Jews listening to non Jewish music

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  • #615748
    Daniell11
    Member

    Can Jews listen to non Jewish music? Suggestions please.

    #1121743
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Are you looking for suggestions on what to listen to? 🙂

    The Wolf (who doesn’t listen to any music, Jewish or not, these days)

    #1121744
    Letakein Girl
    Participant

    People say that after stopping to listen to nonjewish music for a while, they feel a difference inside of themselves- like they’re more pure.

    My opinion on the matter used to be that nonjewish music is awful and should be avoided at all costs, but lately I’ve pretty much only been listening to nonjewish music, and I don’t feel any further from Hashem as a result of it. I feel like as frum people, we are restricted in so many areas, and I’m not going to restrict myself unnecessarily in an area that is so hard for me. To do so would be to set myself up to be burnt out from frum life.

    That being said, I am in the process of researching what makes some people think that nonjewish music is bad for the neshama.

    #1121745
    Joseph
    Participant

    The Wolf (who doesn’t listen to any music, Jewish or not, these days)

    Wow, you hold the most stringent opinion.

    #1121746
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    LG, are the lyrics appropriate?

    #1121747
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Please define non jewish music.

    Is it, music composed by a non jew. This would include compositions by beethoven, bach, mozart and a number of the tunes played at many heimish simchas.

    Is it a reference to a song whose lyrics were written by a non jew, to be sung along to music composed by a non jew?

    Is it a song whose lyrics do not convey jewish values, or worse, promote non jewish values no matter who wrote them?

    #1121748
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Are there lyrics?

    #1121749
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    What is non Jewish music? 🙂

    #1121750
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wow, you hold the most stringent opinion.

    No, you’re wrong.

    The Wolf

    #1121751
    Letakein Girl
    Participant

    DY, that depends on what you consider appropriate.

    #1121752
    yehudayona
    Participant

    Joseph, I believe The Wolf is an aveil.

    #1121753
    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    LG: If you are interested in hearing my opnion on the matter I have much to say about it. I have asked many teachers, and advised many girls on the subject.

    #1121754
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    I believe The Wolf is an aveil.

    You, unlike the other gentleman, are correct.

    The Wolf

    #1121755
    Letakein Girl
    Participant

    Sure, S613. It’s always good to hear another perspective on things.

    #1121756
    Sam2
    Participant

    Joseph: You mean the actual Halachah?

    #1121757
    Avi K
    Participant

    Many tunes for zemirot come form non-Jewish tunes. It is well known that Rav Ovadia enjoyed the music of Um Kathoum until someone showed him her picture – then it became an isuue of kol isha.The Mishna Berura (53:82) says that only their religious tunes are prohibited. Of course, it goes without saying that if the lyrics contain nibbul peh or praise of idolatry they are prohibited.

    #1121758
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I know it when I hear it.

    #1121759
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    DY, that depends on what you consider appropriate.

    No, it depends on what Hashem considers appropriate. It, does not, though, depend exclusively on how the person listening thinks his or her neshomoh is affected or how much closer or further he or she thinks he or she is to or from Hashem.

    You might want to read “Through Music and Song: Music from a Torah Perspective” by Rabbi Elysha Sandler.

    #1121760
    Sam2
    Participant

    Avi K: That story is false. R’ Ovadiah knew what she looked like and still listened. He obviously considered it Muttar anyway.

    #1121761

    how many songs of todays generation from jewish singers are straight from the goyish singers with the words changed & they use jewish words?

    These songs are pure rocken music with a goyish taam & are destroying yiddishkeit & the kedusha of klal yisroel R”L.

    there’s a book someone put out of todays jewish music & what’s wrong with it & why it doesn’t belong in a jewish persons home or neshama

    #1121762
    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    In my opinion it does not matter what you consider Jewish or Non-Jewish. Everything in this world is a tool for us to go higher in ruchaniyut. Either something pushes you up or pushes you down-there is no in the middle. So obviously songs about love,boys, and kal vachomer worse things should not be listened to. But there are many songs with chizuk in it and do not involve any under linings of christianity, love, or worse. You need to judge for yourself what brings you higher. If a song does not bring you to serve your creator more than it isn’t good.

