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Abenaki  

Article

Abrabanel, Isaac ben Judah  

Don Harrán

(b Lisbon, 1437; d Venice, 1508). Philosopher and biblical exegete. His writing on music forms the introduction to his commentary on Exodus xv (the ‘Song of the Sea’, 1505; I-Rvat Rossiano 925, also printed in Venice in 1579). Relying on earlier sources including Ibn Rushd's commentary on Aristotle's Poetics and Moses ibn Tibbon's commentary on the Song of Solomon, Abrabanel describes three kinds of verse set to music: with metre and rhyme, as in Hebrew hymns (piyyutim); without metre or rhyme, yet arranged in a succession of short and long lines (as in the ‘Song of the Sea’); and metaphorical texts, by which he appears to refer to Psalms. Whereas, for him, the first and third kinds do not require music to qualify as poetry (prosodic considerations prevail in the first, conceptual ones in the third), the second kind does (its construction depends on its musical usage). Yet all three kinds rely on music for their usual mode of presentation. The author recognizes different functions for music in conjunction with poetry: to serve as a mnemonic device for retaining the texts, to improve the understanding of their content, and to elevate the spirit....

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Academy of Ancient Music (i)  

Article

Adler, Israel  

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 (...

Article

Adler, Samuel  

Marie Rolf

(Hans)

(b Mannheim, March 4, 1928). American composer and conductor of German birth. Both of his parents were musical, his father being a cantor and composer of Jewish liturgical music. The family came to the USA in 1939 and Adler attended Boston University (BM 1948) and Harvard University (MA 1950). He studied composition with Aaron Copland, Paul Fromm, Paul Hindemith, Hugo Norden, Walter Piston and Randall Thompson; musicology with Karl Geiringer, A.T. Davison and Paul A. Pisk; and conducting with Sergey Koussevitzky at the Berkshire Music Center. In 1950 he joined the US Army and organized the Seventh Army SO, which he conducted in more than 75 concerts in Germany and Austria; he was awarded the Army Medal of Honor for his musical services. Subsequently he conducted concerts and operas, and lectured extensively throughout Europe and the USA. In 1957 he was appointed professor of composition at North Texas State University, and in ...

Article

Admon-Gorokhov, Yedidya  

Natan Shahar

(b Yekatrinoslav [now Dnepropetrovsk], Dec 5, 1894; d Tel-Aviv, April 2, 1982). Israeli composer and singer. He emigrated to Palestine from the Ukraine in 1906. He studied at the Teacher's Seminary in Jerusalem where his teachers included Abraham Zvi Idelsohn. During World War I he moved to Egypt and enlisted in the British Army. After the war he returned to Palestine and, while earning his living as an accountant, took singing lessons with Jehuda Har-Melaḥ. A countertenor with a phenomenal ability to improvise, he travelled to the USA in 1923 to further his singing studies; there he specialized in improvisation and distinctive vibrato singing, similar in style to Arab-Bedouin singing or ululation. Commissioned to write an orchestral accompaniment for songs improvised in a Bedouin style, he enlisted the compositional assistance of Lazar Seminski, who encouraged him to continue to compose. His first songs, Ya leil (‘Oh night’) and ...

Article

Adorno, Theodor (Ludwig) W(iesengrund)  

Max Paddison

(b Frankfurt, Sept 11, 1903; d Brig, Switzerland, Aug 6, 1969). German writer on music and philosopher. The son of a businessman of Jewish extraction, Oscar Alexander Wiesengrund, and a professional singer of Catholic Corsican origin, Maria Calvelli-Adorno della Piana, he adopted his mother's name in the 1920s, initially as Weisengrund-Adorno, dispensing with the hyphen in 1938. In 1937–8 he also wrote briefly under the pseudonym Hektor ‘Rottweiler’.

