The Musical Tradition of the Eastern European Synagogue

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Syracuse University Press, 2002 - Jews - 277 pages
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This author, Sholom Kalb, is profoundly knowledgeable about his subject, and deeply committed to preserving the musical heritage of the Eastern European synagogue. His analyses of why this heritage is being ignored and lost can basically be attributed to the rationalist reformers of the 19th century, who in their efforts to reform Judaism left true Jewish piety, emunah and bitachon behind. G-d demands the heart and not just the head. The Jewish prayers reflect a deep belief and trust in G-d, which the cantors projected in their deeply moving renditions which made the prayers and their words come alive to inspire and uplift people of intense belief and devotion. Jews for centuries believed G-d was an active force in lives and history. The Jewish G-d hears prayers, responds to our supplications, remembers and judges. To those who have put G-d in an intellectual strait-jacket, the nusach of the services, the fervency the emotion of prayer has been drained away. The abandonment of the musical heritage of the synagogue, the lack of understanding that the Jewish prayer services have replaced the corresponding services of the Holy Temple, that the Cantor and choir replaced the officiating of the Leviyim and choir of the Holy Temple, and so forth, are a reflection of the lack of Jewish piety from the overly inteellectualized reforms of these revisionists, who have misread and misunderstood the meaning, role and central place of Jewish prayer within the synagogue. Sholom Kalib's analyses and conclusions are spot on. The authors work of preservation and explanation are first rate. 

Contents

Heritage from the Middle East
1
Heritage from West Central Europe
13
The Evolution of the Musical Tradition of the Eastern European
29
Eastern European Cantillation Modes
36
Eastern European Study Modes
43
Eastern European Prayer Modes
50
Incipient Chazzonus in Basic Synagogal Chant and Its Impact
60
on Its Synagogue Music
65
Secondary Nuschoos as Addenda to a Basic Nusaci
138
Complete AdvancedChazzonus Level Recitatives in Illustration
144
The Improvised Versus Prepared Recitative
158
The Choir
171
Rabbinic Attitude Toward Chazzonim and Chazzonus
185
CONCLUSION
233
APPENDIX
239
GLOSSARY
245

Chassidic Influence on Eastern European Synagogue Music
78
The Music of the Eastern European Synagogue at Its Zenith
87
Motives from Western Art Music in Synagogue Music
126
NOTES
255
REFERENCES
267
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