Jewish Music (is it either)?

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  • #588015

    Yussel
    Participant

    I would like to ask the following question:

    Which is better from a “Jewish/Torah” perspective; listening to a “jewish” CD with music based on secular-rock/pop styles with hebrew words, or listening to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, etc. ?

    It seems to me that the so-called Jewish Music of today is neither “jewish” or music. I don’t see how it is even as good for the “neshama” as a Beethoven piano sonata, or a Mozart Symphony or quartet.

    anyway, that’s just my 2 cents.

    #642584

    Joseph
    Participant

    Listening to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven for sure.

    #642585

    lesschumras
    Participant

    I think one thing we can agree upon is that there is nothing inherently “Jewish” about music ( I’m not talking about lyrics ). Music has always been a product of the surrounding culture that we’ve lived in. The music that many Litvaks would define as being Jewish( Eastern European based ) would be totally foriegn to my brother in law ( his family is from Iraq ) and my friends ( Bukharin Jews ). The Jewish music at their simchas is totally different than what we are used to but it doesn’t make it not Jewish.

    Differnt generations have differnt tastes; it doesn’t make it right or wrong. I have a friend who lives in Har Nof and has been at chareidi weddings where the musicians are baale tshuva. Often times the people don’t realize that the tunes they are dancing to are taken from the band’s former life and applied to their current one. Good music is good music.

    #642586

    torahis1
    Member

    nothing Jewish about Music?!

    that is absurd!

    how about the leviim in the bais hamikdash playing the harps etc.?

    what about david hamelech playing for shaul?

    #642587

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Let me claify. There is no one type of music that is can be defined as “Jewish” music to the exclusion of all others

    #642588

    cantoresq
    Member

    I posted these comments on another thread:

    On this topic, there is only one form of authentic Jewish music, nusach, which is based upon the trope systems used in reading from the Torah, the Prophets and the Megillot. But even that music, which is essentially the pentatonic major and minor scales, from its literal inception in the First Temple era assumed the structure of the prevailing music of the day, the Greek tetrachords. Indeed Jews modified those tetrachord patterns to fit the pentatonic nature of their music. But trope and it’s extension, nusach are the only true Jewish forms of music. Leib Glantz demonstrated how the ever ubiquitous “freigish” nusach, or Ahava Rabah, as it is technically termed, is in fact one the most recent additions to our musical system probably coming from the near east well after the destruction of the Second Commonwealth. But since we’ve so completely incorporated it, it is definitively Jewish. Even Nusach and also chazzanut, the natural development of nusach, has been subject to secular influences over time. The pentaonic scales and the tetrachords of old became subject to major and minor systems of scale structure. The sonata, the minuet, the waltz, even the fugue, have been incorporated into our sacred music. Sadly, oh so sadly, even rock and roll and cheesy folk music styles are now heard in our schuls. But it’s silly for anyone to ever believe that there has been no outside influence on our musical heritage. the trick is in knowing what’s hitorically Jewish, and what isn’t.

    #642589

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    how about the leviim in the bais hamikdash playing the harps etc.?

    what about david hamelech playing for shaul?

    Can you reproduce them?

    I think it’s safe to say that he was referring to the Jewish music that is available today. There is nothing “inherently Jewish” about that. He obviously wasn’t considering the music you brought up becuase it’s not available to us.

    The Wolf

    #642590

    Yussel
    Participant

    In view of the posts from lesschumras and cantoresq, my question remains: Perhaps our “neshamas” would benefit more from Bach or Beethoven than from Shwecky or MBD.

    #642591

    Mayan_Dvash
    Participant

    I find myself drawn to the music of the albums that came out in the late 70s and early 80s. I think it’s because there was less technology then so when one produced a song there was substance as opposed to SOME (not all) songs today which are hollow shells surrounded by technology. [Another reason might be “Girsa D’Yankesa” — that a person has more of a kesher to things and events in his younger years.]

    #642592

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    cantoresq…your posting begs the question…Which trope do you accept as nussach? The litvishe trope? the German trope? The Galitzianer trope? The Yemenite trope? (Probably the most authentic one)

    In truth, none of us even how what they sang in the Bais Hamikdash and what was music two thousand years ago. And nussach changes all the time but them, we have argued over that in another posting….

