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Jewish Music and Modernity$
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Philip Bohlman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195178326

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195178326.001.0001

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Jewish Music and Modernity

Philip V. Bohlman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The ontologies of Jewish music changed to reflect a transformation of the past into a utopian future at the end of the long nineteenth century, especially as World War I brought about the end of much traditional Jewish life in Europe. New cultural movements swept the Diaspora, not least among them Zionism, both in cultural and in political forms. Jewish music absorbed the images of the new utopias beyond the crisis of modernity: the paradise of a modern Israel; new forms of settlement, such as the collective kibbutz; the pioneer songs that allowed Jews in the Diaspora to sing in Hebrew about the past that had the potential to be the future. The case studies in the chapter include the attempt to create a canon of national Israeli art songs in the 1930s and the endeavors of the first organization cultivating Jewish music in the Yishuv, the World Centre for Jewish Music in Palestine, in the late 1930s.

Keywords:   art song, Diaspora, kibbutz, pioneer songs, utopia, World Centre, World War I, Yishuv, Zionism

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