January 19, 2014 9:47 pm at 9:47 pm #611889
Okay, so now that I’m back for the duration, I may as well start a useless thread. So here it is.
I was looking on the YWN main page at the Mailbag and there was a letter about copying music without paying. Setting aside that topic (I could talk about it all day, and did, actually, to try out for debate team), there was one comment on there that got a whole new train of thought chugging along.
January 16, 2014 at 10:06 am
Not really adressing the main issue of the article, I must say thet most of the so called jewish music has the same rocky beat as the goyish music. Adding jewish words does not make a song Jewish!
Which of course got me thinking (and responding), okay, then, what does? The comment would imply that the “rocky beat” makes it “not Jewish”- why?
I’m making this open-ended because honestly, I know this is not a new topic but I’m still curious what people have to say in general.
What do you think makes something Jewish or not Jewish musically?January 19, 2014 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm #999865
What it is? It’s a topic that closes the thread. Watch…January 20, 2014 12:04 am at 12:04 am #999866
I know what Jewish bread, Jewish cheese, Jewish cooking, and Jewish milk is. Although I’m not an expert in Shulchan Aruch, I can’t say I know what Jewich music is nor do I care (unless someone can come up a souce).
Of course there is acceptable and non-acceptable music but it’s not determined by Jewishness.January 20, 2014 12:09 am at 12:09 am #999867HaLeiViParticipant
What is Jewish clothing?January 20, 2014 12:10 am at 12:10 am #999868🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
Dash – love it!January 20, 2014 12:19 am at 12:19 am #999869WIYMember
How about instead of labeling it Jewish and not Jewish try labeling it neshama music and not neshama music, makes it a bit easier to figure out what belongs where. Or music that brings you closer to Hashem and makes you feel closer to Hashem vs music that doesn’t or chas veshalom takes you away.January 20, 2014 4:58 am at 4:58 am #999870
Little Froggie: Trust me, I’m watching.
Unfortunately, I don’t foresee it getting that exciting, based on the trajectory it’s been so far taking.
My only point, which seems to be an opinion shared by those of the CR that bothered posting, is that that comment is kind of wrong. Well, not wrong, but woefully incomplete.
WIY: I agree, though not everyone knows what’s good for his/her neshama. Apparently for rebmoish, if it has a “rocky beat” it’s inherently bad. According to one prominent rav and mashpia I’ve gotten the chance to know, so is classical music. I seriously have to ask him about that one.
I admit to not having been there, but my sister heard a shiur saying that there are three types of music- Shem, Cham and Yafes. While I had some serious issues with the TYPES of music the speaker put in each category, the concept seems to make sense- dividing music into beneficial, harmful, and just plain purty. What works for you?
Dash: What is this Jewish cheese? What have I been missing?
*I NEED JEWISH CHEESE FOR MY LASAGNA*January 20, 2014 5:21 am at 5:21 am #999871
I’m Jewish. Music I play is Jewish.January 20, 2014 5:49 am at 5:49 am #999872
Dash: What is this Jewish cheese? What have I been missing?
*I NEED JEWISH CHEESE FOR MY LASAGNA*
I hope the mods allow this link through.January 20, 2014 1:39 pm at 1:39 pm #999873Shopping613 🌠Participant
So, I do agree with this guy, like look at ___________ new album that just came out. All the tunes were computerized and rocky and just didn’t have a refined feel to it.
Yes fast songs CAN be refined!!!! Go to a wedding, the music there is fast and refined, not like rap songs and the such…EX. nanach style, or ___ style….
They can give inspiration to make a jewish song….
So what is a ggod jewish song????????
– Kosher lyrics, not just stam, something with no point, like about getting drunk or something. Lyrics that you can feel for and affect your avodas Hashem
– A lively or slow refined tune. Something that hits the neshoma by either making you cry or dance. Not rap, computerized songs, not songs that sound like they were made up at a Rodeo or something.
– A feeling, songs have feelings, no, not an angry feeling, whatever the composer was thinking of or expressing in his music outwardly or not can be seen. You just have to look.January 20, 2014 2:01 pm at 2:01 pm #999874
Classical music is only inherently bad if the neshama of the composer was immoral. Otherwise it’s fine to listen to. Many of the songs by Jewish singers, however, have been copied, adapted from or completely ripped off non-Jewish pop songs, some of which are very low indeed. Unfortunately I do know the originals of some of these songs. Aside from having been copied from non-Jewish music, the act of copying the music itself is an aveira (stealing, since they have not asked the original singer’s permission) and does not show a good moral character on the part of these Jewish singers. Therefore, going by the same argument that some hold for classical music, this music would also be considered ‘not Jewish’.