    #642593

    abcd1234
    Participant

    When “the big event” was banne one of my techers handed out several articles about it and spent time discussing music, she mentioned how a girl was texting her friend and mentioned that she had a certain disney song and since the ban she was debating if she should listen to it and was asking for her friends “two cents” her friend replied that she should listen to it if the music would bring her closer to Hashem and make her a better person in any way… the sole purpose of music is meant to bring us closer to Hashem. just because a song does not originate from a jewish source if it will someway somehow improve your yiras Hashem (i know this is highly unlikely, but i guess anything is possible) than i dont see the problem with it. Bear in mind that still today there are singers, composers who are writing completely new tunes that did NOT originate from a goyish source.

    #642594

    cantoresq
    Member

    cantoresq…your posting begs the question…Which trope do you accept as nussach? The litvishe trope? the German trope? The Galitzianer trope? The Yemenite trope? (Probably the most authentic one)

    In truth, none of us even how what they sang in the Bais Hamikdash and what was music two thousand years ago. And nussach changes all the time but them, we have argued over that in another posting….

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Firs of all, I really am limiting my comments to ashkenazi nusach. I’m not very well versed in the development of Sephardic chazzanut much beyond a very superficial exposure to the makamot. But to answer your question, first off, there is remarkably little difference between say, the Lithuanian trope system and the German one. Secondly, I refer you to the seminal research of Leib Glantz and Abraham Idelsohn before him into the origins of trope, their relation to Greek tetrachords, the distintcly Jewish adaptations of those terachords, the expansion of trope into nusach, with the addition of additional tetrachords, and the expansion of nusach into chazzanut. Indeed we do not know precisely how the shira sounded. That tradition has been lost to time. But we do know the basis for that shira and can trace how that basis developed into Ashkenazi chazzanut. For a good book on the topic, I suggest you read the recently published The Man Who Spoke to G-d; festschrifft puvlished by Jerry Glantz in tribute to this father Chazzan Leib Glantz.

    #642595

    Think BIG
    Member

    I am not going to say that this kind of music is ideal. Music is a complex subject about which much has been discussed among the gedolei mussar. Music affects your neshama, that’s for sure, and so some will go so far as to say that even composers like those you mentioned, their neshomos went into their music, and it affects yours if you listen…(I have certainly heard that in regard to Yanni)

    But i want to give you a perspective to consider, and if you don’t like it, just chuck it. abcd mentioned the big event. Lipa was recently interviewed and he made a point that I thought was interesting. He said, (something to this effect) “people nowadays want what’s new. I am giving them what they want. It doesn’t make sense to deny them that because they will just go somewhere else for it.”

    While I definitely see that that line of reasoning is basically being metaher the tamey, and excusing themselves for it, the fact is that many young people struggle with the nisayon of listening to non-jewish music, which is infinitely worse (imho) than shwekey or mbd. If you give them kosher (or at least “jewish” entertainment that has beat, that will get them dancing to jewish words rather than non-jewish words, I would think there is merit in producing these albums.

    Having said that, if you think or feel that listening to these albums effects your neshama badly, dont listen to them.

    btw, how many of you out there do not listen to Shwekey??

    #642596

    cantoresq
    Member

    What’s a Shwekey?

    #642597

    lesschumras
    Participant

    to Think Big,

    I agree with you. No two people are the same. If the music moves you to Hashem , listen to it, if it affects your neshama badly, then don’t. By the way, the assumption I’m making here is that regardless of the beat, it’s been adapted to Hebrew lyrics/themes.

    #642598

    speaking about music

    if any of u listen to nachum segal


    they played yesterday a new song from a new singer yossi mayer—-i’ve got to say it sounds nice

    #642599

    FIDY23
    Member

    I personally listen to goyish music. What I have noticed is that many “Jewish” songs sound very similar to the songs I frequently listen to. One specific example is the famous simcha song “mitzva gedola” from Piamenta, which is the EXACT music as a kol isha song. I don’t know who copied who, but I do find it hard to dance to that song at a simcha when the other lewd lyrics play in my head.

