views updated May 08 2018


This article is arranged according to the following outline:

written sources of direct and circumstantial evidence
the material relics and iconography
notated sources
oral tradition
archives and important collections of jewish music collections
biblical period
second temple period
the emergence of synagogue song
the roots of synagogue song in the near eastern communities (c. 70–950 c.e.)
        The Formation of the Basic Pattern (c. 70–500 C.E.)
        bible reading by chant
        the early style of prayer chant
        the popular background
        ideas about music
    Evolution of the Basic Pattern and Creation of New Forms (c. 500–950)
        the "learned art" of bible chant
        the liturgical hymn (piyyut)
        the Ḥazzan and the synagogal solo style
music of the medieval diaspora (c. 950–1500)
    Integration in the Realm of Secular Music
        the science of music
        the challenge of new forms of arts
        music at the social and popular levels
the formation of concepts of jewish music (12th–14th centuries)
    The Rabbinic Attitude to Music
    Philosophy and Secular Education
    Mystical Ideas and Forms
the consolidation of regional styles
    Musical Minhag
    Modal Scales in Synagogue Song
    Performance and Practice of Synagogue Song
migration and blending of music styles (c. 1500–1750/1800)
    The Mystical Movement of Safed
        music as concept and practice
        the lurianic kabbalah
        major themes characterizing their approach
    Humanism and the Renaissance
        the humanistic approach to letters and music
        art music
        efforts to establish art music in the synagogue
    At the Crossroads of the East and West
        consolidation of the oriental style of jewish music
        the eastern branch of ashkenazi song
    Incipient Westernization of Ashkenazi Song
modern times
    The Nineteenth Century
        the Ḥasidic niggun
        the absorption of the european art style
        The Reform Movement
        The "Improved Service" and Its Music
        the evolution of east ashkenazi Ḥazzanut
    The Twentieth Century
        the collection and examinations of the inheritance
        the revival of national values in music
        new ways in sacred music
women's folk music
the yishuv period
    Transplantation of Music Institutions
    The Palestine Orchestra
    The Palestine Conservatoire
    The Palestine Broadcast Service
    Bridging East and West
    Composition, First Generation
after the foundation of the state of israel
    Institutional Expansion
    Musicological Research
    Composition, Second and Third Generations
    Immigrant Artists


The most workable definition of Jewish music would seem to be the functional one proposed by Curt *Sachs: "Jewish music is that music which is made by Jews, for Jews, as Jews" (in his opening lecture, to the First International Congress of Jewish Music, in Paris 1957). This defines the scope of inquiry without prejudicing its results, leaving it free to undertake the tasks of description, analysis and whatever conclusions may be drawn.

As in all other national and ethnic cultures, the musical dimension of Jewish culture is both determined by its origins and modified by its history in proportions peculiarly its own. Through their dispersion, the Jews came into contact with a multiplicity of regional musical styles, practices, and ideas, some of which were more closely related to their own patrimony (as in the Near East and around the Mediterranean) and others intrinsically different (as in Europe north of the Alps and the Pyrénées).

These factors shaped the character of the mainstream of Jewish music. They have also determined the nature and location of the sources, which the musicologist must explore in order to obtain his facts. The problem can be most easily understood by a comparison with the source situation of Europeanhistorical musicology. There the sources of information can be ranked as follows: compositions by individuals, created and preserved by musical notation; theoretical treatises; historical documents; instrumental relics; evidence from the visual arts (iconography); and complementary evidence from the fields of religion, the verbal arts, philosophy, political history; and other complementary evidence exploited at the discretion of each scholar. Among the latter, the most important source is the folk music of the area, which survives both in tone and word by a purely oral tradition, except for a few accidental notations made in the past by curious savants, and is in itself the subject of a parallel discipline – ethnomusicology.

The source situation of Jewish music is completely different. All the factors listed above are present, but in entirely different proportions – both absolutely and for each Diaspora area and period. A particularly complicated case is that of musical notation. On the one hand, no tone script, in the European sense of the term (one sound = one symbol) was evolved in Jewish musical culture. Even European Jewry adopted the tone script of the surrounding culture only in a few communities during certain periods and only for certain sections of its total musical activity. On the other hand, the masoretic accents serve as universal indicators of certain melodic motives for the cantillation of some of the biblical books (according to principles basically common to all Jewish communities), and their syntactical and grammatical function is supported by a written tradition of doctrine and discussion. Nevertheless the melodic content of this cantillation differs in each Diaspora area and is transmitted by a purely oral tradition (cf. *Masoretic Accents, Musical Rendition).

Although this oral tradition cannot convey information of its own past, some motives (of both the Ashkenazi and the Sephardi tradition) have been preserved in notation from the beginning of the 16th century onward. Thus even for this single category of Jewish music, the "art" and "folk" components, the historical and ahistorical, musical and extra-musical, and the local and universal are woven together so tightly that no single strand can serve as the base for any generalization.

As in all other parts of the mainstream tradition of music in Jewish culture, the notated document is not the point of departure, but a fortunate find which may occur on the way but more often is absent. The same holds for autonomous treatises on the "art of music," whether technical or philosophical. Literary sources of all kinds are the main storehouse of historical fact, and very often the only source, since it is here that Jewish life has always documented itself most fully, including its musical actions and thoughts. Yet another important source are the relics of actual musical instruments (especially for the biblical period) and the depictions of instruments and music making ranging from the dawn of history through *illuminated manuscripts to the photographs of klezmer ensembles in Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. The living oral traditions preserved and studied through sound recording, followed by sophisticated techniques of acoustical analysis and musical transcription, are equal in importance to the written, notated, and visual relic, and the application of the historical evidence can very often give them a great measure of historical dimension. Finally, there are the external sources. Judicious comparisons with the musical heritage of those cultures, with which the Jewish people came into contact, taking and – especially in the case of the formation of Christianity – also giving, can yield valuable insights. In addition, through still wider comparisons, even with historically unrelated cultures, Jewish music can be put into the overall perspective of the music of mankind.

The following survey of the sources is intended to give a general picture of the situation.

written sources of direct and circumstantial evidence

Most of these do not appear as independent literary units but as parts of larger works. Potentially, the field includes the entire written heritage of Jewish culture. Some source categories have proved to be particularly fruitful in information, such as rabbinic Responsa, community registers and regulations, the literature of philosophy and the sciences, the early Midrash, travelers' accounts and various kinds of traditional exegesis. In many cases, textual criticism must be applied before the source can be utilized. Manuscripts of medieval and later poetry very often contain indications that the poem is to be sung "to the tune of …" (be-laḥan, be-noʿam, be-niggun); even if the tunes themselves cannot be recovered, the existence of the repertoire itselfis thus documented. When the tunes are taken from a gentile environment, which uses notation – as in the German-speaking areas – even the tunes themselves can often be recovered from contemporary manuscripts or printed music. A further stage is reached by the libretti of the cantata-like works, which were written mainly in Italy from the 16th century onward. The music for some of these has also survived or still waits to be recovered from the archives; but even if only the texts remain, they often contain indications such as aria, solo, and duetto. Finally, there are also a certain number of theoretical and practical treatises on music, as independent works or more often as chapters in larger treatises. Except for the "cantors' books" (such as Solomon Lipschitz' Teʿudat Shelomo, Offenbach, 1718), the material naturally reflects the theories and practices of the surrounding culture, in the Islamic regions of Spain and the Near East or in Italy and France. Direct biographical and social evidence can be gleaned from inscriptions (including tombstones), community registers, the *Memorbuch sources, and other archival material. A special contribution is made by extra-Jewish sources. Both non-Jewish writers and apostates from Judaism often give very detailed descriptions of musical practices in Jewish society, in works written for enlightenment or polemic, and echoes of the musical life of a Jewish community are also bound to appear in official documents of the local and state authorities. They range from a tax collector's list from Ptolemaic Egypt, mentioning "Jacob the son of Jacob, an aulosplayer," to the petitions of gentile musicians to the municipality of Prague against their Jewish competitors in the 17th century.

the material relics and iconography

For the biblical and Second Temple periods, the written sources are complemented by literally hundreds of archaeological finds from Palestine itself. The soil conditions of Palestine are generally not favorable to the survival of instruments made of organic material, such as drums or string instruments. The archaeological finds, including metal cymbals, bells, pottery rattles, bone and ivory clappers, however, are effectively supplemented by figurines, frescoes, mosaics, pottery decorations, graffiti, images on coins, etc. External sources, such as the Phoenician ivories and bowls which reached the neighboring countries by way of commerce or booty, the decorations of synagogues in the early Diaspora (particularly important for the history of the form of the shofar), or the trumpets depicted in relief on the Arch of *Titus, further add to the evidence. It is, therefore, no longer necessary to "illustrate" the story of music in ancient Israel by archaeological finds from the Egyptian or Mesopotamian cultures. Such material may still be used for purposes of comparison, but only if corroborated by a local find.

The correlation of these material relics with the textual ones, above all the Bible, is a task as difficult as it is important. In later periods, the wide choice of instruments in other cultures is limited, for Jewish society, to the shofar and simple noisemakers, such as decorative bells on the rimmonim of the synagogal scrolls or the various forms of rattling and banging devices for *Purim. The iconographical evidence, however, is to be found in many sources: illuminated manuscripts and marriage contracts, printed books (especially those written by gentiles on "Jewish customs"), synagogue decorations, embellished ritual objects, and, in later periods, even portraits.

notated sources

As indicated above, one cannot expect the notated sources of Jewish music to be plentiful. For the entire period before the 19th century, these notations come only from the settlements of the Ashkenazi, Italian and European Sephardi communities (except for the earliest specimen so far discovered, the 12th-century notations of *Obadiah the Norman Proselyte, which was found in the Cairo *Genizah). These documents are most conveniently divided into two categories: notations reflecting oral tradition, liturgical, religious, and secular; and manuscript or printed compositions in the style of contemporary art music.

Several German humanists of the 16th century included specimens of masoretic cantillation in their works on the Hebrew language, masorah, etc. The best known of these is the notation in Johannes *Reuchlin's De accentibus et orthographia linguae hebraicae (Haguenau, 1518). Some 15 other gentile writers up to the end of the 18th century feature such notations of masoretic cantillation in works on Judaist subjects and later on also in chapters on the "Music of the Hebrews" in histories of music. As a rule, they copied and recopied the specimens from their predecessors, so that the total stock of notated documentation rises very slowly. The most prominent additions are those by Athanasius Kircher (Musurgia Universalis, Rome, 1650), who features the German-Italian cantillation which he heard in a Roman synagogue; by Daniel Jablonski, in his edition of the Hebrew Bible (Berlin, 1699), where a specimen of notated cantillation of the Pentateuch according to the tradition of the Amsterdam Sephardi community was supplied by David de Pinna (cf. *Masoretic Accents, Musical Rendition); and the 12 specimens of Ashkenazi and Sephardi cantillation, psalm intonation, and hymn tunes collected by the composer Benedetto Marcello in Venice in order to base his collection of Psalm compositions, Estro poetico-armonico (1724–27, and subsequent editions), on "authentic Jewish tunes." They are featured in his own notation at the head of the respective settings. The musical scholar Giovanni Battista Martini gathered all the notations of his predecessors in the first volume of his Storia della Musica (Bologna, 1757–81, repr. facsim. 1967), whence they were taken over (with one omission) by Johann Nikolaus Forkel in his Allgemeine Geschichte der Musik (Leipzig, 1788–1801, repr. facsim., 1967).

