumente zur Geschichte des “Verein für musikalische Privataufführungen in Prag” und des Kolisch-Quartetts’, Ars Iocundissima: Festschrift für Kurt Dorfmüller zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. H. Leuchtmann and R. Münster (Tutzing, 1984), 1–13
  • ‘Sulzer Dokumente aus der Birnbaum Collection der Hebrew Union College Library (Cincinnati)’, Kantor Salomon Sulzer und seine Zeit: ein Dokumentation, ed. H. Avenary (Sigmaringen, 1985), 243–74
  • ‘Three Musical Ceremonies for Hosha'na rabbah at Casale Monferrato (1732–1733, 1735)’, Yuval, 5 (Jerusalem, 1986), 51–137
  • ‘The Earliest Notation of a Sabbath Table Song ca. 1505–1518’, Orbis musicae, 9 (1986–7), 69–89
  • Hebrew Notated Manuscript Sources up to circa 1840: a Descriptive and Thematic Catalogue, with a Checklist of Printed Sources (Munich, 1989)
  • with R. Flender: ‘Musik und Religion II. Judentum’, Theologische Realenzyklopädie, 23 (1994), 446–52
  • ‘“A la recherche de chants perdus”: la redécouverte des collections du “cabinet” de musique juive de Moisei Beregovski, avec l'assistance de Mila Goisman, Kiev’, Ndroje Balendro: musiques, terrains et disciplines, textes offerts à Simha Arom, ed. V. Dehoux and others (Paris, 1995), 247–67
  • The Study of Jewish Music: a Bibliographical Guide (Jerusalem, 1995)
Revue de musicologie