Strongly influenced by Ernst Bloch's Vom Geist der Utopie and Georg Lukács's Theorie des Romans while still at school, and having had a musical upbringing, with piano, violin and composition lessons from an early age, in 1921 he went on to study philosophy (with Hans Cornelius) at the University of Frankfurt with musicology, sociology and psychology as subsidiary subjects, continuing composition studies with Bernhard Sekles and piano with Eduard Jung. During his student years he became friendly with the philosopher Max Horkheimer and the literary critic Walter Benjamin, who both had considerable influence on his development. Three years after starting university he took the doctorate with a dissertation on Husserl (...

Article

Ahronovich, Yury  

Noël Goodwin

[Georgy]

(b Leningrad [now St Petersburg], May 13, 1932; d Cologne, Oct 31, 2002). Israeli conductor of Soviet birth. He studied at the Leningrad Central School of Music and the Leningrad Conservatory, and also with Natan Rakhlin and Kurt Sanderling. In 1956 he was appointed conductor of the Saratov PO; he also taught at the conservatory there and conducted his first operas. The next year he became conductor at Yaroslav, remaining there until his appointment as chief conductor of the Moscow RSO in 1964; his guest engagements included appearances with the Bol′shoy Ballet. Ahronovich left the USSR in 1972 and became an Israeli citizen. After concerts with the Israel PO he began touring, appearing in London with the RPO and with the New York PO in the USA. He made his operatic début in the West with Otello at Cologne, where he was conductor of the Gürzenich Concerts from ...

Article

Åkerberg, (Carl) Erik  

Kathleen Dale

revised by Axel Helmer

(Emanuel)

(b Stockholm, Jan 19, 1860; d Stockholm, Jan 20, 1938). Swedish composer, organist and conductor. He attended the Swedish Royal Academy of Music (1882–6), studying counterpoint and composition with J. Dente, and was a pupil of Franck in Paris (1887–8). In Stockholm he was coach at the Royal Opera (1888–90), organist at the synagogue (1890–1928), music teacher at Norrmalm’s grammar school (1895–1923) and teacher at Richard Anderssons Musikskola (1897–1909). From 1886 he conducted several choirs, including the Bellman Choir (1895–1926), which he also founded, and the Philharmonic Society (1900–03). Åkerberg’s compositions often approach the style of Swedish folk music, especially the ballads Kung Svegder and Prinsessan och Svennen. They are technically sound but conventional.

MSS in S-Skma, Svenska Tonsättares Internationella Musikbyrå

Article

Article

Alemanno [Alemann], Johanan  

Don Harrán

(b c1435; d after 1504). Italian philosopher and biblical exegete. He wrote briefly on music in his Ḥesheq shelomoh (‘Solomon's desire’), a commentary on the Song of Solomon, written during the period 1488–92 at the request of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. Music is discussed in relation to Hebrew poetics, then classified for its varieties and described for its powers. Under poetics, Alemanno notes that the word shir (‘song’) applies to poetry and music and, within music, to both vocal and instrumental types; he then discerns its usage in three species of poetry: metric and rhymed; non-metric and non-rhymed; and metaphorical. In accordance with the Latin music theorists Alemanno recognizes three kinds of music: natural, artificial and theoretical; the first two refer respectively to vocal and instrumental music and the third (nigun sikhli) to what other Hebrew theorists designate as ḥokhmat ha-musiqah (‘the science of music’). On the effect of music, Alemanno notes its power to awaken love on both earthly (or secular) and divine (or sacred) planes, which correspond to what he conceives as the two exegetical planes – the literal and the allegorical – for interpreting the ...

Article

Alexander, Haim  

Jehoash Hirshberg

(Heinz)

(b Berlin, Aug 9, 1915). Israeli composer of German birth. His studies at the Stern Conservatory were halted in 1936 as a result of the Nazi persecution, and in the same year he emigrated to Palestine. There he studied composition with Wolpe and the piano with Irma Wolpe-Schoenberg and Ilona Vince-Kraus. As a student he made his living as a café jazz pianist in Jersualem and established himself as an excellent improviser. From 1945 until his retirement he was a professor at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem. A highly versatile musician, he taught the piano, the harpsichord, theory, composition and improvisation. He also lectured in the musicology departments of Tel-Aviv University, the Hebrew University, the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze, Geneva, and New York University.