    #642600

    eichnaflu
    Member

    to abcd123,

    Even if todays composers do compose their own songs, they are still very much influenced by the non jewish music world.

    #642601

    jphone
    Member

    “Jewish Music (is it either)?”

    I’m not sure of the answer, but I am sure of one thing, whatever it is, it is certainly loud.

    #642602

    Mayan_Dvash
    Participant

    …it certainly is loud. There are bands who do listen to your request (especially if you’re the baal simcha) to tone down or lower the volume.

    #642603

    Shalom_S
    Member

    @fidy23: The version you refer to is not original either; Stella Soleil adapted/translated it from a song originally performed by one Tarkan Tevetoglu, who is male, so Kol Isha doesn’t apply. (I’ve seen a translation of the original Turkish lyrics, and while not exactly appropriate, they weren’t quite as rude as the ones Ms Soleil sang. See wikipedia d.h. “??mar?k” for the list of cover artists, including Piamenta. No, there aren’t supposed to be dots above those i’s.)

    #642604

    The Big One
    Participant

    Much of what masquerades as “Jewish Music” these days, is neither Jewish nor music.

    #642607

    Samown
    Member

    Well my 2 cents (before inflation) is that there are 3 types of ‘Jewis Music’:

    1)”Music for Jews”- not necessarily Jewish Music but Kosher enuogh for

    Yidden to listen to.

    2)”Jewish Music”- Good, Geshmake, Yiddishe music

    3)Secular influenced “Jewish Music”- Basicly Goyish nigunim with replaced

    lyrics

    #642608

    seeallsides
    Participant

    it’s actually pretty funny – you spend years singing asher bora – and then once you’re listening for traffic and the news fades out with the tune you always thought was jewish – with using english songs and making new lyrics – it’s like the more obscure the goyish song is, the less chance you have of being ‘busted’ – so you just have to make sure not to use english songs that kind of made it to the jewish world – if it’s english and no one heard of it – you’re probly safe – so i guess it’s not such a black and white science – halvay we should have R’ Dovid Hamelech with his harp, and the Levi’im – true pure music that is one with the neshoma! b’mheira b’yamenu!

    #642611

    22OldGold
    Participant

    Music affects the soul. So listening to Beethoven is probably better then listening to Matisyahu. I think Achar or someone in the Gemara that became an apikorus, was because he always was singing Greek songs. If he was such a big talmud chacham and music affected him so much then Kal V’chomer us.

    But do the words make a difference? Like if it’s a Pasuk that is being sung to the tune of a Beetles song, is it better to listen to the original or the Jewish version?

    #642612

    just me
    Participant

    Samown, define “good, geshmaked Jewish music”. Chazanus sounds just like opera. I guess you can’t call THAT ggJm. About 50% of negunim from davening comes from R’Shlomo Carlbach. Many people don’t call him fit to listen to either. Many old Chasidic negunim come from goyish influences. I have to tell you that the traditional Chasal Sidur Pessach really sounds to me like a drinking song.

    22OldGold, I beleive Achar became an apikorus after learning kabala when he wasn’t on that level. I don’t remember learning that music had anything to do with it.

    #642613

    Joseph
    Participant

    Inappropriate music undoubtedly negatively affects the soul.

    #642614

    an open book
    Participant

    22oldgold: why do you think beethoven is better than matisyahu? (not arguing, just wondering what the reason is)

    #642615

    cantoresq
    Member

    Just me you have either listened to very little chazzanut or very little opera, maybe very little of both. But you don’t know what you’re talking about when you say Chazzanut sounds like opera.

    #642617

    just me
    Participant

    Cantoresq, while I am not a great fan of either opera or chazanus, I think that there is a similarity to them. Not all the operatic songs, but some of the great arias definatally have the same elements are chazanic music. Yossele Rosenblatt was offered a job in the Metropolitan Opera and refused it for obvious reasons but the voice control that he had is what would have made him a star tenor. Chazanus is different than opera, but it is more similar to opera than any other type of music.