A few notations of other kinds of traditional music are found from the beginning of the 17th century onward, such as the "learning tune" of the Talmud, some of the songs of the Passover *seder, the *Priestly Blessing, and the 13 religious folk song tunes printed by Elhanan Kirchhan (Kirchhain) in his Simḥat ha-Nefesh, part 2 (Fuerth, 1726/27). The earliest cantorial manual found to date is that of Judah Elias of Hanover, dated 1740, and it is followed by many others, especially toward the end of the 18th century (cf. Aaron *Beer; Isaac *Offenbach). Whether the "Jew parodies" found in the works of several Renaissance and baroque composers actually reproduce what was heard in a synagogue or played by a Jewish musician still remains to be ascertained in each case.

Art music composed in the Western European style is documented by a certain number of scores and parts of scores from Italy, southern France and the "Portuguese" community of Amsterdam. The earliest work of this kind is Salamon de *Rossi's Ha-Shirim Asher li-Shelomo (Venice, 1622/23); for a more extended description of these sources see *Cantatas, Hebrew.

oral tradition

The chief treasure house of Jewish music is the living oral tradition – the many thousands of melodies and variants still current in the synagogues, schools, and homes in all Jewish communities, which adhere, or at least have kept in some measure, to the ways of the past. Their systematic collection, now being made by sound recording, is an awesome and theoretically endless task. A fairly representative selection of several regional traditions was collected by A.Z. *Idelsohn in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 20th century and published in his Thesaurus of Hebrew-Oriental Melodies (10 vols. 1914–32): Yemen, Iraq, Persia (with some material from Bukhara and Dagestan), the "Jerusalem Sephardic" tradition, Morocco and Eastern Europe. Earlier and contemporary collections of synagogal music (see bibliography), mainly of the Ashkenazi and European Sephardi areas, also contain varying amounts of truly traditional melodies, even if these are sometimes distorted by inadequate notation or attempts at "modernization." Much essential material still remains to be recorded.

[Bathja Bayer]

archives and important collections of jewish music collections

Since most of the traditional Jewish music was transmitted orally from generation to generation, there was a need to create a sound archive to document the music and promote its study. This need was fulfilled by the establishment of the National Sound Archives in Jerusalem (nsa) in 1965 as a section of the Music Department of the Jewish National and University Library (jnul). The musicologist Israel *Adler founded the archive incorporating the field recordings of Jewish music (and recordings of other people living in the area) that were made since the 1920s. The nsa also holds a large collection of commercial recordings of Jewish and Israeli music as well as music and other sound documents produced by Kol Israel (Israel Broadcast Authority).

The first great scholars who recorded Jewish music were Abraham Zvi *Idelsohn and Robert *Lachmann. Idelsohn's recordings are at the Austrian Phonogramm Archive in Vienna; those of Lachmann are mainly at the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv but some copies as well as unique records are at the nsa.

Important collections at the nsa are known by the names of their creators such as: The Robert Lachmann collection (300 wax cylinders, which are copies of the originals of Berlin), 960 unique ethnographic records, most of which are made of tin, and 167 early commercial records of Oriental music. Robert Lachmann (1892–1939) recorded in North Africa and in Palestine. His interest was Oriental music. His recordings were made during the 1930s. His lectures and the musical demonstrations survived and are preserved at the nsa and at the Music Department (Mus. 26). Other collections are that of Johanna *Spector, who recorded in the late 1940s and early 1950s, including about 60 hours of music performed by Jewish immigrants just arriving in the new State of Israel from Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Pakistan, and Iraq as well as the Samaritans of Israel; the collection of Leo *Levi made during the late 1950s and the 1960s, including about 70 hours of Jewish musical traditions of the Italian Jews, Greek Jews, and Jews from Holland, Ethiopia (in Israel), Georgia, Czechoslovakia, and other locations; and the collection of Edith *Gerson-Kiwi, who was a student of Lachmann, including 700 records and 240 reel-to-reel tapes of new immigrant Oriental traditions made between the 1950s and 1970s.

A historical collection of commercial records and broadcasting material is included in the Jacob Michael Collection, collected in New York during the 1950s and 1960s. The Jacob Michael collection contains 3,000 records and 480 tapes, mostly of Yiddish radio material.

Since 1965 the nsa has continuously expanded its collections by promoting new recordings both through fieldwork and recordings at the nsa studio. Most of the Jewish liturgical recordings are made in the studio or other locations, but not during actual prayer services, since it is forbidden to use any electrical equipment on the Sabbath and holidays. The nsa also benefits from donations from scholars who deposit their recordings at the nsa; to mention just a few of them: Amnon *Shiloah, Shoshana Weich-Shahak, Mark Kligman, Yaakov Mazor, Simha *Arom.

Since 2000, the Depository Law for books and prints in Israel has been expanded to include all non-book material. Thus a copy of all cds and videotapes produced in Israel must be deposited at the nsa. Also, recordings made by Kol Israel during the 1950s and the 1970s were deposited at the NSA. These include mainly Israeli songs, Israeli art music, and some traditional music. The nsa catalogue is available online on the jnul website. It is open to the public (at the jnul) and serves mainly scholars and educators. The nsa continues to collect, preserve and publish its collections.

Other collections in Israel are at The Institute for Religious Jewish Music – Renanot, which has its own archive as well as copies at the nsa. It contains recordings of experts in Jewish musical performance, especially ḥazzanim of different traditions and their liturgical repertoire. The Beit Hatefutsot Music Center has a good collection of commercial recordings, which are available on site. All the departments of music and musicology in Israel have collections of recorded sound; however, their focus is not on Jewish music.

In America, universities, libraries, museums and Jewish institutions also have collections of recorded sound. Some of the important collections of Jewish music are: The Robert and Molly Freedman Jewish Music Archive, which was donated to the University of Pennsylvania's Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The Freedman Jewish Music Archive comprises over 1,800 recordings, primarily in Yiddish and Hebrew. The Harvard University Judaic Library has a large collection of Israeli popular music. The yivo Institute in New York holds a good collection of commercial and broadcasting material of Yiddish music. The Library of Congress Folklife Center and the Sound Archives also have Jewish recordings, both field recordings and commercial records.

Some institutions and private music lovers and collectors provide Jewish music databases and music online for research and teaching, for example Hazzanut Online and Virtual Cantor.

[Gila Flam (2nd ed.)]


biblical period

The Bible is the foremost and richest source for knowledge of the musical life of ancient Israel until some time after the return from the Babylonian Exile. It is complemented by several external sources: archaeological relics of musical instruments and depictions of musical scenes; comparative material from the neighboring cultures; and post-biblical sources, such as the writings of *Philo and *Josephus, the *Apocrypha, and the *Mishnah. A truly chronological ordering of the biblical evidence on music is hardly possible, since it frequently happens that a relatively late source attributes certain occurrences to an early period, in which they could not have existed. A case in point is the chronicler's reports about the ordering of the Temple music by King David. Many details – above all the prominent status of the Levitical singers, which almost overshadows that of the priests – are probably a projection back from the chronicler's own time. Some of the reports may even be nothing more than an attempt to furnish the Levitical singers with a Davidic authorization in order to strengthen their position. It is therefore more prudent to draw a synthetic picture in which most of the facts can be assumed to have existed for at least a considerable part of the time.

The mythical dimension of music is represented in biblical tradition only by the story of Jubal, who was "the ancestor of all who play the kinnor and uggav" (Gen. 4:21; for names of instruments see below). Another relic of the same kind may well be found in the allusion, in God's speech to Job, to the day on which the creation was finished, whereupon, "the morning stars sang together and the Sons of the God[s?] Raised a shout of acclamation" (Job 38:7). Most of the evidence concerns the place of music in the cult. Music is conspicuously absent in the stories of the Tabernacle in the desert wanderings. The bells (perhaps only rattling platelets, see below) on the tunic of the high priest had no musical function but an apotropaic one. The trumpets served mainly to direct the movements of the camping multitude, and their function for arousing God's "remembrance" is common to their use in the sacrifice and in war (Num 10:1–10). In the transport of the Ark to Jerusalem by David, which is accompanied by the playing of lyres, drums, rattles, and cymbals (ii Sam. 6:5; i Chron. 13:8), the context is that of a popular fête, not an established cult ritual. Even the description of the inauguration of Solomon's Temple in the first chapters of i Kings lacks an explicit reference to music. Only the trumpets are mentioned in the reconstitution of the Temple services in the time of Joash (ii Kings 12:14).

In Chronicles, the musical element suddenly appears as the most prominent part of the service, with detailed and repeated "duty rosters" (and genealogies) of the levitic singers and instrumentalists, as planned by David and established by Solomon. Since the lists of the returned exiles from Babylon, in Ezra and Nehemiah, include a certain number of families of Temple singers, it can be assumed that, at least toward the end of the First Temple, there was already some kind of organized cult music in Jerusalem. On the other hand, there are grounds to believe that the role of music in the First Temple was minimal. In the sanctuaries outside Jerusalem, it was probably much more prominent: witness the "prophets' orchestra" at the high place of Gibeah (i Sam. 10:5) and Amos' fulminations against the external pomp in one of the cult centers of the northern tribes, perhaps in Shechem, "take away from me the roaring of thy songs and the playing of thy lyres will I not hear" (Amos 5:23).

After the return from Babylon, music as a sacred art and an artistic sacred act was gradually given its place in the organization of the Temple services. It seems that this did not pass without opposition. Some scholars have even tried to adduce a power struggle between the levites and the priests. Although the evidence does not mention music as a subject for quarrel, the striving of the levitic singers for prestige is implicit in the chronicler's descriptions, and may even be the reason for the insertion of the poem, or set of poems "By the waters of Babylon," in the collection of Psalms (Ps. 137). The weepers by the waters of Exile were not an abstract personification; they were the levitic singers, whom their captors would have join the other exotic court orchestras that the Assyrian and Babylonian kings kept for entertainment and took care to replenish by their expeditions of conquest. The court and temple orchestras of Mesopotamia in this period are the prototype for the Temple music established in Jerusalem after the return: a large body of stringed instruments of one or two types only (in Jerusalem kinnor and nevel); a small number, or a single pair, of cymbals; and a large choir. The trumpets of the priests constituted a separate body in every respect, with a ritual but not really musical function. In the earlier stages of religious organization, centered on inspirational ecstatic prophecy, the role of music was understandably important (cf. i Sam. 10:5 and the story of Elisha's musically-induced prophetic seizure in ii Kings 3:15). David's playing and singing before Saul belongs to a related psychological aspect.

At coronations, the trumpets were blown as part of the formal proclamation (ii Kings 11:14), and the spontaneous and organized rejoicings after victory in war were accompanied by women who sang, drummed and danced; (a practice still current among the Bedouin), cf. The Song of the *Sea, and the women's welcome of David and Saul in i Sam. 18:6–7. Music at popular feasts is described in Judges 21:19ff. Finally, the musical accompaniment at the feasts of the rich and, of course, at the king's court is also described several times, often with a note of reproach (ii Sam. 19:36; Isa. 5:12; Amos 6:5; Eccles. 2:8). The musical expression of mourning is implicit in the verses of David's lament for Saul and Jonathan and explicit in the mention of the male and female mourners who repeated specially composed dirges (ii Chron. 35:25). True folk music is mentioned only rarely, such as the songs and rhythmic shouts of the workers in the vineyards (probably the grape treaders) alluded to by the prophets.

The number of identifiable terms for musical instruments in the Bible comes to about 19. Some other terms, notably those appearing in the headings of the Psalms, have also been taken to represent instruments but probably mean some kind of indication of the melody. For many of the terms, a precise archaeological equivalent can already be proposed. Others still await the yield of future excavations. In the following section, the instruments will be listed and described briefly.

