Anyone Else Worried About Today’s Frum Music?
- This topic has 103 replies, 74 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 5 months ago by LOTR92.
November 10, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm #590776dovidshmuelMember
Does anyone else care?November 10, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm #793047
Yes. I am getting sick and tired of all these uplifting psukim set to music, as if Yiddishkeit is just about having a good time, about kol chosson vekol kalla, about Moshiach, etc.
It is time to set psukim that end in mois yumos, or begin with arur, to music and to play these at chassunes to remind the couple and all guests that ours is a life of responsibility and following rules.
As a great godol, one who is so holy that he rarely sees the light of day, once said: “Yiddishkeit iz nit nor gefilte fish in bagels. S’iz skila, sreyfo, hereg in chenek!” (Judaism is not just gefilte fish and bagels. It is lapidation, immolation, supracervical amputation, and asphyxiation.)November 10, 2009 1:23 pm at 1:23 pm #793048refael613Member
not a simple matter…also many peoples parnosa depends on this industry. but i suspect that all hope is not lost – if you look at the impact gedolim have had on womens fashions- progress has been made there. it just needs the proper approach in order to make is successful with no one feeling that they will have to look for a new job.November 10, 2009 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm #793049Just-a-guyMember
No.November 10, 2009 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #793050tzippiMember
I almost skipped over this because come on, what’s the chiddush? But this has potential…November 10, 2009 3:40 pm at 3:40 pm #793052haifagirlParticipant
A600: Good idea. Can you suggest some pesukim? I don’t have access to a piano for the next few weeks, but I’d love to take on the challenge.November 10, 2009 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #793053dovidshmuelMember
Have you seen the EDITED choreography they have the boys in the Miami Boys Choir doing?!, etc. etc. We have to start doing something about this to make Jewish music less goyishe. Any suggestions?November 10, 2009 5:45 pm at 5:45 pm #793054BasYisroel2Participant
to dovid shmuel- I hear your point and you are right! However if you give teenagers boring Jewish music then they will look for it in the wrong places.I am not refering to teens who are at risk.But regular frum kids.Rather let people hear beaty music coming from a frum Jew than from a goy!November 10, 2009 5:52 pm at 5:52 pm #793055Josh31Participant
“Does anyone else care?”
The potential damage of trying to address this problem (even if it is indeed a problem) is far greater than the problem itself.
Bans have an enormous demoralizing effect.November 10, 2009 5:52 pm at 5:52 pm #793056JotharMember
DovidShmuel, vote with your wallet. The refined mentchen don’t like it the music and won’t listen, but banning it will backfire.November 10, 2009 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #793057Mayan_DvashParticipant
I have not seen MBC’s latest choreography. I generally do not go to concerts. What specifically is objectionable in your opinion?
;November 10, 2009 6:17 pm at 6:17 pm #793058HatzairMember
I agree with comment 2, Skila Sreifa Hereg vChenek is oft ignored, although Im not sure how many people would listen to that,maybe that should be our focus, not the beats or the lighting but the fact that these artists sometimes paint a picture of yehadus that is sterilized of important ideas.
give me the rabbis sons anyday over the new stuffNovember 10, 2009 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm #793060frielachMember
Yes, it’s very painful what a few silly singers are doing to Klall yisroelNovember 10, 2009 6:22 pm at 6:22 pm #793061
If the beat would symbolize say skila or malkos, and the words would be quotes pertaining to aveirois, the songs would really inspire our youth and instill yiros shomayim in them.November 10, 2009 6:24 pm at 6:24 pm #793062NissanParticipantNovember 10, 2009 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #793063A_BucherParticipant
yom tov eirlich is goodNovember 10, 2009 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #793064☕️coffee addictParticipant
I think it’s fine, being a BT I was used to goyishe music and believe me as long as the tune isn’t from a goyishe song I’m happy with it b/c really it’s mostly the words.November 10, 2009 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #793066
Give me a break.
Goyishe music has always had an effect on the style of jewish music.
There’s all types buy what you like. If there wasnt the demand there wouldnt be the supply.
Yiddeshkeit isnt only gefilte fish but its also not about making a machuah on everything either.