    I hope you don’t feel that I am knocking chazanus with this comparison, but you have to admit that the ability to hold notes is what makes both type of singers great. You don’t usually find this type of singin in other music forms.

    #642618

    22OldGold
    Participant

    an open book – I’m not sure but it just seems that way. Why do you think otherwise?

    just me – I’m not sure if it was Achar. I don’t remember who, it was someone’s Rebbi, but it’s said because of “Tzemer Yevani”, that it never left his lips and he was always reading Greek literature.

    #642619

    kapusta
    Participant

    22OG, you learn gemarah?

    *kapusta*

    #642620

    an open book
    Participant

    22oldgold: do you mean because beethoven has no words? because you said music, not lyrics. & the difference between the music is what? one is by a christian (does that make it better?) & the other isn’t?

    #642621

    moish01
    Member

    she’s right. there are a few reasons and that’s one of them.

    #642622

    an open book
    Participant

    moish: i’m confused – who are you agreeing with??

    #642623

    kapusta
    Participant

    AOB, took the words right from my keyboard 😉

    *kapusta*

    #642624

    moish01
    Member

    22OG. he was the one that was reading greek books.

    he also became and apikores because of the story with his bris and because he was on of the four to enter pardes and because he saw a boy die after listening to his father and doing shiluach hakan. (did i get them all??)

    #642625

    moish01
    Member

    my question is, i’m sure he wasn’t the only one to read greek literature. you don’t think rambam did? and a whole lot of other rabbis?

    i guess i could answer that and say that the other things all come into play. but then why are we commenting on his reading greek stuff altogether?

    #642626

    an open book
    Participant

    moish: ok thanks. i wouldn’t know, i only know of the last story. & i never heard of this guy before either.

    #642627

    Samown
    Member

    Ach you guys got it all wrong, in Mesachtos Kiddushin Daf Lamed Tes (I think) it says that Achar became an Apikores becuase he saw a boy doing two Mitzvos that the Torah promises a long life (Sheluach HaKan and Kibud Av) getting killed.

    Another reason is that he saw the tongue of Chutzpas HaMaturginin (a big tzaddik)

    getting dragged on mud by the Romans (when they murdered him). So Achar said “The tongue that says pearls of Torah gets dragged on the mud!” So he sinned.

    Check it up I think I’m right.

    Also arent we getting a bit off topic?

    #642628

    moish01
    Member

    samown – there are a million reasons. how about his bris?

    AOB, you never heard of acher?? rabbi meir’s rebbe (even after he became an apikores)

    his real name was elisha ben avuya.

    #642629

    kapusta
    Participant

    moish, news flash, some of us don’t learn gemarah.

    *kapusta*

    #642630

    an open book
    Participant

    moish: not that i remember…could be i about him but didn’t remember his name. is that whose talmid said about him “i ate the sweet inner fruit & threw away the bitter rind” or something? or am i mixing that up with someone totally different?

    i did hear about the long life thing, but it was on its own, he was not mentioned nor were the other reasons.

    #642631

    moish01
    Member

    kapusta, news flash: i learned less gemara than you did “historia”

    AOB, yeah so his talmid was Rabbi Meir. and yeah it says that about rabbi meir.

    #642632

    kapusta
    Participant

    moish, I wonder, in class maybe but actually internalizing (like paying attention) probably not.

    *kapusta*

    #642633

    moish01
    Member

    ha really? ok, maybe that could be true. when you learn gemara you can’t do that.

    #642634

    an open book
    Participant

    moish: ok, so that’s about all i know about him.

    but historia includes lots more than the time period of the gemara, so you probably learned more from that time. also probably more details.

    #642635

    moish01
    Member

    maybe yes, maybe no. I know random things and i don’t remember everything.

    #642636

    kapusta
    Participant

    AOB, historiah is a LOT more boring than I imagine gemarah would be. Do you pay attention to it? You’re better than me…

    *kapusta*

    #642637

    an open book
    Participant

    kapusta: it depends on the year & the teacher but usually not. but a few years ago my parents gave me sand & stars – this big 2 volume book of historia that i read once or twice. also sometimes interesting facts stay in my mind – like that thing about the bitter rind – i remember it but not who it’s about.

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