(1) Asor (רֹוׂשע), see below, under nevel.

(2) Ḥalil (לי ִל ָח), double-pipe wind instrument, with the mouthpieces probably of the single-reed ("clarinet") type and probably made up of one melody pipe and one drone pipe. A folk and popular instrument, it was used for rejoicing and also in mourning ceremonies.

(3) Ḥaẓoẓerah (הָרְצֹוצח), trumpet, made of precious metal, generally silvers. Blown by the priests, it was used in the sacrificial ceremony, in war, and in royal coronations.

(4) Kaitros/Katros, see below, under "Daniel instruments."

(5) Keren (ןֶרֶק), Aram. karna (אָנרַק), see below, under shofar.

(6) Kinnor (רֹוּנ ִּכ). A stringed instrument of the lyre family, constituted by a body, two arms, and a yoke. The Canaanite type of the instrument, which was certainly the same as used by the Israelites, is asymmetric, with one arm shorter than the other, and its body is box shaped. The instrument was probably of an average height of 20–23 in. (50–60 cm.) and sounded in the alto range, as evinced by surviving specimens from Egypt (which took over the form and even kept thename of the instrument from the neighboring Semites). The kinnor is the noble string instrument of Semitic civilization, and became the chief instrument of the orchestra of the Second Temple. It was played by David and was therefore held in particular honor by the Levites. According to Josephus, it had ten strings and was sounded with a plectrum (Ant., 7:306), and according to the Mishnah, its strings were made of the small intestines of sheep (Kin. 3:6).

(7) Mashrokita (אָתי ִק ֹורשַמ), cf. below, under "Daniel instruments."

(8) Menaʿaneʿim (םיעְנעַנ ְמ), mentioned only in ii Samuel 6:5 among the instruments played during David's transport of the Ark to Jerusalem. The parallel narrative in i Chronicles 13:8 substitutes meẓiltayim (cymbals). The numerous finds of pottery rattles make it highly probable, by etymological analogy (ענענ "shaking"), that the term can be applied to them. After about the seventh century b.c.e., these rattles disappeared and were replaced by the newly-invented metal bell (see below, under pa'amon).

(9) Meẓiltayim, Ẓilẓalim, Meẓillot (ת ֹולי ִצ ְמ ,םי ִל ָצ ְל ִצַּ ִצמ), the first two forms probably standing for cymbals. The cymbals found in excavations were made of bronze, in the form of plates with a central hollow boss and with a metal thumb-loop. The average diameter of the finds is about 4.5 in. (12 cm.). They were played by the Levites in the Temple. The meẓillot of the horses, mentioned in Zechariah 14:20, are probably the same metal ball-jingles as those depicted on Assyrian reliefs.

(10) Minnim (םי ִּנ ִמ), an unclear term (Ps. 150:5 and perhaps also Ps. 45:9), presumably a stringed instrument, and perhaps the lute, which was never an integral part of the Canaanite and Israelite instrumentarium.

(11) Nevel (לֶבֵנ), a type of lyre, perhaps originating in Asia Minor, constructed differently from the kinnor-lyre – larger, and therefore of deeper tone. The coins of Bar Kokhba show it in a schematized form. According to Josephus, it had 12 strings and was played by plucking with the fingers (Ant., 7:306). Extra-biblical sources, which describe it under the name of nabla mention its "breathy" or "rumbling" tone. It was the second main instrument in the Temple orchestra. According to the Mishnah (Kin. 3:6), its strings were made of the large intestines of sheep. The nevel asor (רֹוׂשע לֶבֵנ), or, in its brief form, asor (Ps. 33:2; 92:4; 144:9), was perhaps a slightly smaller nevel with ten strings only.

(12) Paʿamon (ן ֹומעַּפ), mentioned only in Exodus 28:33–34 and 39:25–26 (and later by Josephus), as attached to the tunic of the High Priest alternating with the ornament called rimmon (pomegranate) and made of gold. The usual meaning of the term is a bell. Bells came into use in the Near East only in the seventh century b.c.e., so that the noise-making attachments to the high priest's garment in the desert Tabernacle could not have been bells proper. If the description in Exodus is not a pure projection back from the period of the First or Second Temple, the original pa'amonim must have been metal platelets. Later on, real bells substituted these. Most bells found in Palestine are small, made of bronze and have an iron clapper.

(13–14) Pesanterin ןירְּתְנ ַספְּ and sabbekha (אָכ ְּב ַׂש/אָכ ְּבס), see below, under "Daniel instruments."

(15) Shalishim (םישי ִלש), mentioned only in I Samuel 18:6–7, as played by women. By analogy with Ugaritic tlt-metal (and not tlt and shlsh as meaning "three"), these may be cymbals or struck metal bowls.

(16) Shofar (רָפֹוש), the horn of the ram or a wild ovine, and the only instrument to have survived in Jewish usage, probably identical with the keren (ןֶרֶק) and keren ha-yovel (לֵבֹויַה ןֶרֶק). In the Bible, its function is that of a signaling instrument especially in war; its famous appearance at the siege of Jericho must be understood in this sense and not as a magical noisemaker. The shofar-like sound at the receiving of the Ten Commandments is also a transfer from the same domain. Only after the shofar was taken into the service in the Second Temple did it regain its primitive magical connotation.

(17) Sumponyah (הָיְנֹופְמוס), cf. below, under "Daniel instruments."

(18) Tof (ףֹות), a shallow round frame drum, frequently played by women (cf. *Miriam), and associated with the dance.

(19) Uggav (בָגוע), still unclear, but very probably not the wind instrument which medieval exegesis would have it to be. Perhaps the harp, which, like the lute (minnim?) was never an integral part of the Canaanite and Israelite instrumentarium.

(20) "Daniel Instruments." Daniel 3:5 describes, in Aramaic, an orchestra at the court of the Babylonian king, which includes the karna, mashrokita, kaitros, sabbekha, pesanterin sumponyah, "and all kinds of instruments." Karna is the horn, and kaitros, sabbekha, and pesanterin are but Aramaized versions of the Greek kithara, sambyke, and psalterion. Mashrokita is a whistling or piping instrument; sumponyah parallels the Greek symphoneia, which, in itself, means only "the sounding together." It is highly probable that the term does not stand for an instrument at all, but means the concerted sound of those mentioned before. The closing of the sentence, "and all kinds of instruments," would thus be nothing but an explanatory gloss.

The forms of music can only be surmised from the forms of those parts of biblical poetry, which are clearly meant to be sung. The most important of these are the Psalms, or at least a great part of the 150 poems gathered into the canon of the Psalter. Many of these, open with an "invitation to music" ("Let us go and sing," "Sing to the Lord a new song"). Before the body of the Psalm itself, a shorter or longer heading formula often appears, in which at least some of the elements have a presumably musical meaning. Mizmor and shir, also combined as mizmor-shir and shir-mizmor, are clearly of this kind, but their musical difference has so far remained obscure. The term lamenaẓẓe'aḥ has often been thought to mean "to thechoirmaster." Most tantalizing of all are the phrases prefixed by al ("upon"?) such as "al-ayyelet ha-shaḥar" (Ps. 22, literally "upon the hind [?] of the dawn"), or "al ha-sheminit" (Ps. 6, literally "upon the eighth"), and others which are untranslatable even literally. The most reasonable hypothesis is that these designate certain melodic types. Whether the term selah which appears at the end of certain verses in many psalms (and often creates a tripartite division of the psalm) has a musical meaning still remains to be proved.

The sounds themselves are lost. Although comparative studies of living Jewish and other Near Eastern traditions may be able to point to certain melodic and formal elements as "very old," their attribution to the biblical or early post-biblical period can never be confirmed by objective proof.

second temple period

Only the last part of this period is documented by contemporary literature (chiefly Philo, Josephus, and in the writings of the sectarians of Qumran). Much of the mishnaic narrative concerning music in the Temple service is based on eyewitness memories. The information is often very precise, such as the description of the daily morning sacrifice in Mishnah Tamid and the numbers of instruments in the Temple orchestra in Mishnah Arakhin. The figure of the Temple musician himself appears much more clearly. Thus there is Hogras ben Levi, who was prefect of the singers and would not teach his own technique of virtuoso voice production to others (Shek. 5:1; Yoma 3:11). Of the instruments mentioned in the Bible, only the Temple instruments proper appear again: kinnor, nevel, tziltzal and metziltayim, ḥaẓoẓerah, and the newly accepted shofar. The ḥalil is also mentioned as a popular instrument, which was played in the Temple only on 12 days of the year (Ar. 2:3). The term abbuv (pipe) is used for the separate pipes of the ḥalil.

Other terms proposed as musical instruments by later commentaries, from the Gemara onward, are very probably not instruments at all, such as niktimon, batnun, markof, iros. Neither is the magrefah, a rake, which was noisily thrown on the floor after the cleaning of the altar to signal to the singers in their chambers to proceed to their stations, which talmudic exegesis later turned into the equivalent of the Byzantine organ.

A separate body of musical practice and doctrine was evolved by the dissident sectarians of the period. The choral singing of the *Therapeutae in Egypt is described by Philo and Josephus and seems to be the musical base of some of the hymns found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The sectarians seem to have eschewed the use of musical instruments, holding "the fruit of the mouth," i.e., singing, as the more pure expression of devotion. Some passages in their writings and in Ben Sira may indicate the existence of ideas, which approach very closely to the sphere of musical, or rather musical-poetical theory. The catastrophe in 70 c.e. put an end to the Temple-centered music of the Jewish people and opened a new period, in which the *synagogue became the focal point of creativity in word and tone.

[Bathja Bayer]

the emergence of synagogue song

Late Hellenistic civilization made music an all-penetrating cultural activity. The Eastern scene was dotted with theaters, arenas, and circuses where singers and virtuosos flocked together at musical contests (organized even by Herod; Jos., Ant., 15:269ff.; 16:137). Amateur philosophers at social gatherings of every kind discussed music. Jingling, banging, and rattling accompanied heathen cults, and the frenzying shawms of a dozen ecstatic rites intoxicated the masses. Amid this euphoric farewell feast of a dying civilization, the voices of nonconformists were emerging from places of Jewish and early Christian worship; *Philo of Alexandria had already emphasized the ethical qualities of music, spurning the "effeminate" art of his gentile surroundings. In the same spirit, early synagogue song intentionally foregoes artistic perfection, renounces the playing of instruments, and attaches itself entirely to "the word" – the text of the Bible.

The new style of Jewish music made its appearance at a specific and fateful moment. When the destruction of the Temple in 70 c.e. demanded a complete rearrangement in the religious, liturgical, and spiritual fields, music became involved in several ways. The abolition of Temple worship also put an end to the refined instrumental art of the levites. The use of instruments in the synagogue service was prohibited (and remained so, with certain exceptions), leaving music a strictly vocal art. Needless to say, this limitation left its imprint on musical style and form. Moreover, the musical skill of the Levitic singers and their tradition, accumulated over generations, were not utilized in synagogue song, and their professional teaching and rules had not survived in writing. Synagogue song was thus a new beginning in every respect – especially with regard to its spiritual basis.

