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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Jewish Music Before 1600 but Were Afraid to Ask, with Avery Gosfield
Lecture #31 in Joshua Horowitz’s series, The Promiscuous World of Jewish Music
Monday, January 18, 11am California/2pm New York/ 7pm UK/ 8pm most of Europe
Length: 1 – 2 hours
Donations to Josh Horowitz are accepted and appreciated, but not required.
Zoom Meeting ID: 967 8901 9038
There is a Zoom limit of 100 participants.
During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the music used in the Synagogue or for Jewish occasions was generally transmitted orally and hardly ever written down. In fact, for the entire period dating from ca. 1100 to the early 17th century, only a handful of pieces in musical notation have survived. However, next to this, a kind of “shadow repertoire” has come down to us: the hundreds of song texts by Jewish authors, written in Jewish languages, that, even if none of them has survived with music, were probably meant to be sung. Many were written using poetic meters borrowed from the surrounding culture, so that with a certain amount of detective work, a plausible melody for performance can be found. Outside of these specifically Jewish repertoires for Jewish contexts, all signs point to a shared musical patrimony, where, as throughout most of history, European Jews used the same music for singing, playing and dancing as their non-Jewish neighbors.
Avery Gosfield will give a general historical introduction as well as an overview of the Jewish pieces that have survived in notation (complete with facsimiles, modern transcriptions and recordings) and talking about recreating/re-proposing Jewish soundscapes from the Renaissance.