    A good way to test if a song is good is to listen to it, and daven 5 minutes later mincha.

    Are your thoughts pure? Can you concentrate? Do you feel it’s easier to talk to hashem?/

    #1121763
    Daniell11
    Member

    I mean by non Jewish music music that has non Jews singing it and having non Jewish words. Jewish music with Jewish Hebrew/ Yiddish words in it or of it has Jewish religious context.

    #1121764
    Daniell11
    Member

    And it says in the gemorah that r’ elozor listened to non Jewish music and he went off. If a great man like him, who taught rabbi Meir, the tanna kama in the mishna, listened to this type of music how can we who are so weak in Torah afford to listen to non Jewish music?

    #1121765
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The Mishna Berura (53:82) says that only their religious tunes are prohibited.

    The most well known tune for Maoz Tzur was a midevil Germanic church hymn

    #1121766
    Sam2
    Participant

    Daniell: Elisha Ben Avuya, not R’ Elazar. And the Gemara gives several reasons why he went off. And it’s not clear that “Zimra Yevanis” means just Stam non-Jewish music. It presumably means Kefirah-dik music.

    #1121767
    Daniell11
    Member

    But that was one of the reasons. What about chukas hagoy? I don’t understand how people can say they enjoy non Jewish music and that it doesn’t rub off on them it does.

    #1121768
    Sam2
    Participant

    Daniell: Everything you do in life rubs off on you. That’s how we exist as people. So if a song is inappropriate it will have a negative effect. If a song is Minus it will have a negative effect. If a song is uplifting and thoughtful it will have that effect, whether written by a Jew or non-Jew.

    #1121769
    lesschumras
    Participant

    Daniel11, this is an old, oft repeated topic. Leaving lyrics aside, what often differentiates Jewish from non-Jewish music is the passage of time. 50 years go by and no one remembers the actual source of the song/nigun. As with most things, there are songs that are inappropriate and there songs that are uplifting and inspirational.

    #1121770
    Daniell11
    Member

    So therefore we should reduce the amount of negative effects by listening to Jewish music which are mainly uplifting.

    #1121771
    Sam2
    Participant

    Or we should only listen to uplifting music at all, whether Jewish or not.

    Why did you start this thread asking for suggestions if you were going to drive home your opinion a day later anyway?

    #1121772
    tirtza
    Participant

    I like classical music, not Wagner or Liszt please.

    Right now listening to a Piano Trio by Lou Harrison, a 20th Century Modern Composer.

    His music has balinese and 3rd world influences and many modal effects, like Jewish music.

    Much classical music is uplifting, invigorating, and intellectually stimulating.

    Much music can lift the spirits and help one to serve H’ with joy.(even other types of rhythmic music can help one physically and mentally.)

    As far as vocal music, I must admit that I do enjoy opera.

    Being female, it’s less of a problem for me than it would be for some very strictly observant men.

    Also, some of the librettos (stories) are not especially appropriate but even there one can find a moral lesson often enough.

    Look at Otello, one could say that it’s a horrible story about a man getting jealous and killing his wife.

    I try to find something positive about them but for some there is no redeeming factor and it’s best to avoid or just listen without understanding what they are saying.

    #1121773
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I eat certain types of treif food, and try to take mussar from it. For example, I eat chasidah, and try to take only the positive attributes of chesed.

    Certain types of treif food have no redeeming value, so those, I stay away from.

    #1121774
    Avi K
    Participant

    Sam, where did you hear that? That contradicts his pesak in Yabia Omer 1:6(13).