Writersoul, you have really got me started on a pet peeve!January 20, 2014 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm #999875NaftushMember
Layning is Jewish music.January 20, 2014 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #999876akupermaParticipant
Jewish music is the music that Jews like. Frum Jews have their own styles and preferences, and they tend to be influenced, often indirectly, by the local goyim (e.g. a hasidic nigun based on a 19th century waltz, which they probably heard even though it is unlikely any hasidim ever danced to a waltz).January 20, 2014 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #999877000646Participant
Jewish music is music by Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen of course.January 20, 2014 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #999878☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
(stealing, since they have not asked the original singer’s permission)
AFAIK, it’s legally considered a parody, and is permitted. They may owe a small amount of money to the copyright holder, but so few copies of these album are sold, that the amount is very small, and the copyright owners don’t really care. Even if they do, not paying them is still not as bad as stealing, which has a much harsher connotation.January 20, 2014 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #999879DaMosheParticipant
Jewish music is music whose mother was Jewish.January 20, 2014 5:38 pm at 5:38 pm #999880
You cannot call them parodies (unless it’s Gershon Veroba, whose parodic songs have a point to them) since a parody is making fun of something. These singers have heard a song, used the tune and put in their own words. It’s not necessarily gneivas mamon, it’s more like gneivas daas, since the original music was someone else’s idea.January 20, 2014 5:39 pm at 5:39 pm #999881
And even if the copyright holders didn’t care, it does not say much for the moral standards of someone who is willing to pass off someone else’s music as his own.
How do you know permission was not secured?January 20, 2014 9:32 pm at 9:32 pm #999882
Dash: That reminds me of a speaker who literally called music kosher or treif. Like he was about to put a hechsher on. Though after the whole Star-K cell phone thing it would honestly not astonish me. (I honestly was thinking along the lines of, idunno, Matzah Brie/Matzarella or Rosh Havarti or [fill in bad Jewish cheese pun here].)
notasheep: I know that some producers definitely do secure permission. The only case I ever heard of where there was actually a ruckus about copying a motif without permission actually culminated with the non-Jewish group being sued because they themselves had copied the motif from another band…
My opinion is that it all comes down to personal taste. A specific tempo or genre means nothing- in the end, all Jewish music is derivative. I’ve been absolutely STUNNED by the types of music some people have found inspiring and others could say the same about the music I listen to- I’m not going to judge.January 20, 2014 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm #999883
dash if you agree that certain music is unacceptable, what are the guidelines?
and cant a reason for certain music being unacceptable be for jewish reasons? if i wasnt jewish id definitely listen to songs that were “non-acceptable”January 22, 2014 1:40 pm at 1:40 pm #999884Shopping613 🌠Participant
After a certain amount of years after the composer had died it is not copywritted anymore. That’s what I was told…January 22, 2014 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm #999885
I am not so sure that James Horner (titanic theme) or Howard Shore (lord of the rings) were ever asked permission. For those of you who know the latter, the second track from the first film is copied note for note as the introduction for ‘sameach’, albeit with a different tempo and the last bar changed to lead into the song.January 22, 2014 2:39 pm at 2:39 pm #999886jbaldy22Member
there is something called a mechanical license which is relatively inexpensive. I am sure people use that. one site I saw charges $15 per song plus a 0.0175 royalty fee per copy. In the non-jewish world creating “covers” of songs is a big industry.
on another topic gezel hagoy has different halachos then gezel yisroel. probably not something to discuss on a publicly searchable forum.
I am not sure where this whole you need to be inspired from the music thing came from its a nice idea but not rooted in halacha as far as I know. if anyone here has a mareh makom for that would love to see it.January 22, 2014 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #999887Sam2Participant
notasheep: “Parody” in music doesn’t mean making fun of. It means copying the song with different lyrics.
Shopping: That’s not true. Copyrights expire after a certain period of time, whether or not the holder is still alive.
