Maqām and Liturgy: Ritual, Music, and Aesthetics of Syrian Jews in Brooklyn

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Wayne State University Press, Dec 31, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 267 pages
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Syrian Jews in Brooklyn, New York, number more than forty thousand and constitute the largest single group of Jews from Syria in the world. Their thriving community includes fifteen synagogues in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, where the practice of singing Arab melodies is a cornerstone of their religious services. In Maqam and Liturgy, author Mark L. Kligman investigates the multidimensional interaction of music and text in Sabbath prayers of the Syrian Jews to trace how Arab and Jewish traditions have merged in this particular culture, helping to illuminate a little-known dimension of Jewish identity and Jewish-Arab cultural interaction.

Based on fieldwork conducted in 1990-91, Kligman worked closely with the leading Syrian cantors who maintain the community's traditional practices and pass them on to the next generation. Kligman's research demonstrates that Arab culture is manifest in the liturgy of Syrian Jews on many levels. Namely, the maqam system, the modal scales of Arab music, organizes Syrian liturgy through the adaptation not only of Arab melodies but the aesthetics of Arab musical practices, including the extra-musical associations of maqamat that determine which of the eleven modes is to be used. Kligman contextualizes the music and liturgy of Syrian Jewish worship within the disciplines of ethnomusicology, Judaic and cultural studies, and anthropology. A 23-track audio supplement of liturgical chanting is available for download at wsupress.wayne.edu/maqamandliturgy.

Though the process of adapting Arab music and aesthetics into a Jewish liturgical context dates back to the tenth century, the perpetuation of two interconnected Middle Eastern cultures in America is a unique phenomenon. Maqam and Liturgy brings the fascinating culture fusion of the Syrian Jews to the attention of a wider audience, including scholars and teachers of Jewish studies, Middle Eastern studies, anthropology, and ethnomusicology.

 

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Contents

The Spontaneity of Prayer
1
PART ONE Background
11
Musical Examples
48
PART TWO Sabbath Morning Service
53
Hazzan Isaac J Cabasso
57
Hakham David A Tawil
58
Eight Basic Maqamat
60
Lower Tetrachord Definition
61
Melodies used for liturgical singing stations
107
MahalalakhNishmat Kol Hai
108
Hawwid Min HinaBoi beRinahShavat AniyyimSemehim beTseitam
118
Trip a Trop a TronjesMagen YishiShavat Aniyyim
124
IlHabibKel HabibKaddish
127
Ashrei haAm and Romemu
139
Yimlokh HaShem leOlam Mizmor leDavid
142
Keter
149

Maqamat used in Shir ushvaha hallel vzimrah
65
Maqamat used by Syrian Jews in Brooklyn
67
Liturgical sections of the Syrian Sabbath morning service
76
Exterior of Congregation Beth Torah
82
Birkhot haShahar seyga formula
85
Zemirot liturgical section on Shabbat
86
HaShem Melekh
88
Zemirot seyga formula
89
Barukh sheAmar
90
Halleluyah Hallelu Kel beKadsho
93
Syrian synagogues in Brooklyn 33
96
Liturgical singing stations of the Syrian Sabbath morning service
97
Overall design of the Syrian Sabbath morning service
153
The Maqamat and the Weekly Biblical Reading
161
Shir ushvaha hallel vzimrah maqam association chart
168
Maqam and biblical reading associations with Cantor Bozo and Idelsohn Explanations
177
Discrepancies in Shirei Zimrah 19361953 and 1988 charts
180
Maqam and biblical reading associations by fasllah
183
Maqamat used in maqdm and biblical reading associations
185
of Syrian Liturgy
191
JudeoArab Synthesis in the Syrian Sabbath Liturgy
207
JudeoArab synthesis in the Syrian Sabbath liturgy
210
CHARTS
227
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Mark L. Kligman is professor of Jewish musicology at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion.

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