    Zahava’sdad, I once saw an article by a musicologist who was learning in Ohr Sameach that claimed that the Gregorian chants were taken form the tunes of the Levi’im so maybe that was too.

    rav ovadia kol isha

    #1121775
    charliehall
    Participant

    I’ve been trying to get more Jews to listen tto he music of Arnold Schoenberg. He was a Jewish composer whose atonal compositions were different from anything that non-Jews had ever created.

    #1121776
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Zahava’sdad, I once saw an article by a musicologist who was learning in Ohr Sameach that claimed that the Gregorian chants were taken form the tunes of the Levi’im so maybe that was too.

    Considering the fact that there aren’t any surviving records of how the Levi’im sang and that the Gregorian chants didn’t form until centuries later*, I’d love to know how this is possible.

    The Wolf

    * Yes, singing has been a part of the Church since its earlist days, but the songs they sung were not the Gregorian chants that are extant today.

    #1121777
    tirtza
    Participant

    Charliehaall..I only appreciate a few of Schoenberg’s works and they certainly are different from anything that non-Jews created, except for some of his followers, Webern and Berg, even they are different from him, but especially bad are the vocal pieces in 12-tone, Moses and Aron is a very bad opera.

    #1121778
    Avi K
    Participant

    Wolfish, he compared the structure of the chants with Tehillim taamim. You can google “Gregorian chants Jewish” and find several articles.

    #1121779
    nfgo3
    Member

    That assault on the ears and brain called “Jewish music” is an insult to Jews and music. A better question would be, What’s wrong with the Jews who can listen to Jewish music?

    And, just to be clear, I am not talking about nigunim and real chazzans in Shul. I am talking about that audio junk they play in kosher supermarkets in frum neighborhoods.

    #1121780
    besalel
    Participant

    Nfgo3: I agree wholeheartedly with the first part of your statement. Jewish music is neither Jewish nor music. Most niggunim and chazzunus is music but not Jewish either. There is no such thing as Jewish music as all music was built on top of what existed before it. There is prust lyrics and non prust lyrics to be sure. There are Jewish lyrics and not Jewish lyrics to be sure. But Jewish music simply does not exist.

    #1121781
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Jewish music does exist. There have been Jewish composers who composed songs very Jewishly.

    #1121782
    besalel
    Participant

    i also once read that Gregorian chants were based in temple jewish music. there is also an interview i once saw in which yechiel nahari explains that the arabic music he learned in egypt and syria were brought there from the jews of the first temple. they both cannot be true and considering the total lack of any real evidence for either i dont believe either one to be true.

    i want to be clear. music can certainly be broken down into genres. rap sounds nothing like country which sounds nothing like tarab which sounds nothing like opera. sometimes genres can touch – country/folk, rock/punk etc. or borrow from one another (r&b/jazz). jewish is not a genre of music. all jewish music we listen to today fall into other genres or are very closely related. mordechai ben david and avraham fried fit nicely into russian genres of music plus loud horns; the boys choirs are pop and electric with loud horns; schwecky is rock and pop with loud horns; dveikus is folk; lipa is rock, rap, pop and electric (and some annoying horns). there is beautiful music in all genres but the songs called jewish music are usually just really, really (extremely) poor exhibits of their particular genres.

    chazzanus and niggunim usually are exact copies of songs within european genres the way the sfardishe chazzanus is usually an exact copy of allepo, baghdad and egypt music genre songs. helfgot is a classic opera singer and habusha is a classical tarab singer. there is nothing jewish about their music.

    #1121783
    Avi K
    Participant

    The proof that chazzanut is based on opera is that Yossele Rosenblatt was offered $1m to sing in the Chicago opera. He turned it down because of kol isha.

    #1121784
    sushibagel
    Member

    Cazzanut is not opera although it is uses similar techniques.

    Cazzanut originated in the synagogues starting off as nusach hatfila with chazunam often adding their own peices and original compositions,as chazzanut developed it did borrow some influences from opera but as any musicologist will tell you Chazzanut is a genre on itd own.

    As for Yossele Rosenblatt, the New York Opera House recognised his potential as an opera singer but he refused their offer despite being assured that he would not have to perform on shabbos or with female singers.

