Anyone Else Worried About Today’s Frum Music?

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    As a musician, performer and composer, here is my take.

    Yes, every generation of music sounds different from the one before it. But if you listen to Jewish music, from nearly every composer, there are outside influences in it.

    Russian Jewish music and German Jewish music sounded like the cultures they were in, with a twist. The older American music was a bridge between the cantorial traditions of Europe, which also mirrored other societies, and American music. Carlebach and The Rabbis Sons are similar to folk music. Diaspora was similar to the folk Rock groups of their time, like Kansas. Jewish music of the 80s and 90s had a very heavy influence. Just look at the prevalence of horah music shortly following the Disco movement, which btw, has the same rhythm signature. Or the heavy use of horns from musicians who came up in the 70s, when horns were very popular. Many of the most popular Jewish songs of the last 30-40 years have elements of popular secular songs sprinkled throughout.

    What makes music Jewish isn’t the style, it’s the connection. If it connects you, speaks to you, inspires you, then it’s working for you. If it inspires someone else, then it works for them.

    I once asked an Adam gadol about going into music full time (I didn’t do it). He said two important things:
    1. If the oilam does something, we cannot say it’s assur. This was his answer to me about singing psukim, and performing for Stam events where many would hold music is assur.
    2. The only thing that matters is our connection to HKBH. You can sing the exact same song, and in one instance it’s a tefillah, and in another it’s a show. Nobody but the performer knows which it truly is. But if you are real and sincere, it will inspire others.


    I love good rock, rap, and EDM music, and there is no reason why Jewish music shouldn’t include those genres.

    They tend not to copy what’s actually good about a particular genre…
    For example, some guy going “Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey.” in the background.
    Who thought that was a great idea to import?!


    It doesn’t matter what the guy is saying as long as he’s following the right rhythm.


    I think the intent and words matter, the genre, not so much.
    music is not bad if it doesn’t inspire, as long as it doesn’t bring people down, who cares, that singer just won’t succeed.

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