In the new era, prayer was to take the place of sacrifice in providing atonement and grace (rh 17b). Levitical music had been an integral part of the order of sacrifices (Er. 13:2; Ar. 11a; tj, Pes. 4:1, 30c). Its nature probably was to be as pure and flawless as the offering itself, for it was directed at the heavens and not at a human audience. It must have striven for objective and transcendental beauty and have been "art music." The task of synagogue song was a different one. The individual and the congregation both appeal to God by means of the spokenword. Prayer, regarded as "service of the heart" ('avodah sheba-lev), had to express a broad scale of human feelings: joy, thanksgiving, and praise, but also supplication, consciousness of guilt, and contrition. All these emotions urge subjective expression in song and human warmth, rather than abstract beauty. The strong human element in synagogue music made itself acutely felt as soon as the professional solo singer began to appear. Before this, however, any member of a congregation could be called up to lead in prayer as a "delegate of the community" (sheli'aḥ ẓibbur). The gift of a fine voice obliged a member of the community to accept the function of lay precentor (pr 25: pdrk 97a).

Among the different singing styles in which the early nonprofessional sheliḥei ẓibbur may have performed, are elementary ones that can be ascribed with certainty to the early synagogue. They are suited to a gathering of people assembled for singing prayer and praise and for the majority of whom artistically contrived song and complicated tunes were normally out of range. Such congregations had to be cemented together by a kind of music that was easily grasped and performed. The musical forms of psalmody, chanted Bible reading, and prayer tunes bases on a simple melodic patternfullfil these conditions. These are the archetypes of synagogue song and have been preserved by the whole range of Jewish communities over the ages.

the roots of synagogue song in the near eastern communities (c. 70–950 c.e.)

The Formation of the Basic Pattern (c. 70–500 C.E.)

A strong similarity of style can be detected in the recitation of the Psalms or chapters from other biblical books by different Jewish communities. Exactly the same recitation style is to be found in the most ancient traditions of the Catholic, Orthodox, and Syrian churches. Since there was a close contact between the faiths only at an early period, the musical structure or styles of singing must have been accepted by Christianity together with the Holy Scriptures themselves. Many of its different forms, which are still employed by Jewish communities in many different parts of the world, were also described in ancient literature. The findings point to a common source of Bible song in the early synagogue.


The singing of Psalms occupies an important place in Jewish and in Christian worship. Both creeds share a musical pattern, traditionally and also in musicological parlance known as psalmody (Greek-Christian psalmodia). Its outlines and internal organization follow closely those of the poetic form. Each psalm may consist of a smaller or greater number of verses, without being organized in symmetrical stanzas. Accordingly, the melody of one verse may become a musical unit, which is repeated, as many times as there are verses in the psalm. Most of the verses are subdivided into two equal parts (hemistichs) by a caesura; similarly, the psalmodic melody is given a bipartite structure. The biblical verse is formed and characterized solely by the number of its stressed syllables, disregarding completely how many weak syllables there are between the stresses. The verse of a psalm may consequently vary widely in length, since the overall number of syllables is not constant. The tune has to be adaptable to these floating conditions; a "recitation note," which may be repeated according to the particular situation, provides for the required elasticity.

In practice, the singer of a psalm verse reaches the "recitation note" through a short initial motion of the voice, dwells on the former for the main part of the text, and concludes the first hemistich with a medial cadence. The second hemistich is performed in the same manner, but concludes with a final cadence. Thus the basic psalmodic formula consists of:

Initial motion/recitation note/medial cadence//

initial motion/recitation note/final cadence (see Mus. ex. 1).

The simple melodic material of this basic formula can be grasped and reproduced by an average audience after listening to a verse or two. In this respect, psalmody is a truly collective genre of music. Its aesthetic and psychological effect is governed by the recurrent repetition of the same melodic phrase – an element of stability coupled and contrasting with the constantly changing text. The tune, after a few repetitions, loses all its interest: the attention automatically turns to the words, which continually offer something new. The accompanying vocal inflections merge and form an acoustical background which infiltrates the subconscious and creates a distinct mood, which eventually becomes associated with a certain feast or time of prayer or with grief and other emotions. The unchanging repetition of the formula throughout a psalm, which is the rule in Gregorian chant, is, in fact, seldom practiced in Jewish song. Apparently, even an unsophisticated congregation wanted to avoid dullness and to enliven the sound of the Davidic hymns (Song R. 4:4).

One line of development in psalmody led to the distribution of the performance between groups of singers. Responsorial psalmody was described as early as the Mishnah (Suk. 3:11; Sot. 5:4) and both Talmuds (Sot. 30b; Suk. 38b; tj, Suk. 3:12, 53d). Precentor and congregation alternated in singing full verses or hemistichs; the precentor may intone the beginning and the choir takes over; or the choir may sing the concluding words. Moreover, a verse or part thereof may serve as refrain, "like an adult reading the Hallel, and they respond to him with the initial verse [as, e.g., in the Song of the Sea]: Moses said, 'I will sing unto the Lord,' and they say, 'I will sing unto the Lord'; Moses said, 'for he hath triumphed gloriously,' and they say, 'I will sing unto the Lord'…" This baraita, transmitted in the name of R. Akiva (d. 136 c.e.) and some of his contemporaries, treats the various forms of responsorial psalmody as

old and well established. It demonstrates the transformation of the first hemistich into an actual refrain. The exclamation "Hallelujah" may be given this role when it is inserted at discretion between verses. This practice was described by Rava (c. 300 c.e.; Suk. 38b), and is found in the Christian tradition as Psalmus alleluiatus, and is still perpetuated by the Yemenite Jews (see mus. ex. 2a)

Additions alien to the biblical text are very rare in Jewish tradition (mus. ex. 2b) but have become the rule in the antiphonal psalmody of the churches. The Greek term antiphonos originally meant alternate singing in different pitches (e.g., by men and women or men and boys); Philo heard this performed by the sect of Therapeutae. However, worship in the synagogue, which was a congregation exclusively of men and lacked a separate clergy, was unfavorable to the formation of permanent choirs, and the embellishment of a psalm was contrary to the obligation of faithfulness to the holy text. There was no limitation, however, on the strictly musical development of psalmody, with the basic formula serving as a mere skeleton for more complex forms. The musical evolution is achieved mainly by means of variation – just as the poetic language of the Psalms draws largely upon variation within the framework of Parallelismus membrorum. Once again, musical composition enhances the poetry.

Jewish psalmody prefers to have hemistichs recited on different tone levels, which is very exceptional in Plain song. Moreover, the recitation note need not remain rigid but may hover around its axis, raising stressed syllables here, marking a subdivision there, or simply adorning the tune. The initial phrases may be redoubled as well as omitted. Finally, several psalmodic formulas may be joined within the same psalm. The device of variation is capable of producing true artistic effects by a gradual escalation of its resources as, for instance, in Psalm 29 for Sabbath eve as sung in Iran (Idelsohn, Melodien, iii (1922), no. 3): here the melody gradually gains momentum and increasingly dense texture in accord with the intensification of the poetic images. Psalmodic music may change its features to a certain extent according to its multiple uses as well as the contents of the text, nevertheless, it must be content to strengthen, but never outdo, the effect of the words. The ancient pattern of psalmody is still extensively used in Jewish communities all over the world. It is worth noting that the detailed accents later added to the psalm text by the Masoretes were disregarded: the traditional manner of intoning psalms was already too deeply rooted (see also *Psalms, Musical Rendition).

bible reading by chant

Chapters from the Pentateuchand the Prophets are regularly read in the synagogue service, the other books of the Bible being reserved for certain feasts. It is characteristic of the synagogue that the Bible is never read like speech or declamation; it is always chanted to musical

pitches and punctuated by melodic cadences attached to clauses and periods. The reading of the Bible at home or at school is performed in the same way (see also *Masoretic Accents, Musical Rendition). This custom is strange to European habits. The ancient Greeks already knew well how to distinguish between the rising and falling of the voice in rhetorical speech or stage declamation on the one hand, and true musical intervals, on the other. When the Church took over biblical chanting from the synagogue, its Roman branch retained the chant in a simple form and did not develop it any further. Eastern Christianity, however, embarked on its own development and elaboration of scriptual chanting, which took a course parallel to the developments within Judaism.

There is ample evidence of Bible chant in Jewish sources as early as the second century c.e., by which time it was an old and well-established custom. In the third century, Rav interpreted the verse "And they read in the book, in the Law of God… and caused them to understand the reading" (Neh. 8:8) as a reference to the piskei teʿamim, i.e., punctuation by means of melodic cadences (Meg. 3a). Still earlier, Rabbi Akiva expressed his demand for daily study – also executed in chant – by the words "Sing it every day, sing it every day" (Sanh. 99a). Finally, Johanan, head of the Tiberias Academy (d. 279), formulated the central idea of chant in this categorical manner: "Whoever reads [the Torah] without melody and the studies [Mishnah] without song, to him may be applied the verse (Ezek. 20:25): Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and ordinances whereby they should not live" (Meg. 32a). As an external witness, Jerome (c. 400 c.e., in Bethlehem) testifies that the Jews "chant off " the Torah (decantant divina mandata: pl 24. 561).

Talmudic sources state that the biblical verse was subdivided into clauses according to its meaning and the rhythm of speech. This division was called pissuk teʿamim and was strictly an oral tradition, the transmission of which was incumbent upon the teachers of children. Their method of instruction was the ancient practice of chironomy – hand and finger signs that evoked the medial, final, and other cadences of Bible chant (Ned. 37b; attested by R. Akiva, Ber. 62a). Chironomy had already been used by the singers of ancient Egypt and was later also adopted by the Byzantines. Jews practiced it in the time of the masoretes, of Rashi (comm. on Ber. 62a) and, until recently, in Italy and Yemen. On the other hand, their absence in the sources indicates that there were no written "accents" (teʿamim) during the Talmudic period. These were gradually developed and introduced – together with vocalization – by the masoretes in the second half of the first millennium ("Although the cadential division of the verses and the reading tune were given at Mount Sinai, they were uttered according to oral tradition and not to accent marks in the book" Maḥzor Vitry, par. 424; 11th century). The nature of this primitive, unwritten Bible chant can be inferred from the present custom of some communities, notably the Yemenites and Bukharans, which still disregard the written accents and read the Bible in a much simpler manner, using only the well-known cadences of psalmody plus an intermediate stop (see Mus. ex. 3).

The antiquity of this modest kind of chanting is proven by its existence in the Roman Church. Like psalmody, it appears to have been accepted there as a body foreign to Western musical concepts and remained, therefore, in its primitive state.

Psalmody and melodic reading are common traits of all the "peoples of the Bible." Repeated attempts to find an archetype of it in pagan antiquity have not succeeded. Melodic enunciation has been connected with Bible recitation from the very beginning and has accompanied the Holy Scriptures through their translation into every tongue. In contrast to sensualist tendencies in art, which take the Bible text as a mere opportunity for writing a beautiful piece of music, Bible chant is the genuine expression of a spiritual concept and, as such, is opposed to the general trend of the Hellenistic period. Its restriction to a small range of notes and limited ornamentation is intentional, not "primitive," with the purpose of ensuring that the melody will never interfere with the perception of the words and the apprehension of their meaning and spiritual message. As defined by Curt *Sachs, such music making is "logogenic" – proceeding from the word and serving the word (see *Masoretic Accents, Musical Rendition).

the early style of prayer chant

During the first period of synagogue song, the precentor was normally chosen from the ranks of the congregation, and his devotion did not

always have to be balanced by musical gifts and skills. Prayer tunes thus had to be simple and, simultaneously, of a plastic and variable nature in order to be fitted to longer or shorter phrases of the prose texts without difficulty. These demands are met by the "prayer modes" (nusaḥim) traditional and common in the Eastern and Western synagogues of today. Although it is impossible to ascribe individual tunes heard today to the early synagogue with any degree of certainty, it is legitimate to speak of the principle of chanting according to a nusaḥ.