The concert debacle hurt the effect of the rabbonim on many people they dont need to involve on this.November 10, 2009 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #793067theprof1Participant
Rav Manis Mandel Ztzl commented about 25 years ago that Jewish music is starting to sound like Congo music. Granted back then there were very few such Congo music songs. But today the albums that sell sound like Madonna or NSync or any of the other musical bands and singers, except for the lyrics. So what counts? Yiddish lyrics with excellent messages of yiddishkeit and avdus Hashem, or the actual musical sound? If the messenger is good and the message is good, does it matter if the media isn’t what it used to be? And if you really think that Jewish music was fine 40 years ago, where did that come from? Non Jewish musical notes of that time, copied and adapted to Yiddish lyrics.November 10, 2009 6:29 pm at 6:29 pm #793068ploniebenplonieMember
The RaMbaM holds all music is assur. So, I have a question. Why do camps like Camp Aguda play any music at all?November 10, 2009 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #793069MDshweksParticipant
it is definately a problem, but first, you surely exadurated by saying the only thing Jewish is the words. Usually the tune, and some of the lead insroments are not used as in Goyishe music. Yes the beat, base and intos etc. do get downgraded.
Music has been changing and changing, thats the natur of art. Your Sforim design and Teffilin Zekle don’t either look like it’s 100 yrs old, and neither did that one look like 100 yrs before that. There just has to be a distinctive Yiddishe taste to the tune and leads, but the background is bound to change. Music is an expresion of the soul, and so is the decore of your living room. Certen sounds are the languege tools of expression today.
If you are talking about certen specific artists who are obviously trying to copy the sound streight from the radio, I am also very worried about that, and it is out duty to tell our children very strongly that this is not a yiddishe sound.November 10, 2009 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #793070
Ploine, why would you single one place out when everyone does it?
Obviously that is one opinion and not the way we pasken.November 10, 2009 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #793071aryeh3Participant
I have worked in the music business, as a musician and songwriter, and disagree with the opening post. If the purpose of frum music is to be a part of kiruv, then the music must be current sounding in order to be of interest to Jewish youths (or the not so young) who are estranged from Torah and mitzvot.
Also, if another of the music’s purpose is to bring joy and inspiration to already frum Jews, it doesn’t hurt if the music is “with-it”. To claim that only goys produce cutting edge music is an odd idea – there is nothing “un-Jewish” about writing modern sounding music. Many of the best songwriters have been Jewish, granted, not necessarily frum Jews, but that is not the point. There are frum Jews who are great songwriters and musicians and they should be encouraged to use their talents in a Torah context, not told they need to limit themselves because they are religious.
The point is that music can be very beneficial for both kiruv and providing another way for frum Jews to connect to Torah – and it is only enhanced to the extent it compares favorable with secular music, as long as it is done with the proper middos.
Just my opinion.November 10, 2009 6:38 pm at 6:38 pm #793072musicoutletMember
I think it’s very offensive to even utter the words “parnassah” into this topic. When there are trends that are destroying the fabric of being a frum person as if we don’t have enough issue to deal with on a daily basis, so what if someone “loses” the parnassah on it.
If someone is caught selling treif to thousands of observant jews do we start yelling what about his parnassah?
A few years ago there was major talk about cutting all the non sense out bar mitzvahs and chasunahs and the first complaints all the rabanim heard was it will hurt the paranasah.
The same G-d that gives us paransah in other means you think G-d doesn’t know where to find you a different business or stay with the business in a more kosher way which will not offend so many people?
This is about yiddishkeit,and having emeunah and bitochon. It’s a shame that people think they have a license to destroy the fabric of society and then when people chat about it people go wild and start yelling about hurting someones parnassah.
There is so much more to write but will leave it to the other 75,000 that want to respond.November 10, 2009 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #793073MDshweksParticipant
I don’t think Yidden have ever sang “Skilah, Sreifa…” “Arur”…
Some songs sound a little goyish to the older listener only b/c of the background, but if you sing it yourself you see it has a good regesh to it. But then you have songs which the song itself is trying to bring in a goyishe sound.November 10, 2009 6:46 pm at 6:46 pm #793074haifagirlParticipant
arc: plonie did not single out one place. He said:
Why do camps like Camp Aguda play any music at all? [emphasis added].