Jbaldy: Wrong. Gezel Akum is the exact same as Gezel Yisrael. Also, the music being inspirational is one of the (weak) Heterim for listening to music altogether.January 22, 2014 3:48 pm at 3:48 pm #999888👑RebYidd23Participant
Music has to have meaning. Once you establish that, you can simply judge whether that meaning is appropriate.January 22, 2014 6:45 pm at 6:45 pm #999889miritchkaMember
First of all: How would one even know of the non-Jewish songs?! (please take that lightly. It was not meant to offend anyone.) The reason I’m asking is like this: I dont listen to non-Jewish music in my home and i dont hear it at relatives or friends either. When a new CD comes out (by a Jewish singer, obviously) that I think I will enjoy, I buy it and listen to it. I’m not familiar with what originated as a non-Jewish tune and what did not. I will not deny that I was hooked/moved to certain songs that I later found out had a tune that originated from a non-Jewish composer. For me, I’m still hooked/moved and I cannot see anything wrong with it because I dont know what the tune was originally written for! I hear it as a “lebedige” or “hartzige” tune!January 22, 2014 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #999890oomisParticipant
I have heard operas that brought me closer to Hashem, I have heard so-called Jewish niggunim that had the opposite effect. Music is a very subjective thing, and what enhances one person’s spiritual emotions, may not have the same effect on someone else.
I love chazzanus. My dad O”H was a chazzan (among many other talents)and I grew up hearing it all the time, and have a great appreciation for its beauty. Nevertheless, only one of my children loves chazzanus, and he davens for the omud professionally for the Yomim Noraim. Not one of my other children particularly enjoys hearing this form of music, even to the point where they cannot be on the same floor of the house when he is practicing before Rosh Hashana. Zaydie is probably turning over in his grave at what I just wrote.
I think that music should be enjoyed (or not) on its own merits.January 22, 2014 7:30 pm at 7:30 pm #999891👑RebYidd23Participant
Music has little to do with religion.January 22, 2014 7:49 pm at 7:49 pm #999892
“Parody” in music doesn’t mean making fun of. It means copying the song with different lyrics.
But in regards to copyright “Parody” is a general English term, not a musical term.
The heart of any parodist’s claim to quote from existing material is the use of some elements of a prior author’s composition to create a new one that, at least in part, comments on that author’s work.January 22, 2014 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #999893
theres a pamphlet “the torah is not hefker” that came out a while ago about this which brings rishonim and recent gedoylim. Be careful you might not like what you see (maizid shoygeg type). Also it seemed to be coming from a radical to me and im yeshivish-ishJanuary 23, 2014 4:09 am at 4:09 am #999894jbaldy22Member
I am not wrong. For example masig gvul does not apply which has a huge nafka mina in regards to intellectual property which is the question at hand. additionally prius chovos is different (unrelated to the question at hand). depending on whether it is deoraisa or derabanan there will be additional nafka minas. I guess I wasnt clear – I was referring to the subject of stealing which is referred to in laymans terms as “gezel”. I am not so sure that geneivas daas in that situation would be an issue either or that this specific situation would qualify as geneivas daas.January 23, 2014 4:35 am at 4:35 am #999895charliehallParticipant
“Jewish music is music whose mother was Jewish.”
The music can also convert in front of a beit din of three, accepting all the mitzvot applicable to music, with immersion in a mikveh (hopefully the ink is water-resistant), and with a hatafat dam brit if the music is male.January 23, 2014 3:39 pm at 3:39 pm #999896
miritchka, whether or not you know the original songs were non-Jewish, most of today’s pop music is written by people with exceedingly low moral standards. Simply putting Jewish words to these tunes does not make them any holier.January 23, 2014 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #999897
notasheep: As miritchka said in her post, so what? When she originally listened to the song she didn’t know where the tune was from and she was still inspired or moved. If the song were inherently tamei because of its source, wouldn’t she theoretically be able to tell?January 23, 2014 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #999898gavra_at_workParticipant
Seeing how much attention YWN gave to one “Kanye West” when he did Teshuva after saying Jews have all the “connections”,
Is his music now “Jewish”? 🙂
Does doing a cover of “Genghis Khan” (as well as many others, see Wikipedia) make that singer’s music non-Jewish? How about Bob Dylan? The Beastie Bochrim? The Bach? (I challenge anyone here to say the Bach wasn’t Kosher) (as I am listening to Das Wohltemperierte Klavier). Louie Armstrong singing about Shadrach? Shackles (Praise You) by Mary Mary? Black Hattitude?