Jewish prayer chant is essentially an evolution of traditional melodic patterns classifiable as "Tefillah-mode," "Yotzer-mode," and so on. The melodic pattern of a certain nusaḥ consists of several motives, which are not in any fixed rhythm or meter, but are rather a melodic formula, which is apt to be expanded or shortened according to the text. The motives may be repeated or omitted, they may change places and, above all, they may be subjected to variation by the singer. Melodic patterns of this kind are used in Sephardi, Ashkenazi, and Oriental communities alike. Their nature may best be recognized from their adaptation to metrical prayer texts (see mus. ex. 4a), as well as to free recitation (mus. ex. 4b).

The musical effect of an Ashkenazi prayer mode rests on its "varied unity"; it establishes a common stock of motives for a whole group of prayers without imposing a rigid, unchanging framework upon it. The melodic development is stimulated by improvised variation – which has always been an important element in Jewish music (see *Nusaḥ; *Shtayger).

the popular background

Psalmody, melodic reading of Bible texts, and prayer chant were made to fulfill a function in collective Jewish worship; they grew organically from a popular treasure of forms, under the guidance of basic religious ideas. The latter excluded from worship the use of the multitude of instruments which were, in fact, in the hands of Jews in Palestine and Babylonia: the frame drum tabla (Ar. duff;) accompanied non-synagogal song and dance and pleased the women especially ("The sexagenarian as much as the six-year-old runs after the drum": mk 9b); the reed-pipe abbuv was blown; the long-necked lute tanbura (Ar. ṭunbūr) plucked. Workmen used to sing to lighten monotonous toil such as plowing, boat towing, or weaving (Sot. 48a). Song was heard in the tavern (Sanh. 101a), and every kind of musical entertainment at the fair (Ta'an. 22a; bk 86a see Rashi) and social gatherings (Sot. 48a).

Radical religious authorities of the Babylonian Jews opposed popular music making as unsuitable for a nation in distress (relying upon Sot. 9:11 and 14). Their negative attitude ("Song in the house – destruction at the threshold," Sot. 48a) became even more entrenched when the feudal aristocracy of Sassanian Persia made music part of their hedonistic enjoyment of life, and even the exilarch Mar *Ukba I, who was, according to the chronicle of the scribe R. Nathan ha-Bavli (written in the 10th century), a poet-musician himself and throughout the year composed and performed his own paeans of praise to the king, who allowed himself to be attended with music at his ceremonial levee (tj, Meg. 3:2, 74a; Git. 7a). At this time Rav *Huna issued his famous prohibition of music, which, however, had undesirable side effects and was dropped by his successor *Ḥisda (Sot. 48a). Palestine was apparently spared this unrealizable prohibition. There was never any intention to interfere with the music making at wedding festivities (hillula); on the contrary, this was regarded as a religious duty (mitzvah).

Several legends tell of the rabbis' eagerness "to gladden the groom and bride" (Ber. 6b; tj, Pe'ah 1:1, 15d, etc.). On these occasions, genuine responsorial singing was performed (Ber. 31a): an honored guest had to improvise a verse suitable for the company to answer with one of the current refrains (such as Ket. 16b–17a). Responsorial psalmody may have been influenced by such common customs. Antiphony, in its original meaning of alternating choirs of different pitch, was also employed at the popular level (Sot. 48a). Instrumental playing at the wedding hillula was officially encouraged, and this favorable attitude of the Talmud teachers became a guideline for later legal decisions.

It is not known when and why playing the flute before the bridal pair (rooted in ancient life and fertility symbolism) was abandoned; it was once a familiar and absolutely legal custom (bm 6:1). The same question arises with regard to flute playing at funerals, where this instrument symbolized life and resurrection; it was customary at the time of Josephus (Wars 3:437) and the Gospels (Matt. 9:23), and its legal aspects were still given consideration by the tannaim (Shab. 23:4; Ket. 4:4), but it, too, disappeared without any trace. Lamentation of the dead by wailing women could assume the form of a dirge (*kinah, hesped) in responsorial patterns (mk 3:8; Meg. 3b; 6a); but it often remained a short acclamation (mk 28b), probably repeated to current melodic phrases. A funeral song of the Diaspora Jews is attested in Canon 9 of the Council of Narbonne in 589 (Juster, Juifs, 1 (1914), 368, n. 3).

A relationship between synagogal and domestic singing patterns has already been noted. Since responsorial and antiphonal song is found as a frequent practice among many peoples, it may be surmised that the related forms of psalmody also derived from popular usages. As far as can be judged from the necessarily one-sided talmudic sources, Jewish folk music remained relatively immune to the omnipresent Hellenistic influences. Near Eastern Jewry belonged to the Aramaic-speaking peoples (as evinced, for example, by the nomenclature of their musical instruments) and may have kept away from Greek theaters and circuses at the behest of their teachers (Av. Zar. 1:7; tj, ibid., 1:7, 40a; Av. Zar. 18b, etc.). In the Diaspora, however, the Jews of Miletus, Antioch, and Carthage liked the stage and the arena (Juster, Juifs, 2 (1914), 239–41). Jewish (Purim?) plays were restricted by the Codex Theodosianus of 425 (ibid., 1 (1914), 360 n. 2). At any rate, the lasting influence of Hellenistic musical activities in the Jewish sphere cannot be proven.

ideas about music

The influence of religious law (halakhah) on the structure of synagogue music, such as the discontinuation of instrument playing and the entire Levitical tradition, has been noted above. To this should be added the rejection of the female voice from the service and other public performances, exemplified by Rav's harsh statement: "The voice of a woman is indecency" (Ber. 24a, etc.). The rabbi's indifference or hostility to the sound of music changes, however, in the aggadic parts of the Talmud, where many instances of true musical feeling and appreciation of the charm of sounds are recorded. The rabbis dwelled on King David's allegoric lyre, which was sounded by the midnight wind like an Aeolian harp (Ber. 4a, etc.), they perceived the "song of the ears of grain" in the field (rh 8a), and let trees burst into song (tj, Ḥag. 2:1, 77a). They fostered ideas that became universal sources of artistic inspiration: the parallel singing of celestial music of the angels and the righteous (Ḥag. 12b; 14a; Av. Zar. 3b; Er. 21a; Sanh. 91b; Meg. 10b, etc.; Tosef. Sot. 6:2); and the "trump of doom" (later Midrashim: Otiyyot de-Rabbi Akiva, letter T; Midrash Daniel, etc.). In other Midrashim (of more or less disputed date), the eternal link between mystical and musical conceptions, already extant in some of the above-quoted Talmud passages, reveals its full strength in certain peculiar hymns aimed at inducing a visionary trance. These hymns were assembled in the treatise Heikhalot Rabbati ("All these songs Rabbi Akiva heard when approaching the *Merkabah and understood and learned before the heavenly throne what its servants sang unto it"). They are composed in a language rich in "word-music" and vocal harmony; and one can imagine them being sung to the repetition of short melodic phrases characteristic of suggestion-inducing and spell-casting songs all over the world.

The same Heikhalot treatise reveals a guiding idea of sacred song in legendary form: "R. Ishmael said: Blessed is Israel – how much dearer are they to the Holy One than the servant-angels! Since as soon as the servant-angels wish to proceed with their song in the heights, rivers of fire and hills of flames encircle the throne of glory, and the Holy One says: Let every angel, cherub, and seraph that I created be silenced before Me, until I have heard and listened to the voice of song and praise of Israel, my children!" Human song of praise is given preference over the pure and flawless beauty heard from the heavenly hosts, and the standards of sacred song are set by the warmth of devotion resounding from earthly voices, imperfect and human as they may be.

This concept differs from the basic idea of ecclesiastical song as laid down by Dionysius the Areopagite and repeated throughout the Middle Ages. This notion propounds that the perfect beauty of angelic song descends to the lower ranks in heaven and reaches earth as a faint echo. Church music endeavored by imitation to approach the heavenly model; it had to strive increasingly for superhuman, transcendental beauty, thus creating a perfect but cold product of art. This fundamental difference between the Jewish and Christian view of sacred music indicates what to look for in the evaluation of synagogue song. It must be judged by the perseverance of its original intention, which is to be an expression of human feelings, disregarding beauty for its own sake. Whenever, during its development, appreciation of the pleasant sound as such became prominent, this attitude was most often initiated by foreign influences. As a rule, however, the basic patterns set during its first period have survived as a permanent background of Jewish music.

Evolution of the Basic Pattern and Creation of New Forms (c. 500–950)

After the completion of the Talmud, c. 500 c.e., new developments began in the liturgical and musical fields. The Near Eastern communities maintained their leadership, and the innovations created there became an integral part of Jewish tradition in the entire Diaspora. During this time, as far as can be judged, Jewish music was spared serious conflict with foreign influences.

the "learned art" of bible chant

According to the early, oral tradition of reading the Bible by chant, only a few main sections of a verse were distinguished by means of melodic cadences (see Mus. ex. 3 above). Although the text of the Hebrew Bible was fixed long since, every sequence of words could become meaningful only by the correct grouping of the words and a clear interrelation of clauses and sub-clauses. The division of a verse could become a matter of interpretation, or even ideology, and raise debates with dissenting sects or a foreign creed. It was no wonder that in epochs of insecurity a need was felt to mark the accepted infrastructure of biblical verses in an indisputable way – in writing. This was achieved by the masoretic accents which have accompanied the text ever since.

Written reading accents are a feature unknown in the Talmud (that is to say, until c. 500 c.e.). They appear to have developed from the sixth century onward. During the same period, the Syrian and Byzantine churches also introduced written reading signs. Even small groups like the Samaritans invented such signs, although the period of their origin is uncertain. No priority can be ascertained today, but the former hypothesis of a Hellenistic prototype has been finally abandoned, as has the idea of interdependence between the different accent systems. It was a general but variously realized tendency of this era to make a new attempt at a musical script – the first one since the ancient Greeks, and completely different from their method. Greek musicians had expressed single pitches by means of graphic signs, as is done in modern European notation. This method is based on analytical thought. Writing music with accents, however, rests upon the conception of complete melodic figures or motives, which are retained in the singer's memory. Their specific application in singing may be brought about by gestures of the hand (chironomy), as documented already in the talmudic era. The motive may be given a suggestive name (etnaḥta "sign of rest"; zakef "upright," etc.); the first letter of its name may be written above the text, as was done by the Babylonian masoretes. Finally, freely invented signs could also be used, as was done by the masoretes of Tiberias.

The development of biblical accents (taʿamei mikra) was a prolonged process which was completed definitely only between 900 and 930 by Aaron b. Moses *Ben-Asher of Tiberias. This final and authoritative system was imposed upon the whole of Jewry. The earlier Palestinian and Babylonian accentuations fell into disuse and have only recently been recovered from rare manuscripts. The general trend of development was from simplicity to complexity. The masoretes "in good faith furnished the 24 biblical books with accents of correct judgment, with a clear manner of speech, with a sweetly enunciating palate, with beautiful oration… Whoever reads shall hear, whoever hears shall understand, and whoever sees shall grasp" (Moses Ben-Asher, autograph colophon of the Cairo Codex of the Prophets, dated 895 c.e.). They proceeded from the subdivision of a sentence by accent pairs (Babylonian system) to a total accentuation of one sign, and occasionally two, on every word. Having begun with the simple indication of the traditional places of the cadences, they ultimately arrived at a "learned art" of Bible chant, prescribing how the reader was to organize his recitation.