That sentence doesn’t even imply that Camp Agudah plays music. Camps like Camp Agudah do, not necessarily Camp Agudah.November 10, 2009 6:51 pm at 6:51 pm #793075djParticipant
I think only parts of Nusech are really traditional Jewish music. Most of the rest has strong influence from the non-jewish world.
I find the idea of being anti both non-Jewish music and its influence on the Jewish music scene as coming from a view that anything non-Jewish is bad. True that sometimes the words are highly inappropriate but most of the time you can’t even hear the words.
Personally, I find a lot of Jewish music uninteresting and monotones with a few exceptions.November 10, 2009 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #793077yid613Participant
I agree with MDShweks, “jewish music” that you are referring to was also taken from the goyish world back in the day, the regular Yeshivivh tapes coming out now do not sound anything like the radio, there are certain artists that perhaps are Baalei Teshuvah and have been trained to sing that way do sound somewhat like the radio music That music is not meant for us maybe for people who are becoming frum, it will lead to upliftment. Sephardic music is taken from the Arabs and yiddish from europe- I’m sure they way we sang back by Moshe Rabbeinu’s time and The bais hamikdash doesn’t sound remotely like the jewish way you are referring to now. I agree that everything has to be with taste, but for the most part I don’t see the best selling jewish artists sounding like a goy.
EDITEDNovember 10, 2009 7:14 pm at 7:14 pm #793078tina18Participant
Im not bothered by it at all – as a matter of fact I like it and think it does alot more good then bad.November 10, 2009 7:15 pm at 7:15 pm #793079dzikoverMember
there’s nothing to worry about. after David hamelech its been all downhillNovember 10, 2009 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #793080must_hockParticipant
there nothing wrong with music like Lipa, MBD, Miami, OHAD etc.November 10, 2009 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #793081
NB: My posts regarding the big four and the unpleasant psukim are meant as satire.
All we need is to limit kosher entertainment, and we will see even more kids (and adults) feel resentment toward Yiddishkeit and either move to the left or leave altogether.
Even the trash out there is a quarter step above pure goyish music, especially for those who are fighting hard not to fall off or who are slowly climbing up.November 10, 2009 7:27 pm at 7:27 pm #793083aberParticipant
I have to agree and disagree with you. I am also appalled by the “Jewish” music nowadays but probably for a different reason. The fact of the matter is that we have always been influenced by the goyishe music around us. If you listen to Iranian Jewish music for example, it sounds very Middle Eastern. I don’t think anybody would suggest going back to harps and violins. We need to move forward with the times and all that.
What I am appalled by though it the total lack of feeling at all in the music. What is Jewish music? Shmuel Brazil in one of his CD jackets aptly explains the meaning of Jewish music to be music that uplifts and brings us closer to Hashem. Being a musician myself, I can tell you that any instrument can be played in any style in a way that brings out the feeling of dveykus to Hashem. It’s not the instrument or the style, it’s the way they are played and the feeling behind it. When I listen to Carlebach, Brazil or Moditz music, I am automatically lifted up with the tremendous amount of emotion that went in to those songs. When I listen to one of the modern tunes put out by these young ones, I am totally unemotional. The songs do not evoke any sort of feeling at all. I am left with the question of “what was the point?”. The tunes don’t fit the words and the words don’t fit the tune. Obviously, they were just a random pairing of words to tune. I could probably make up a better computer generated tune with a random Google search for some words to fit it. If that’s what we’re calling “Jewish music”, then we’re in pretty bad shape. I would call that “goyish” music.November 10, 2009 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #793084
arc: plonie did not single out one place. He said:
Why do camps like Camp Aguda play any music at all? [emphasis added].
That sentence doesn’t even imply that Camp Agudah plays music. Camps like Camp Agudah do, not necessarily Camp Agudah.
Haifa: I’ll respectfully disagree to me it reads: Why do camps, like Agudah….November 10, 2009 7:33 pm at 7:33 pm #793085yochiParticipant
I have little issues with it. Here is a guarantee from me: Stop this music and your kids will start listening to goiyishe music!
As for A600KiloBear you are waaay over the top. Boruch Hashem you were not my michanech. NO ONE will get inspired by threats of skila etc. And nuch, you want to sing about it? You are one morbid fellow! Why dont you extend Tisha Baav by a few days, that can also be inspiring… You have obviously never worked with our (heimishe) youth. I am not even talking about “at risk” type, just a regular frum kid would suffocate from you. I am feeling stuffy right now…. I out.