One of the diverse group of composers who emigrated from Europe to Palestine during the 1930s, Alexander experienced the tension between the ideological pressure to create a new national style with a nebulous Middle Eastern and folklike orientation, and the urge to keep abreast of current Western music. This tension is reflected in the contrast between the post-Romantic chromaticism of ...

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Algonquian  

Article

Alkan [Morhange], (Charles-)Valentin  

Hugh Macdonald

(b Paris, Nov 30, 1813; d Paris, March 29, 1888). French pianist and composer. His real name was Morhange. He was one of the leading piano virtuosos of the 19th century and one of its most unusual composers, remarkable in both technique and imagination, yet largely ignored by his own and succeeding generations.

Of Jewish parentage, Alkan was the eldest of five brothers, all of whom, with an elder sister as well, became musicians under the assumed name Alkan; Napoléon Alkan, the third brother (1826–1910), taught solfège at the Paris Conservatoire for over 50 years. Valentin Alkan’s career at the Conservatoire started brilliantly with a premier prix for solfège at the age of seven. When Alkan was nine Cherubini observed that he was ‘astonishing for his age’ and described his ability on the piano as ‘extraordinary’. He won a premier prix for piano in 1824, for harmony in ...

Article

Alotin, Yardena  

Nathan Mishori

(b Tel-Aviv, Oct 19, 1930; d New York, Oct 4, 1994). Israeli composer. She studied at the Tel-Aviv Music Teachers’ College (1948–50) and at the Israel Academy of Music (1950–52), where her principal teachers were Oedoen Partos (composition) and Ilona Vincze-Kraus (piano). Later, she was composer-in-residence at the Bar-Ilan University (1975–6).

Alotin shared her teachers' ideal of combining Western, Eastern and Jewish music traditions with contemporary ideas. In general, her works are based on Baroque and Classical forms, but in conjunction with an individual language of fluidly changing metre and rhythm, already evident in Yefeh nof (‘Beautiful Landscape’, 1952). The theme of the Passacaglia (1954) for piano is a Bukharian song, elaborated through extended tonality, while the influence of biblical cantillation is felt in the Cantata (1956) and in the vital and spontaneous Sonata for violin and piano (...

Article

Amerindian music  

Bruno Nettl and Elaine Keillor

revised by Victoria Lindsay Levine

In this article the term ‘Amerindian’ is used in a conventional sense to refer to the native peoples, also known as American Indians or Native Americans, who occupied the North American continent above Mexico before the arrival of the Europeans in the 15th century. (For a general discussion of Amerindians throughout North and South America see Americas and for the music of Amerindian cultures in Central and South America, see Latin America, §I and the relevant country articles.) The Amerindians are so called because of the belief prevalent at the time of Columbus that the Americas were part of the East Indies. The Amerindians appear to have come into the Western hemisphere from Asia in a series of migrations; from Alaska they spread east and south. Their common origin explains the physical characteristics that Amerindians have in common, while the several waves of migration are supposed to account for the many native linguistic families. There is evidence of the presence of Amerindians in the Americas for more than 15,000 years. In pre-Columbian times the Amerindian population of the area north of Mexico is estimated to have been between one and two million....

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Amerindian music, Canada  

Elaine Keillor

The value of dividing Amerindian North America into musical areas has been debated by scholars because it depends on static traits, artificial models and generalities. In reality, musical boundaries are fluid and permeable. Indigenous communities have a long history of musical interaction and exchange, often resulting in the adoption or adaptation of instruments, repertories or styles from neighbouring tribes. Since the time of Columbus, borrowing has included aspects of European music. While the area approach provides a helpful overview of Amerindian musics, the music of each individual tribe or community must be experienced more fully in its cultural and historic context.

See also Amerindian music

The indigenous peoples of the area now known as Canada have been and continue to be referred to by labels applied by outsiders to their particular culture, either by another indigenous group or by European settlers and their descendants. The following discussion, however, uses self-assigned terms of individual cultures wherever known and places commonly used labels from the past within brackets. In the oral history of these peoples, their origin is placed within North America, although travel to and from the Asian continent is acknowledged. Today their descendants speak some 55 different languages within several language families, including Inuit-Inupiaq, Algic (Algonquian, Ojibwayan), Nadene, Wakashan, Salishan, Tsimshianic, Plateau Penutian, Siouan-Catawba, Iroquoian plus several isolated languages....

