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Article

Ury Eppstein

Musical life in modern Jerusalem can be divided into two separate spheres: the liturgical music of the various Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious communities who maintain their living musical traditions; and Western secular art music.

Most of the many Jewish religious musical traditions are represented in the synagogues of the various communities, the most ancient being of Middle Eastern origin, mainly from the Yemen, Baghdad, Kurdistan, Iran, Bokhara and Syria. On further investigation, these may prove to preserve elements of musical traditions from biblical times. There are also representatives of the musical traditions of Spanish-based Sephardi communities, especially those from North Africa, Greece and Turkey, as well as of the mainstreams of eastern European Ashkenazi tradition, namely Hasidism (which created in Jerusalem a special vocal style imitating instruments, stimulated by the ban on instrumental music imposed to signify mourning for the destruction of the Temple) and its opponents, Mithnagdim, who developed a Jerusalem version of the Lithuanian-style Bible cantillation. Western European communities, mainly from Germany, also have synagogues with their own musical traditions....

Article

Israeli institution dedicated to the research and propagation of liturgical and para-liturgical Jewish music. It was founded in Jerusalem in 1957 as the Israel Institute for Sacred Music by Avigdor Herzog, a former student of Kodály and Szabolcsi, to study and preserve the musical traditions of the Jewish communities that converged on Israel during the mass immigrations of the 1950s. Herzog, the centre's first director, wanted to preserve these disparate traditions before they were diluted in the melting-pot of modern Israel and so developed the institute on ethnomusicological and educational lines. He recorded the sacred songs of various communities and, under the title Renanot, periodically published leaflets of selected transcriptions, based on Bartók's methods. Working alongside Herzog were Yehoshua Leib Neeman, who published books and records on biblical cantillation and liturgical chants according to eastern European tradition, Meir Shimíon Geshuri, who investigated Hasidic music and Uri Sharvit, who researched Yemenite chants. The institute organized an annual musicological conference and, from ...