YNovember 10, 2009 7:35 pm at 7:35 pm #793086YW Moderator-80Member
To solve this semantic disagreement:
The statement “technically” does NOT include Camp Agudah
But it strongly IMPLIES the inclusion of Camp Agudah, and even suggests it is the prototype of such camps.November 10, 2009 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #793087JotharMember
Camp Agudah is run by Rabbi Belsky Shlit”a, which is why it was mentioned, as it’s run kehalacha.
As my rav said about the Lipa ban, if you ban it they’ll go to worse. Same here. If you’re on the madreiga to appreciate the fact that it’s not as hartzig and Jewish as other music, gezunteheit. You have every right to be machmir, and ashrecha for your spiritual refinement. However, the “amcha” isn’t holding by this and trying to force it on them will be a kilkul as we already saw with the Lipa ban.November 10, 2009 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm #793088ZeitBsimchaParticipant
As someone who works in a music store for many years, I find this an interesting subject. Actually, I am pretty surprised at how naive and immature some of the comments here are on this subject. There is really only one answer to this. It’s called the Cash Register. There have been some beautiful very jewish sounding albums released in the past couple of years. Beautiful songs. Beautiful music. Beautiful vocals. Here’s the catch though…..they do not sell a fraction of the cd’s that the wild and crazy ones do. Granted, many times once you take home the goyish sounding cd’s you realize just how bad the quality of the cd’s are and you only listen to it a couple of times before you put it away. You realize right away that there aren’t any songs on the album that you will ever remember or want to sing. Guess what? You have already bought it!! Katching!! Maybe if the consumer would actually give the artists who are putting out the real quality music a fighting chance, things would change. Buying nice cd’s would encourage those producing them to put out more of them. It’s simple economics. Putting out albums is not cheap.November 10, 2009 8:09 pm at 8:09 pm #793089gregaaronMember
I’m sorry, but for all of the complaining that everyone does – especially about this topic – let’s think for a second. Yes, back in the last generation, there was not nearly the amount or variety of Jewish music that we have today. But that doesn’t mean that all of that generation’s kids were listening to the stuff that you are looking at nostagically – in reality, most kids were listening to goyishe music (officially, as opposed to now) and it was considered acceptable. Between the two choices, I’d much rather my kids be listening to what’s available now. Anyway, what makes a song Jewish or not? Is it the words? The music? Who originally sang it? What if it’s an old goyishe song, but someone adds in the words “oy oy oy” – is that “megayer” the song? The whole issue is subjective anyway, and the matziv now is a whole lot better than it was then.November 10, 2009 8:11 pm at 8:11 pm #793090SacrilegeMember
Well, I think you can look at this two ways, 1- you can be appalled, sceam and yell and throw tantrums and be “horrified at what a low level klal yisroel has sunk to” OR 2- you can say, thank G-D people are still interested in listening to the jewish words! I mean, in an age where 1/3 of the Jewish population is intermarryin, I’m just glad people are still interested in listening to words of torah, tanach, tehillim, talmud etc… being sung. And if it takes a little more percussion or drums or bass to keep the younger generation interested, I really don’t think it’s the end of the world.November 10, 2009 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #793091tzippiMember
To Nissan: I heard b’shem a gadol (not one hundred percent sure if my memory is correct) that folk music/sixties was about the end of it as far as the goyishe music being redeemable.
And this is something someone should be able to verify, because it is well known: another gadol said that you can tell kosher music from not, depending on how it makes you move, either swaying right to left kumzits style, or other ways.November 10, 2009 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #793093charliehallParticipant
The tune usually used for “Maoz Tzur” is a German tune used by none other than Martin Luther HaRasha for Christian hymns.
I once spent a Shabat at Mikveh Israel, the old Sefardic congregation in Philadelphia that has been existence for over 250 years — and is famed for refusing to permit any departures from its minhagim. The tunes were very much in the style of 18th century American colonial music.
So just what *is* “Jewish” music as opposed to “goyish” music?November 10, 2009 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm #793094smh1Member
Someone said “Jewish music should move your soul, not your body”!November 10, 2009 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #793095ishbainanoshimParticipant
You are right. But what c/ we do?