    Most pop music styles trace their roots to Jazz which traces it’s roots to the pagan tribes in Africa. So there is quite a strong argument to say that while some influences are okay others are not and can never be considered Jewish music.

    #1121785
    tirtza
    Participant

    Klezmer music is also based on non-Jewish music but it’s a natural for Jews, as opposed to some of those types that MBD and Fried and younger artists sing.

    This is music that evolved with Jews, as well as other cultures originating from those lands.

    There are certain scales that are associated with Jewish, real Jewish music.

    The Phrygian dominant scale is used and it’s also used in Middle Eastern, certain Spanish, certain “gypsy”, and Indian ragas.

    I find it very non-convincing that Gregorian chant came from Jewish chants, they do not sound the same and the early members of that faith changed many things to distinguish themselves from Jews.(day of the Sabbath, for example)

    Many scholars have suggested it, though.

    As far as AviK’s suggestion that opera is based on chazzanus, let’s just say that they are distant cousins, that both require specific training and much skill and practice. The story I’ve heard is that Enrico Caruso, probably the most famous opera tenor in modern times, came to shuls to hear chazzans and pick up tips for expression and techniques, and the art of expressing emotion with the voice. It probably was the famous Yossele Rosenenblatt he came to hear, especially for tips in playing the tenor role in HaLevy’s ” La Juive.”

    There are well known classical Jewish composers besides, Felix Mendelssohn and Gustaf Mahler,who were apostates. Several well-known composers of the 20th Century that were Jewish are Ernst Bloch and Castelnuovo-Tedesco, who both had several Jewish influenced works. Bloch’s Schlelomo is a major repertoire piece for the cello.

    If you’d like to hear some 21st Century Art Music composed by a frum Jewish composer, check out

    “Hishtapchus Hanefesh for Five Cellos” and “Moznayim” on YouTube.

    “Gending Ahava Raba” is on the composer’s website.

    #1121786
    sushibagel
    Member

    There is a reason why Punk Rock and Rap music are so full of violent lyrics likewise R&B is mostly lewd and immoral. Different styles of music bring out different emotions.

    When moishe came down from har Hamoria the first time he said ??? ???? ????? ??? the rishonim explain that he heard the sound of their singing and dancing, the music of avoda zora,the music of hefkeirus.

    Such kind of music comes from the base human desires and carries a negative influence even without the lyrics.

    Jewish music can only be influenced by uplifting music which comes from the heichal hangeina.

    There is also an argument that the composer’s and feelings and emotions are reflected in their compositions so music composed by an immoral person will inadvertently have a negative effect on the listener.

    #1121787
    Sam2
    Participant

    sushi: Disagree. Punk rock, rap, R&B, and similar are violent and lewd because of the society that created them. There’s plenty of emotional R&B. It’s just less common because the community that likes R&B best prefers its “gangsta” culture in its music right now.

    #1121788
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    The proof that chazzanut is based on opera is that Yossele Rosenblatt was offered $1m to sing in the Chicago opera. He turned it down because of kol isha.

    So in other words, no proof?

    #1121789
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    The proof that chazzanut is based on opera is that Yossele Rosenblatt was offered $1m to sing in the Chicago opera. He turned it down because of kol isha.

    So in other words, no proof?

    Of course it’s a raya. If chazzanus wasn’t based on opera, his voice wouldn’t start sounding female.

    #1121790
    sushibagel
    Member

    Sam: The fact that lower class people gravitate towards this kind of music is a bit telling I would say.

    Just as in the Jewish world artist try to match the lyrics with the tune; fast tunes with more upbeat messages and vice versa. Non Jewish music is no different in that way, punk rock and heavy metal have a lot of anger in them(screaming and shouting ain’t gonna make you feel happy and positive), rap has a rebellious and violent tone,and pop music makes you move your body in a way that has a very DIFFERENT MEANING to just dancing.

    #1121791
    sushibagel
    Member

    Dy: lol

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