Article

Amerindian music, Developments after European contact  

Bruno Nettl

revised by Victoria Lindsay Levine

Amerindian musics, like all other musical traditions, have continually changed, reflecting native concepts of history and underlying attitudes towards change itself. Many groups believe that history proceeds along a recursive spiralling path rather than a linear chronology. Therefore, Amerindians tend to adapt historic repertories to new social realities, blending older styles with fresh components and merging the genres of one community with those of another. Western influence has sometimes resulted in more abrupt musical change. Entire tribes were obliterated through disease and war brought by contact with Europeans. Conversion to Christianity and the Westernization of native social and economic patterns prompted the adoption of new repertories and the creation of new performance contexts. During the 20th century, tourism played a significant role in the development of Amerindian music and dance. Through adaptation, blending and merging, Amerindians have selected European musical values, styles and instruments to enrich and diversify their own traditions....

Article

Amerindian music, Introduction  

Bruno Nettl

revised by Victoria Lindsay Levine

See also Amerindian music

In certain respects, Amerindian culture appears homogeneous: its musical styles are broadly similar throughout the continent, as are its myths and religious practices, which show similarities to those of Central and South America. In other respects, however, the Amerindian cultures as they were before the forced moves to reservations may be divided into distinct areas, coinciding with the physical divisions of the continent (fig.1): the Eastern Woodlands (known as Eastern Sedentary in Canada and subdivided into north-east and south-east in the USA), the Plains, the Southwest and California, the Great Basin, the intermountain Plateau (largely in Nevada and Utah), the Northwest Coast and the far North (subdivided into Western Subarctic and Arctic). These areas appear to have developed more or less independently for several centuries: each area had its own political and economic system, largely shaped by the exigencies of the natural environment.

Scholars have identified approximately 1000 tribal units, almost as many languages, and about 60 independent language families in North America. But the boundaries of the language groups did not at all coincide with the boundaries of the cultural areas, which shows that the cultural areas became defined fairly late in Amerindian history. There is substantial evidence that Amerindian cultures were influenced by cultures outside the North American borders. Traits from the cultures of Mexico and Central America, for instance, are found among the Indians of the Southwest, the Southeast and the Northwest Coast; the Amerindians of the far North and the Inuit (Eskimo) share certain traditions with tribal groups of north-east Asia....

Article

Amerindian music, Musical instruments  

Bruno Nettl

revised by Victoria Lindsay Levine

Amerindians have a great variety of instruments, most of them confined to a percussive role. The main melodic instruments are flutes; other melody-producing instruments, now known only from descriptions in the ethnographic literature, appear to have served mainly as drones. In some cases, instruments are used purely for their tone-colour; sometimes they imitate sounds of nature (e.g. animal cries and birdcalls) or suggest the voices of supernatural beings. Instruments of indeterminate pitch are often associated with ceremony and ritual, often as a background to singing. An example is the bullroarer, whose non-melodic sonorities serve both to accompany singing and to mesmerize when they help to induce the shaman’s state of trance.

See also Amerindian music

The most widespread Amerindian instruments are those that vibrate when struck, shaken, rubbed or plucked. Among the simplest are those that are rhythmically struck with sticks: boxes and poles have been used for this purpose on the Northwest Coast and by the Salish tribes; bark idiophones are found among the tribes of the north-east; baskets have been used similarly by the Yuma and Apache tribes of the Southwest and in southern California; and turtle shells were once important rhythmic instruments in southern Mexico. Among the Plains Indians, a suspended piece of unmounted hide (technically a membranophone, not an idiophone) was beaten by several singers simultaneously; one might well regard this as an ancestor of the drum. Finally, the ‘foot drum’, a plank or log rhythmically stamped upon, was known in California, the extreme Southwest and possibly also on the Northwest Coast....