In evaluating the musical consequences of the Tiberian "total accentuation," one basic fact should be borne in mind: an accent can seldom be regarded as a detached, self-contained unit. Not only is a disjunctive accent ("king") most often accompanied by a conjunctive one ("servant"), but also several of these pairs are frequently combined to form typical groups. In music, motive groups or melodic phrases match these accent groups: a chanted Bible verse is made into a continuous chain of musical motives (see Mus. ex. 5) and is clearly distinguished from the old-fashioned, psalmody-like style (see Mus. ex. 3 above).

Since the single motives are often linked by a short bridge of linear recitation (see ex. 5), this kind of chant may also be likened to a string of beads. An entire chapter read in this manner resembles a mosaic in which the same pieces are assembled in constantly varying combinations.

The translation of the masoretes' intentions into music was not accomplished smoothly. First of all, the Tiberian system of accentuation is too detailed and complex to be followed perfectly by even the most scrupulous reader. Moreover, there were Jewish communities with closer ties to the Babylonian than to the Tiberian school; they accepted the Tiberian system as a matter of book learning, but interpreted in song only part of it (the king accents) or disregarded it altogether. Writers of the 14th and 16th centuries (Simeon b. Ẓemaḥ *Duran, Elijah *Levita) explicitly attest that the Sephardim who used to obtain books and teachers from Babylonia neglected all the servant accents and some of the kings as well, and they still do so today. In Iran and Yemen there arose hybrid styles of melodic reading in which the three or four cadences of the old style are permutated arbitrarily in order to comply with the Tiberian rulings. Some remote communities, such as that of Bukhara, continue to recite simply in the old, psalmody-like style (Mus. ex. 3 above). In this way, Jewish reading practices of today form a living museum of chanting styles as they were at different stages of their development.

the liturgical hymn (piyyut)

Although the composition of religious poetry most certainly did not break off with the destruction of the Second Temple, the introduction of hymns as an integral part of synagogue liturgy is ascribed to the sixth century. An old tradition (first recorded by *Yehudai Gaon c. 760) connects the admission of hymns into the synagogue with an interdiction against studying the law and reciting the Shema Yisrael, generally linked with the hostile edict of Emperor Justinian I promulgated in 553 (Juster, Juifs, 1 (1914), 369–77). This, however, is not sufficient to explain the continuing production of hymns over the centuries, the immense creative power invested in them, the mystical touch present since the very beginning, nor the musical elaboration which they brought about. Hymn writing and singing must be regarded rather as an elementary religious force, effective in Jewry as in every other faith, and one of the main promoting forces of musical evolution.

The early designation of the genre, *maʿamad, was soon replaced by the borrowed Greek word piyyut. The choice of a foreign term probably indicates the introduction of innovations, such as consequent rhyming and the division of a poem into stanzas of identical structure. In time, the stanza form became highly important to musical form: it offered the opportunity of changing the unarticulated cumulation of verses into a divisive organization of the song. This possibility, however, is hardly exploited in tunes of the older style. In present-day synagogue song, piyyut melodies continue the traditional usage of repeating the first line throughout the entire song. The cause is certainly the poetic rhythm, which remained as it was in biblical poetry: an equal number of stresses in the verses, occurring at unequal intervals because of the changing number of unaccentuated syllables in between. Thus, a well-known hymn of Eleazar *Kallir (early seventh century?) reads:

Ṭal ya'asis zuf harim = 3 accents, 6 syllables

ṭa'em bi-meodkha muvḥarim = 3 accents, 8 syllables

ḥannunekha ḥaleẓ mi-masgerim = 3 accents, 10 syllables

A tune appropriate to such poems in "free rhythm" must be capable of extension or contraction according to the length of the text. In addition to psalmody and the principle of prayer chant, another solution to this problem was found by singing according to modal patterns, still practiced today by the Sephardim and the Eastern communities. The basic musical idea or modal pattern consists of not more than one or two tetrachords (four-tone rows); this framework is filled, in actual singing, with melodic curves, step patterns, and ornaments of every kind. A particular musical realization of the scale model will seldom be repeated, but every verse of the stanza offers a new variation of the preconceived pattern (Mus. ex. 6b).

This method of "endless variation" is characteristic of the Oriental style of Jewish song. Its Ashkenazi counterpart is more closely related to the nusaḥ structure of prayer chant (see above), being a plastic sequence of variable and interchangeable motives (Mus. ex. 6a). The Ashkenazi style is distinguished by the clear-cut outline of its motives and the retention of the recitation tone technique related to psalmody.

It should be understood that there is no other means of evaluating the historical forms of piyyut singing than by inference from present-day traditions. Tunes, which show archaic features and conform neatly to the poetical form, may be regarded, as a working hypothesis, as representative of the original style. The texts of the piyyutim contain a considerable admixture of mystical elements recognizable, inter alia, by the exuberant accumulation of divine attributes (found as early as in the hymns of the Qumran sect and later explicitly condemned by the tanna'im, Ber. 33b; Meg. 18a). The exact musical consequences of these tendencies are not known, but they caused the later geonim (Yehudai, Nahshon) to urge the general removal of hymns from the liturgy. However, hymnal song had captivated the hearts of the people to such a degree that this proved impossible. The rabbis, therefore, looked with a certain suspicion upon the principal exponents of piyyut singing, the precentors who by then had already become professional ministers.

the Ḥazzan and the synagogal solo style

Piyyut as sung art-poetry demanded the expertness of a gifted soloist,

especially when the singer himself was expected to compose both text and tune. A lay precentor could hardly continue to fulfill such a task. It is surmised that the early paytanim performed their creations themselves, having also composed or adapted the melody. It was at this period, in the last quarter of the first millennium, that the new function of the professional solo singer came into existence – presently the well-known figure of the *ḥazzan. The title ḥazzan was not new. It had formerly designated an assistant of the *archisynagogus. In addition to several secular tasks, this functionary had to arrange and supervise the ceremonies in public worship. It was an honored post: the Code of Theodosius exempted its holders from taxes in 438 and Pope Gregory the Great endorsed it c. 600. It was reasonable enough also to require musical ability of applicants for the post of this synagogue master of ceremonies. The term ḥazzanut, derived from the title ḥazzan designates, either the official post or, more often, the specific melodies and musical style of the solo singer.

For the chronological determination of the ḥazzan's specialization in music, a terminus ante quem is to be found in*Nahshon's decision of about 875–880: "A ḥazzan who knows piyyut shall not be admitted to the synagogue" (B.M. Lewin, Oẓar ha-Ge'onim, 1 (1928), 70). The assumption of the title ḥazzan by the singer probably took place during the ninth century. Since the function of ḥazzanut soon came to be passed on from father to son, this vocation became almost a closed social class, where it was the custom for a ḥazzan to marry the daughter of his master or of a colleague. The ties of certain families to a musical profession are important for the growth and early training of talents and, in the long run, for the preservation of a musical tradition. There is mention, for instance, of a family of ḥazzanim flourishing in Baghdad in the 10th and 11th centuries: Joseph *Albaradani, the "Great Ḥazzan" (d. 1006), left sons and grandsons who became successive incumbents of his position, and all of them also wrote piyyutim.

The close connection between ḥazzanut and piyyut is demonstrated by some letters preserved in the Cairo *Genizah (S.D. Goitein, Sidrei Ḥinnukh (1962), 97–102; idem, in: Tarbitz, 29 (1960), 357f.). The congregations in medieval Egypt were always eager to hear new hymns, and the ḥazzanim were compelled to exchange piyyutim among themselves, write them down secretly from the singing of a colleague, and engaged in correspondence as far afield as Marseilles.

It is difficult to imagine the musical character of early ḥazzanut. One can, however, attempt to demonstrate the common features of Oriental and European ḥazzanim of today with comparable gentile melodies taken as a control group. In addition, the tunes noted down by Obadiah the Norman Proselyte in the first half of the 12th century is available for comparison. With due precaution, it may be said that ḥazzanut implies the free evolution of a melodic line (without reference to any system of harmony). The tune therefore proceeds by seconds and other small steps, while leaping intervals are avoided. The melodic texture is dense: there are no empty intervals, no extended notes that are enlivened by dissolution into small steps (Mus. ex. 7).

The ḥazzan must command a good measure of musical creativeness. He does not simple reproduce a preconceived piece of music, but must give final shape to the general outlines of a theme by an improvisation of his own. In this way, the stanza of a piyyut may develop in a series of variations on the traditional theme (Mus. ex. 8a)

This feature is already found in the tunes notated by Obadiah the Norman Proselyte (Mus. ex. 8b) in the 12th century. The expressive element so characteristic of ḥazzanut can also be discovered in Obadiah's notations. The music of a piyyut fragment exhibits the repetition of words, the expressive motives, and the lively "pulsation" around a single note that have remained the pride of the ḥazzan until today.

To sum up, musical tradition in ḥazzanut means a melodic pattern to be followed, the choice of a specific tetrachord or other scale, which is representative of a certain mood, or a stock of motives to be arranged and rearranged in changing melodic structures. The most ancient heritage of synagogue music cannot be confined to bar lines or enclosed in a framework of symmetric phrases. Its rhythm is as free as that of the Hebrew poetry of the time. It is worth noting that melodies in free rhythm have been preserved even in European communities, as a body separate from Western music.

music of the medieval diaspora (c. 950–1500)

The close connection between musical development and changes in thought and national or social conditions is demonstrated perfectly by the changes which occurred in Jewish music as a result of the Islamic conquests, which introduced strong secular and cosmopolitan traits into the cultural life of the Near East, North Africa, and Spain. The Jewish mind does not favor revolutions in sacred music, but new and powerful elements were added to the ancient stock and gave rise to mutual reactions and interactions. In the field of secular music, however, there was a strong trend towards integration, often impeded by forced separation from the gentiles, but thrusting forward as soon as conditions allowed. This general picture is colored by the existence and interplay of different spiritual factors within Jewry itself, each of which contributed to the shaping of musical ideas and forms.

The beginning of a new period in Jewish music may be placed about the middle of the tenth century. By then, the accent systems of Bible chant had been completed; music was made a subject of philosophical reasoning; and sung poetry took on a new look by the introduction of meter and the aesthetic values connected with it. These developments in the spiritual and artistic fields went hand in hand with most important events and changes in the Near East. The conquest and unification of the Near Eastern countries by Islam brought the local Jewries into a larger world of relative liberty and open-mindedness. Art and science were no longer restricted to the service of certain religious dogmas, and Jews were free to integrate themselves into the material and spiritual realms of the general culture, but the price was paid by giving up the administrative autonomy of the Jewish population, and the

rapid decline of the academies and geonic authority. As a result, the hegemony of Eastern Jewry – which, until then, had supplied the Diaspora with legal decisions, books, piyyutim, masorah, rabbis, teachers, and ḥazzanim – came to an end. The dispersed Jewish communities were compelled to take matters into their own hands.