On utube there’s a colored fellow singing Lipa’s Vhiskin loi meemeni etc. And he really gets into the song. I was watching and laughing. Then it struck me. This is the CHAZIRAI that appeals to THEM! How did it come to us?
BTW it’s not only music. We c/ use chizuk in a lot of other areas.
(Maybe we have to be mesaken ourselves, and HASHEM will do the rest. That’s the only solution I have. Otherwise It’s not possible).
Hashem YerachemNovember 10, 2009 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #793096anonymous mommyParticipant
I am in no way saying that I like most of the music out there, but who are we to judge?
And more importantly, who are we to say what kind of music makes people happy?
Music — in all of its forms, albeit playing instruments, singing, or simply listening — is such a spiritual thing. If someone finds spirituality in a “techno” song or anything that we might think is not “Jewish”, are you going to say, “I’m sorry, but there is no spirituality in that music. Too bad for you!”
In today’s day and age, there are so many people falling by the wayside, going off the derech and turning to any form of spirituality that they can find. Why would you want to limit the music that is out there and thereby possibly limit the Jewish people who are turned on to yiddishkeit by it.
I know of numerous people who became frum from the music of Shlomo Carlebach. I personally can’t stand his music. But its music. And its a gift that Hashem gave to us. TO ALL OF US! And its not our job to take it away from anyone. Even if they can’t carry a tune, its still a gift from Hashem, to enjoy.November 10, 2009 9:15 pm at 9:15 pm #793098shaatraMember
I used to listen to secular music but stopped about two years ago. I don’t like CRAZY ROCKY jewish music I like the regular- yaakov shweky, baruch levine, itzik eshel, meydad tasa… And let me tell you, if they get ‘banned’ you don’t know how many people will stop listening to frum music. If you don’t like the really rocky music then DONT LISTEN TO IT!!!! Stop trying to change EVERYTHING!November 10, 2009 9:49 pm at 9:49 pm #793099Mirm32Member
Someone said that Jewish Music is supposed to move your soul, not your body.
So what do we say about Dovid Hamelech, who moved his body in joy in front of the Shechina. His wife gave him mussar, and for that she died in childbirth.
In Likutei Moharan, Torah Resh Peh Beis, he points out that we should be looking for nekudos tovos, good points, even in resha’im, for thru that you give them zechus, and help them do teshuva, and it helps you! Even finding the good points in ourselves is essential, and will ultimately bring the geulah Sheleimah bekarov!
So yes, the music may be jarring to some, and it may feel uncomfortable, but lets try to see that they are listening to Jewish lyrics (the goyish lyrics are often terrible, not like it used to be in the 60s and 70s), and proud enough to say that Jewish Music is GOOD.
Azamra l’elokai be’odi!!!November 10, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm #793101BemusedParticipant
“The tune usually used for “Maoz Tzur” is a German tune used by none other than Martin Luther HaRasha for Christian hymns”
I believe you, but that really ruined something for me. No, don’t feel bad that you told me, but that was really and unpleasant tidbit for me to read…
“So just what *is* “Jewish” music as opposed to “goyish” music?”
I’ve given this thought over the years. I *think* that we aren’t permitted to use tunes originally employed in places of Avodah Zarah or have other unclean origins, although I don’t know the parameters. For the rest of it, here is how I differentiate, for lack of better answers:
If the music makes the average listener move in an unbecoming, non-Tznius way, I categorize the music/song as “non-Jewish”, regardless of lyrics. If it moves one to dance with Tznius body movements, be inspired, or even if it is just “blah”, with Jewish lyrics/sung by Jews, I term them broadly as Jewish. I don’t need to feel personally inspired to accept the “Jewish” labeling for a song, but the red lines of unbecoming, non-Tznius body movements are my clear divider.November 10, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm #793102
Once again. All posts regarding skila niggunim are FACETIOUS! :)).November 10, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm #793104chanieMember
If you want to know what type of music the composer/arranger had in mind just look at the sheet music. At the very top on the left side, it states what it is. For the most part YBC is ROCK. http://www.theyeshivaboyschoir.com/sheetmusic/Yiru.PDF.
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