I have to agree with Oomis here. Whatever brings you closer to Hashem within the realm of Halacha is “Jewish”, no matter who sings it.January 23, 2014 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm #999899
Writersoul, if the original song for the music was one full of profanity then it is inherently tamei. I don’t think it would be obvious to someone listening who has never heard the original but the fact remains that just listening to a tune that was written for impure lyrics, even if Jewish words have been put to it, will damage – whether the listener realises it or not. We once had a class in sem where our teacher (wife of a well-known rav) taught us that music goes into our souls, not just our ears. I agree with oomis: because those operas you talk about were written mostly by religious, G-d-fearing Christians who had a sense of morals (although not all of them did), whereas some Jewish music comes from contemporary non-Jewish music written by completely immoral people. And whether or not the words have been changed, the melody will still make it’s impression.
I have a challenge, for all those who know Phantom of the Opera: try to put Jewish words to Point of No Return, and see if it sounds any more kosher (have to confess that I do like POTO, though).January 24, 2014 4:10 am at 4:10 am #999900
notasheep: I typed up two whole responses and then decided to change my tack on this one.
First of all, I’m not sure I entirely see what you’re saying. I think there’s a gestalt element to music and I’m not sure how that fits into play with what you’re saying.
It all depends on what kind of impurity you mean. Can miritchka (or anyone, I really don’t mean to use her as an example) be impacted by impurity even as she feels uplifted? Is this some kind of unconscious tarnish? If it is, then maybe, but we really don’t know. It’s not something we can measure. It’s a bit like sechar va’onesh in that respect- it’s hard to gauge in olam hazeh. And if this is true, the ramifications in our lives in general are of a much greater scope than just music.
If it’s a real, conscious feeling of “I’m unclean,” then I think that would be more from associating the Jewish song with its treif counterpart than from the inherent tamei aspect of the tune. Your example from Phantom relies on the assumption that you already know the original song- play an instrumental recording to people who don’t know the musical and the thoughts of tumah will never even approach their minds. If you listen to the brand new hit single “Shema Yisrael” and think, oh, that sounds like that song I heard in Forever 21, that would rain buckets on anyone’s parade. But I find it hard to believe that it would TANGIBLY impact someone who had no concept of the original music.
You could very well be right that some music has an inherently harmful impact- but that brings up a question of which and why that I’d rather not get into at 11:04 pm. Basically, I’m just wondering whether such a blanket statement can really be made.
I agree with oomis in a completely different way- I don’t think that there is an objective way to measure pure or impure music. I’ve heard Piano Guys covers of songs from who knows where that have touched me deep down and I’ve heard nice frum music that leaves me cold. Shira is a special way of connecting to Hashem, and just as we all connect to Hashem in unique ways, we use unique shira.January 24, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm #999901WIYMember
Music has a lot to do with religion. Think David Hamelech. Think nevuah. Think leviim in Beis hamikdash. Think the women at the yam suf. Music is meant to uplift you and help you transcend. I won’t go on a long drasha here.January 24, 2014 1:54 pm at 1:54 pm #999902
Writersoul, my point with Phantom is that the melodies of many songs were written with the intent of the original words as well, so the music style reflects that, even if you don’t know the original lyrics. And because the music itself is infused with impurity, then is does have an impact, whether or not the listener realises it. It is a little complicated. Blanket statements can be made in some cases, for instance the whole genre of rock or rap music. Rock is associated with drug culture, among other things. Rap is also often associated with drug and gang culture. Is this the kind of music we want to be copying (even if the melody was not ‘borrowed’)?January 24, 2014 6:31 pm at 6:31 pm #999903Jersey JewParticipant
A friend of mine quoted his rebbe by saying, “music that causes your backside to sway or swivel, is NOT jewish music.”
That being said, throughout time our music has influences from the ayno yehudi world. Kf you dont believe it. Tell me where your zmiros nigunim come from.January 25, 2014 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #999904
Throughout time people were more religious and had more morals as well. Today’s culture, especially the music scene, has sunk so low that any ‘Jewish’ music influenced by modern pop music cannot be called Jewish.January 26, 2014 12:34 am at 12:34 am #999905shanak10Member
Can someone please tell me how to start a new topic? i would like to know if a according to halacha a married woman is allowed to have her own private bank account. Thanks.January 26, 2014 4:08 am at 4:08 am #999906
notasheep: I think there’s just a fundamental disagreement here. I think that music is a spiritual thing that can be influenced by the performer and the writer- not just one and not just the other. Some genres I think are tasteless (rap is one of them- I heard this frum rapper on Aish and I still didn’t like it, incidentally, I think it’s just a matter of opinion) and some I don’t, but I don’t think that any music is inherently anything.