Integration in the Realm of Secular Music

the science of music

The term musica did not exist in the Hebrew vocabulary until the tenth century, when it made its first appearance in the Arabized form, mūsīqī. It served to express the concept of the science of music (Ar. 'ilm al-mūsīqī), as ḥokhmat ha-musikah, later also ḥokhmat ha-niggun. This branch of science is reckoned as the fourth in the classical quadrivium, "the most excellent and last of the propaedeutic disciplines" (*Dunash ibn Tamim). Muslim scholars followed the ancient Greeks when analyzing acoustic and musical phenomena in the spirit of an abstract science – an idea that attracted Jewish thinkers. In the early tenth century, Isaac *Israeli and his disciple Dunash ibn Tamim held that a full command of philosophical reasoning was indispensable for religious exegesis; they actually employed musical science for their commentary on the Sefer *Yeẓirah (ed. by M. Grossberg (1902), 16, 40, 48). Their great contemporary *Saadiah Gaon, who took it upon himself to bridge the widening gap between philosophy and religious tradition, is the author of the oldest known text on music written by a Jew. This is a paragraph at the end of the 10th treatise of his Kitāb al-amānāt wa'l I'tiaqādāt (Book of Beliefs and Opinions) written in 933. Its subject is the eight rhythmic modes known at the time and their influence on the human soul. Its approach largely expresses the prevailing doctrine of the ethos, which emphasizes the importance of harmony in its broad sense as an equilibrating force. Saadiah's 10th treatise as a whole is entitled "Concerning How It Is Most Proper for Man to Conduct Himself in This World." It should be noted that the then prevailing ancient doctrine of the ethical influence of music formulated by the Greek philosophers, had been expressed earlier in the biblical stories of David playing before the melancholy King Saul and of prophetic ecstasy aroused by hearing musical instruments (i Sam. 10:6, 16:16, 23; ii Kings 3:15).

It is quite likely that Saadiah's major source was the Arabic "Treatise Imparting Concise Information on Music" of the great Arab philosopher al-*Kindī (d. after 870). However, a close comparison of the respective passages shows that Saadiah's contains significant differences and deviations from al-Kindī's.

The historical significance of Saadiah's short chapter far exceeds that of its musical content. It demonstrates the integration of musical theory into Jewish learning. It had now become a challenge for erudite Jews in the Islamic countries to comprehend this art intellectually. Fragments of several books on music discovered in the Cairo Genizah were written during the 11th to 13th centuries in the Arabic language, but in Hebrew letters. Among them are extracts from the famous treatise on music of the secret 10th century Arab confraternity Ikhwān al-Safā', and a fragment on the elements of lute playing. Contemporary book lists also provide an indication of what could be found on music in private libraries and on bookstalls, and one can imagine how much must have been lost in Cairo and in cities like Baghdad, Damascus, Kairouan, or Cordova.

The scientific approach also makes itself felt in the fields of grammar and masorah, thus transferring the treatment of biblical accentuation to a higher level. The system of accents itself had been completed and summed up in somewhat naïve rhymes designed to aid memorization (Dikdukei ha-Teʿamim, ascribed to Aaron Ben-Asher himself). This old-fashioned method of teaching continued only by the Ashkenazim (versified teachings of Rabbenu Jacob *Tam in the 12th century and of *Joseph b. Kalonymus in the 13th century). A completely different spirit governs the dry but scientific classification given to the accents by Judah *Hayyuj (late tenth century), *Ibn Balaʿam or *Ibn Janaḥ (11th century). It is difficult to gauge the extent to which these works influenced musical performance proper, but they are witnesses to a new trend in the theoretical foundations of synagogue chant.

The classes of literature mentioned so far were addressed to a small stratum of society and never exerted as broad an influence as the books of biblical exegesis, whose study was everyone's moral duty. Thus the exegetes and their works achieved great power in the spiritual life of the nation and inevitably played a part in forming a body of common ideas about music. It was Saadiah Gaon who won the title "head of the speakers and first of the exegetes" in the post-midrashic era. His Arabic translation of and commentary on the Book of Psalms adheres scrupulously to the principle that all instrumental music be prohibited until the Temple is rebuilt, and he even claims that instrumental music was restricted to the Temple in ancient times. Saadiah was very particular about explaining obscure musical passages in the Bible out of the biblical text alone, but, on the other hand, he rather unconcernedly translated the Hebrew words nevel and kinnor by the Arabic names of contemporary string instruments. His practice was continued by Abraham *Ibn Ezra and innumerable others.

An example of an exegesis drawing on current philosophical opinions is *Bahya b. Asher's comments on Ex. 32:19 and 15:20 (Be'ur, written 1291 in Spain). Relying upon the view of "the masters of musical science" that the nine musical instruments of Psalm 150 allude to the nine heavenly spheres and that seven of them derive their power from the seven planets, he explains why the maḥol (= Mars = evil) was the instrument played before the golden calf, while the tof (= Jupiter (ẓedek) = Justice) was beaten by Miriam, sister of the just priest Aaron. The maḥol, he points out, was the symbol of a sinful woman. In the course of time the opinion took shape that maḥol and other terms from the headings of the psalms, such as ayyelet ha-shaḥar and alamot, were musical instruments or names of musical "modes." This view recurs in literature until quite recent times. In general, the exegetical books spread an understanding and a high esteem of music; they endowed it with an image of strong spiritual power – not very different from that developed by philosophy – rather than of a self-sufficient art or a despised entertainment.

the challenge of new forms of arts

The philosophy and theory of music were conceived by scholars and, as an abstract science, were detached from musical composition and performance. This did not prevent leaders like Saadiah Gaon from writing hymns in the free rhythms of Kallir's school. The following generation (about 940–950), with Saadiah's disciple *Dunash b. Labrat as its leader, introduced contemporary Arab metrics into Hebrew poetry. This was a revolutionary act of immense influence on poetry and music. Arabic poets had accepted the ancient Greek metrics based upon measured syllable durations as early as the eighth century: "Since the ancient Arabs by nature measured [their language], its very nature accorded with tonal proportions and musical composition" (*Ibn Danan, Perek be-Ḥerez, 15th century). The differentiation of long and short syllables is foreign to the Hebrew language; it was, rather, the intensity of enunciation that provided the poetic "weight" (mishkal). It may be seen, for instance, from *Yose b. Yose's Darkekha Eloheinu le-Ha'arikh Appekha that the singer had to utter one, two, or three syllables, as the case may be, between the accents; this precluded a regular beat and meter, and the tune had to be either psalmodic or in free rhythm. It can be said that this poetry did not include the dimension of time as an object of artistic configuration.

This old Semitic heritage was challenged by the Greco-Arab meters, which give a precise order and division to the continuum of time. The heavy pace of the old piyyutim was regarded as "bothersome to the public," which now preferred smoothly flowing rhythms flattering to the ear. The formal element had become autonomous, so to speak; its former dependence upon an idea (expressed in a natural flow of speech) had weakened. This process was justified by the slogan "that the beauty of Japheth should dwell in the tents of Shem." Aesthetic appreciation was clearly a new aspect in Hebrew poetry and song. Of course, it had to overcome stiff opposition, but its victory was almost complete and lasted more than half a millennium. "A pleasant musical sound" was henceforth demanded when offering a prayer (Joseph *Albo, Ikkarim, 4:23, 8).

In the musical field, too, a new type of melody made its appearance. Its novelty in Jewish musical tradition is signaled by the fact that there was no term to designate it, and the Arabic word laḥn had to be adopted for the purpose. This type of melody demanded metrical texts, and an early Muslim theoretician, Ibn Rashik, held that meter was also the foundation of melody. This idea was repeated and developed by several Jewish writers down to the 17th century (e.g., Samuel *Archevolti). Both Moses and Abraham ibn Ezra (Ẓaḥut (Venice, 1546), 142a, written in 1145) advocated that a poem intended to be sung should be written in equal metrical units throughout. It is understandable that mixed meters would have led to alternating double and triple time within the melodic phrase and this seems to have been regarded as unbalanced.

Since neither Islamic nor Jewish culture record their music in writing, it is only by inference that the laḥan can be regarded as a "melody" according to European notions, i.e., a musical structure built of equal or corresponding sections and shaped according to a rhythmic scheme (meter). This design differs from the traditional tunes of free rhythm, as metrical poetry differs from biblical verse, and has the same advantages and drawbacks, as *Judah Halevi demonstrated (Kuzari 2:69).

In modern Jewish singing practice, a laḥan may be very closely to the cyclic structure of the stanzas and can be notated with bars according to the meter of the text (Mus. Ex. 9).

It is evident from the example that a "metrical" tune need not be syllabic; a series of short notes may appear on a long syllable. To judge from present practice, however, the absolute identity of poetic and musical rhythm is relatively rare. More often the tune is given its own rhythm, but even then it will be symmetrical or cyclic.

With the emergence of metrical poetry, the formal idea of the stanza became predominant; it constituted a major cycle, which comprised the minor elements of metrical units and rhythms of light character. Its introduction into serious songs was apt to broaden their public appeal. In the Jewish sphere, this implied the explicit invasion of musical tradition by environmental elements. This development was heralded by the extensive use of the Arabic strophic forms established in Spain: the shir ezor ("girdle song," muwaššaḥ in Arabic and the more popular genre the zajal, which were probably the ancestors of both the Spanish villancico and the French virelai). This form is characterized by a certain order of rhymes and by an unchanging refrain (pizmon) to be performed in chorus by the audience (Tanḥum ha-Yerushalmi, s.v.pazzem; see Y. Ratzhaby in: Taẓlil, 8 (1968), 16). The melody of a shir ezor could be either original or taken from an earlier composition ("With the Greeks, the song was composed together with its tune; with the Arabs, every song has a tune, but not every tune has a song [exclusively associated with it]," Moses ibn Ezra, c. 1100 (Heb. transl. B.Z. Halper, Shirat Yisrael, 1924, 110)). The transfer of melodies from one song to another is also a common featureof Hebrew hymns from the 11th century onward ("The scribes of Spain… would write the tune of a well-known piyyut above the column of the piyyut," Abraham ibn Ezra, commentary on Ps. 7:1). In a sample of about 80 hymns from the Cairo Genizah, published by J.H. *Schirmann in 1966 (Piyyutim Ḥadashim min ha-Genizah), the superscriptions of 32 refer the reader to the tunes of other Hebrew poems. Seventeen others, however, were written to Arabic melodies assumingly well known in their day. This shows clearly that the acceptance of a foreign form was often accompanied by the adoption of foreign music – either by the transfer of actual melodies or as an imitation of style. Simeon Duran writes (c. 1400) of "the tunes for songs and elegies:.. some were composed in the lands of Spain and taken by the poets from the songs of Ishmael [i.e., of the Arabs] which are very attractive: others were taken from the popular songs of the French countries and are driven to extreme melodic height and extension" (Magen Avot, ed. Leghorn 1785, 55b). Sometimes approved, but more often attacked, the custom of using foreign tunes remained a permanent feature in Jewish music. Later it even became an issue of mysticalideology and, in music itself, a source of hybrid forms.

The new development in poetry and music may be reduced to one common formula: both arts are given a periodic ordering, an artificial structuring of the dimension of time acquired from Greco-Arabic precedents. The mere sound of speech and song thereby becomes an experience of its own. The listener may give himself up to rhythms and sounds more harmonious and relaxed than those found in harsh reality; the words may pass before him without posing a special challenge or demand. This phenomenon was alien to the older forms of Hebrew poetry in which the "weight" of accents, like pounding hammers, drove the words into the consciousness. It is difficult to imagine that one could listen to the "beautiful flow of speech" of Isaiah or Job without being moved by its message. The impact of a sensual and aesthetic appreciation of art was a new element in Jewish music, and the first tangible sign of its progressive integration with the cultural environment.

music at the social and popular levels

As a result of the relative freedom in daily life that the Jews were granted, musical elements that had no connection whatsoever with either religion or secular learning came to the fore. At the popular level, song and play had certainly never ceased to enliven festival and ordinary activities, exactly as is related of the Talmudic era (see above). An uninterrupted stream of reports and notices from the Middle Ages tell about Jewish minstrels and jugglers roaming the countries and performing before Jews and gentiles. The wandering artist had a very low status in medieval society; he was almost an outcast in Christian civilization and was regarded with the same suspicion, as sometimes were the Jews. Nevertheless, minstrelsy was a very old vocation, which had spread over the continent in the path of the Roman legions. When the Jews were expelled from their country, many joined the universally open class of ludarii (M. Jastrow, rej, 17, 308–10), ministrerii, and ioculatores. The movement of Jews into this way of life continued during the Middle Ages and later on. Most of the Jewish communities could not offer a livelihood to all who possessed an artistic gift and felt an urge to practice it. These artists used to master not only singing and instrumental play but also the recitation of long epics and the composition of various kinds of poetry, as well as dancing, rope walking, knife throwing, etc.

