Inside the Yiddish Folksong - an Analytical Approach to a Treasured Tradition
This online project has been created by some prominent Yiddish singers and scholars: Michael Alpert, Walter Zev Feldman, Itzik Gottesman, Ethel Raim, Josh Waletzky, and Mark Slobin. (In their words:) First, we identify the genre of the folksong within the culture of eastern Ashkenazic Jews and the surrounding European societies. Second, we spotlight structure, zooming in on the details of text, melody, and their intense interaction in performance. Analytically, we are interested in what’s more fixed and what gets varied, the interplay of the stable and the shifting or, to use another metaphor, what’s the skeleton, the hard tissue, with its joints and articulations, and what’s the flesh, the soft tissue that allows for a breathing, sensing body which leads then to: Third, the inner, aesthetic world of the song, beginning with profiles of two figures whose singing and recordings have been influential, and continuing with a close look at how songs are embodied and transmitted live.