According to a recent Mishpacha interview with Yochi Briskman, Jewish music (or rather, what’s accepted as “frum” music) is perpetually 20 years behind the times and we’re apparently in the middle of 90s soft rock or something similar. Yes, all music is derivative, or at least all of the music we’re able to produce without ruach hakodesh or something similar. There’s the whole famous thing about how chassidishe niggunim are from Polish marches. Everything comes from somewhere- and that somewhere is not always the most tahor of places- but it can become something special.
I’m holding back here from saying things I may regret, so this may sound incomplete, but in a nutshell I just don’t think that the impurity of music is as clear-cut as I personally have been told and taught.January 26, 2014 4:22 am at 4:22 am #999907January 26, 2014 5:15 am at 5:15 am #999908
big rebbes may have known which niggunim to take from goyim, and/or howJanuary 26, 2014 9:52 am at 9:52 am #999909
Writersoul: please don’t try to tell me that if a prominent rav took certain tunes and changed the words and sung it it would make the tune any holier. Maybe you really just don’t completely get what I am saying, that tuma is inherent in the music itself, and the words or singer can’t change that. As someone who really feels music and who understands just how deeply music can penetrate, I can honestly say that I know exactly what my sem teacher was talking about, and not just saying some chumra nonsense. And I have to say that the vast majority of modern Jewish music does not connect to me or resonate or make me feel anything. Music that makes me feel something special – now that is what I listen to.January 26, 2014 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm #999910
No, I get exactly what you meant from the start. I’ve heard it in class too- I’m just not sure that a) I see it and b) it’s so clear cut.
I play an instrument and I love music with a passion- I definitely know what it means to feel something in music and to be impacted. But by what you’re saying, the frum music that presumably was composed with the best of intentions would be holy, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t that automatically cause that special feeling?
I just think that there’s an element of subjectivity as far as music is concerned- I’m sure there are people who are positively affected by the current Jewish music you don’t like. (And when I was talking about current Jewish music being from the nineties, my point wasn’t that it suddenly happened- ALL music comes from other music and the Jewish music from the nineties probably came from non-Jewish seventies music for all I know. Music is created through inspiration but even more so from context- within the context of what a composer knows is how he/she becomes inspired to create something new within that framework.)
So why is it that to you some Jewish music is meaningful and other Jewish music is not? It’s subjective, no?
There are only so many combinations of notes, so many beats, so many genres and styles. For example, I personally think that 90% of the frum music now sounds exactly the same- I’d welcome some different-sounding music. I don’t think that means taking an inappropriate song and using Hashem Hu HaElokim as the lyrics- it means incorporating all different types of music to holistically create something new that can create that special feeling.
I know that there’s one frum song that I heard CONSTANTLY at camp that just sounded wannabe pop. What was the point? It was trying to appease everyone. But creating something new, different and kadosh- that I can see.January 26, 2014 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #999911mench7513Member
In my opinion “jewish music” has to do with the content of the song. You could say that you are aloud to listen to any song ( even non jewish)as long as it is appropriate ( the topic and the voice) but you would surely come by a inappropriate song and “by mistake” listen to it And acually like it and then you would be hooked. thats why most people recommend only to listen to jewish music because then there is almost no chance that you would come upon a inappropriate song.
If you say that this day in age the jewish music is too rocky then suit yourself and dont listen to it. but dont go around and say that todays jewish music is not kosher. Because thats about the the music people like and these composers need to stay in buisness and instead criticizing all these artists and say thank you for making your music for us to enjoy.January 26, 2014 7:35 pm at 7:35 pm #999912
Writersoul: there, you’ve said it yourself. The Jewish music that is composed with real feeling brings out real feeling in me. But there are some songwriters who will just take any words from tanach and put them to any style music cause they want to sell a good song. Don’t get me started on zochreini nah (the catchy, fast one, not Miami Boys’), but that is a case in point. You cannot call that song ‘Jewish’. What I was talking about was purposely copying a style of music because it’s fast/beaty/catchy etc, not composing original music that may sound like another style. When the melody fits the words and you know that some thought went into that, then that song can be called Jewish.
Mench, don’t you think the way some Jewish teenagers jump up and down at ‘Jewish’ music concerts because of the style of music is just wrong, and smacks of pop fanculture?January 26, 2014 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm #999913mench7513Member
Notasheep: would you rather those kids jumping around at a non-Jewish concert?
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