Mail Archive sponsored by Chazzanut Online


<-- Chronological -->
<-- Thread -->

New Jewish Music

When Brave Old World released Blood Oranges in 1997, we were in agreement 
that a scholarly consensus was developing to adopt a narrow definition of the 
term "klezmer," including Yiddish instrumental repertoire but excluding folk 
song, for example. We also agreed that there were good reasons to adopt that 
usage. When we then considered our own repertoire, it was clear that it was 
broader than klezmer music, understood in this narrow sense. For that reason 
we left the term "klezmer music" off the cover and instead plastered the term 
"New Jewish Music" all over the place. (The graphic is even of a label, meant 
to be a semi-ironic comment on the function of musical labels). That term 
seems to have caught on in some places, judging from the titles of some 
current radio shows, conferences, etc. 

I recommend the term "New Jewish Music" as one which can include both 
instrumental and vocal, compositions and arrangements, of Ashkenazi and other 
Jewish traditions. To me it seems less polemical than a term like "radical 
Jewish culture," not the least because today's radical is often tomorrow's 

Alan Bern

---------------------- jewish-music (at) shamash(dot)org ---------------------+

<-- Chronological --> <-- Thread -->