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Article

Hanoch Avenary

The importance of Jerusalem as a music centre originated in the foundation by King David of a central extra-tribal sanctuary, the Temple to Solomon or First Temple of Jerusalem, for which he laid down well-defined musical functions. A certain group of landless Levites was to devote itself entirely to music throughout all its generations. Although the principle of organized officialdom in cult music also existed elsewhere in ancient Asia, the Bible gives a detailed account of how it actually worked (1 Chronicles xv, xvi, xxiii and xxv). The first step (c1002 bce) was the appointment of three elders to lead with cymbals the performance of 14 string players and seven trumpeters. This body of 24 musicians was based on the symbolic number of 12, which remained in force in both the First and the Second Temple of Jerusalem. About 970 bce David fixed the total of active musicians at 288 (i.e. 24 x 12), and they were also given a kind of royal charter (...

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

Melk  

Robert N. Freeman

Town in Lower Austria. The strategic location of the fortress Medelica (Melk) on a slope overlooking the Danube led the Babenbergs, Austria's medieval rulers, to establish their court there in 976. Monks from the Benedictine abbey of Lambach were invited to join the court in 1089; shortly after 1110, when the Babenbergs moved to Klosterneuburg, the Benedictines became the owners of Melk and a large area of land. This link with the Austrian monarchal line made the wealthy abbey one of the Empire's most powerful institutions.

Soon after their arrival the Benedictines founded a boys' choir; pueri are mentioned as early as 1140 and a cloister school, training boys for singing in processions and daily church services, is described in a manuscript dating from 1160. The scriptorium was most productive in the first half of the 13th century. A great fire (1297) destroyed most of the manuscripts recording this formative musical period. 133 codices survived intact, about half of which originated at Melk, including the ...

Article

I.M. Yampol′sky

revised by Rosamund Bartlett

With the consolidation of Moscow’s importance as the musical centre of Russia in the 17th century, the work of correcting the chant books, improving the ancient kryukovaya (hook) system of notation and unifying the forms of the ecclesiastical chant was carried out. Special commissions of experts on ecclesiastical chant (the so-called didaskalï) were set up; two of these (1665 and 1668) were engaged in establishing model versions of the chants, and were headed by Aleksandr Mezenets, music scholar and monk of the Savvino-Storozhevskiy Monastery and later a proof corrector at the Moscow printing press. Ivan Shaydur, a Moscow clerk and music theorist, improved the hook notation. At about this time the new polyphonic style known as partesnoye peniye (part-singing), originally taken over from Ukraine, became widespread in Moscow. Nikolay Diletsky, the most important theorist of part-singing, worked in Moscow from 1670 to 1680. The Moscow school of polyphonic singing (Vasily Titov and others) took shape during the 17th and 18th centuries....

Article

I.M. Yampol′sky

revised by Rosamund Bartlett

With the reforms of Peter the Great secular music came to have a much more prominent place in Russian life. The founding of St Petersburg, to which the court moved, also had an effect on the musical culture of Moscow, which changed radically during the 18th century. At the beginning of the century Russian music was represented by its rich heritage of folksong, by ecclesiastical chants and by the simplest domestic genres; by the end of the century Russian opera was taking shape, symphonic and chamber music were being written by Russian composers, and early examples of the Russian song were beginning to appear. The musical needs of Russian society were growing, its tastes were changing and the circle of educated music lovers was expanding. In spite of the fact that St Petersburg drew great artistic forces to the court, Moscow formed its own professional musical circles. Of particular importance were the serf musicians, who performed as soloists and in the many large serf orchestras....

Article

José López-Calo

Cathedral city in north-west Spain. Santiago Cathedral was one of the most important shrines for pilgrimage during the Middle Ages. Built over the grave of St James, patron saint of Spain, the present structure was begun in 1078 and represents classic Spanish romanesque architecture. The pilgrimages left their mark on the music of the cathedral and, according to the 12th-century Calixtinus manuscript ( E-SC ; see Sources, MS, §IV),

it is a source of wonder and gladness to see the choirs of pilgrims in perpetual vigil by the venerable altar of Santiago: Teutons in one place, Franks in another, Italians in another. … Some play the cittern, others lyres, kettledrums, flutes, flageolets, trumpets, harps, violins, British or Welsh crwths, some singing with citterns, others accompanied of divers instruments.

It is the only surviving document of medieval music there; further documentation of musical life appears only in the 16th century.

The first ...