This kind of "art" was acceptable not only in the villages or market places; men of high standing were also fond of hearing and seeing the minstrel and juggler, and those they liked best they would attach to their retinue. Since the roaming artist was an outsider in any case, his Jewish extraction was of no consequence in making him the court musician of a caliph or emir or of a Christian king, bishop, or knight. Some examples of the Jewish minstrels' appearance before high-class audiences may shed some light on this continuously recurring phenomenon. From Jewish tribes who settled in seventh-century Hijaz and went to war with shawm and drum came the famous singer *al-Gharid al-Yahudi of Medina, said to have pleased Muhammad himself by his song. In Andalusia, *al-Mansur al-Yahudi was appointed court musician by al-Hakam I, the caliph of Cordoba, early in the ninth century and sent to Kairouan to escort the famous musician Ziryab to Cordoba; others are known to have served the nobles of the Ibn Shaprut family, such as a certain Isaac b. Simeon (c. 1100). The Christian kings of Spain also held Jewish musicians in high esteem. Their court accounts of the 14th–16th centuries repeatedly mention Jewish juglares (mostly vihuela players) who received considerable remuneration and were granted pompous titles (ministrerii de stroments de corda de casa de la señora reyna). Wandering singer-poets of Jewish descent were welcome with kings and aristocrats since they added a popular flavor to the sophisticated, but sometimes dull, court atmosphere. "El Ropero," the son of a Jewish tailor, was maliciously called malvado cohen, judio, zafío, logrero by his rivals, but nevertheless allowed to address Isabella the Catholic with a protest song against the persecution of the Marranos in 1473. One of his contemporaries Juan (Poeta) of Valladolid, pleased the Spanish court of Naples.

The activities of Jewish singers immediately before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, testifies again that they were regarded as outsiders in every respect. They also appear in the company of Provençal troubadours, French trouvères, or, like *Suesskind of Trimberg (c. 1220), at the seat of the bishop of Wuerzburg. The poetries of these Jewish singers, even the songs on biblical subjects and those obviously written for a Jewish audience, were in the vernacular. They mastered the international repertoire to no less a degree than their gentile colleagues and added to it subjects from Bible and Midrash. One of the unexpected discoveries in the Cairo Genizah was the notebook of a Jewish minstrel of 1382, writing German in Hebrew letters. It contains a lengthy German epic, as well as songs on Moses, Abraham, Joseph, and a parable from the Midrash. The authors, "Eizik and Abraham the Scribes," rarely use Hebrew words (but "church" is pejoratively called tifleh).

The wandering singers were a class between the nations and, in general, rather estranged to their origin. They spread the works and motifs of literature over the countries and continents (e.g., Samson Pine, who interpreted the French epic of Parzival to German scribes in 1335). The tales of King Arthur were introduced to the Jewish public as well when they were transferred to the Jewish idiom or imitated, as in the *Shmuel Bukh (15th century), the Akedat Yiẓḥak poem, and similar compositions. Reliable sources show that such Jewish epics were sung to a fixed melodic phrase throughout the whole work like the Chanson de Geste and similar poems the world over. Regrettably, such tunes as the Niggun Shmuel Bukh were never recorded in music, but their counterparts have been preserved in the biblical ballads of the Sephardim, which show that the recurrent standard phrase was varied with every repetition (Mus. ex. 10).

Minstrelsy in general holds an important share in the formation of common European melody types. Its Jewish representatives

served as intermediaries between the ghettoes and their environment. They were also the bearers of an instrumental tradition, especially in the field of dance music. When conducting the elaborate musical rites of wedding ceremonies and other occasions, they transferred part of the international repertoire to the Jewish quarter (Mus. ex. 11).

It is no wonder that common European formulas of dance melodies invaded the more popular part of religious and even synagogue song (Mus. ex. 12). Although these processes belong to the popular level, their importance can hardly be overrated. It was the broad masses of the people who sang certain hymns and regulated the musical taste by giving or denying their emotional approval to the precentor. Periods when an educated musical understanding decided the forms of liturgical song remained rather isolated phenomena. One can hardly discover any influence of that art music which was so highly esteemed during the Golden Age of Andalusian Jewry, when *Moses ibn Ezra gained relief from melancholy by listening to a lute player ("The sinew of my heart becomes one of his strings… skillful hands that feel their way and jump on a fret in just time, spread joy over the breathing souls… the dark doors closed, and the seat of the Most-High lies open to the initiated eyes…," Shirei Ḥol, ed. Brody, no. 72), or *Al-Ḥarizi who gave his thankful greetings to a certain Isaiah, master on the Arabic lute (he "stirs up the lute strings to sing… like a child in mother's lap who smiles and emits exultant shouts, not weeping… His playing over a dead body would awaken it, and the spirit of life would dwell upon it again…," Taḥkemoni, ed. Kahana, 463). Those beautiful and poetic words bear witness of the deep emotions felt on listening to elaborate art music. However, the conditions of the Jewish exile did not allow for a continued delight in the refined art; time and again the Jews were thrown back to the level of poor people and to the kind of music enjoyed by the same.

the formation of concepts of jewish music (12th–14th centuries)

Since the dawn of the second millennium the impact of the musical idioms of the host cultures was felt more and more in Jewish life, religious and secular. In the face of powerful external influences, the traditional attitude to music was also revised and, eventually, rearranged. By the 13th century, three main concepts had developed that circumscribed the role of music in Jewish life in such a fundamental way as to retain their power through the ages down to the present.

The Rabbinic Attitude to Music

Wherever the Torah is applied to life in its entirety, the ethical potential of music is esteemed above its aesthetic values. Beauty of sound and formal perfection fade and are ranked as a mere means of reaching a higher goal, beyond the realm of art. Rabbis did not appreciate any kind of music that was merely pleasing to hear but had no edifying objective. It goes without saying that they condemned music that was likely to stir up excessive human passion. From the time of *Hai Gaon (c. 1000) the most important Talmud commentaries and legal decisions constantly uttered warnings against listening to Arab love songs (shiʿir al-ghazal, *Alfasi) or the popular "girdle songs" (muwaššaḥ, *Maimonides). The latter called the occupation with songbooks (sifrei niggun) a "waste of time in vanity" (Comm. to Sanh. 10:1). On the condition that the singer refrains from losing himself in sensual pleasure and evoking primitive instincts, however, most rabbis held music in high esteem. Song is regarded as a very desirable accompaniment to prayer. Musical performance at

public worship was naturally subject to certain prohibitions, e.g., the prohibition on playing instruments and listening to them during the Sabbath, imitating rites of foreign worship, or listening to female singing voices. Regulations of this kind impeded the introduction of the organ or the formation of mixed choirs in synagogues, for example. Another rabbinical doctrine demands that everyone in full, including the participants in responsorial chant, should enunciate the psalms. This gave rise to the strange "concatenated" alternation of hemistichs still practiced in several Eastern communities:

Solo: The heavens declare the glory of God,

Choir: and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech,

Solo: and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech,

Choir: and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is neither speech nor language,

Solo: and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is neither speech nor language (Psalm 19).

Rabbi Isaiah *Horowitz, who settled in Jerusalem in the early 17th century, recommended this custom also to the West (Kiẓẓur Shelah (ed. 1715), fol. 66a).

The competence of the hazzan was judged by his personal respectability and good repute rather than by musical standards. This frequently expressed view was codified later in the Shulḥan Arukh (oḤ 53:4). Time and again, rabbis were inclined to reject ḥazzanim of a prominently artistic or virtuoso disposition, since they were suspect of aiming at public applause alone. Nevertheless, rabbis very often had to compromise or even resign themselves to the demands of the public (Solomon Luria, Yam shel Shelomo; Ḥul. 1:49). The guardians of law however, did not cease calling singers to order by their warnings not to disturb the balance of word and tone or sever the bond between related words by extended coloraturas: indeed, a style of singing came into existence in which vocalized coloraturas occurred only as a sort of interlude between integral word groups, instead of being sung to the syllable or a word. In the later centuries, ḥazzanim were often blamed by their rabbis for a "theatrical" or "operatic" mode of performance or (in unconscious conformity with Plato) for their "imitation of nature," such as when they pictured vocally the "sound of great waters" in Ps. 93:4 (Judah Leib Zelichower, Shirei Yehudah, 1696, fol. 27b).

The innermost meaning of music was defined by Maimonides with reference to the perfect music of the Levites in the Temple as cognate to the faculty of discerning the pure idea (Guide of the Perplexed, 3, 46), with pleasantness of sound a precondition of its effect on the soul (ibid., 3, 45). About three centuries later an exile from Spain, Isaac ben Ḥayyim Cohen wrote in his Eẓ Ḥayyim that the singing of the Levites is intended to prepare their minds for contemplation, as befits those fulfilling sacred tasks. These statements demonstrate how a well-established tradition may be corroborated by philosophical argumentation.

Philosophy and Secular Education

Music was included in the ardent debates about this problem, since it formed part of the curriculum of sciences. It remained for Maimonides' followers to establish its rightful place within Jewish education and learning. Joseph ibn *Aknin was the first to undertake this task in his book Cure of the Souls (Tibb al-Nufus, ch. 27). In Ibn Aknin's opinion the Bible itself obliges the Jewish people to learn the art of music, not only because of its association with the holy sacrifices and its high esteem in the ancient times, but because the spiritual power of music had been a source of prophecy, "guiding the mind to clear sight, to keen distinction, to the faculty of meditation." Music now penetrated education as a medium of shaping the character and developing emotional abilities. "Understanding music" (as a goal apart from practical execution) was accepted as an educational factor by the Jews of Moorish Andalusia and of Christian southern Europe, from about 1230–40. Transfer of the language of musical literature from Arabic to Hebrew marked the turning point. Already a century earlier *Abraham b. Ḥiyya wrote in Hebrew a comprehensive encyclopedia of the sciences of which the section on music, "On Ḥokhmat ha-Niggun called musika in Greek" is in manuscript in the Vatican library. Shemtov *Falaquera gave music its appropriate place in his educational work of 1236 Ha-Mevakkesh ("The Searcher" – after wisdom and happiness) and in his Reshit Hokhmah ("Beginnings of Wisdom," also translated into Latin); he also advocated Hebrew as the preferred language of studies. The latter idea guided the Jews of Provence when they appointed Andalusian authors to translate science books into Hebrew. Judah ibn *Tibbon had already supplied a version of Saadiah's philosophical work together with its musical appendix (see above). Judah Al-Ḥarizi translated the Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq's Sayings of the Philosophers (ch. 18–20 about music). Anonymous translators contributed the extensive music treatise from the encyclopedia of *Ibn Abi al-Ṣalt. Fragments of a musical treatise by *Moses b. Joseph ha-Levi have been preserved as a quotation.

The activities of these promoters of music education coincided – certainly not by chance – with the endeavors made in Christian Castile, Provençe, and Sicily to create a European spiritual culture independent of ecclesiastical dogma but following classical antiquity. A cosmopolitan and humanistic spirit governed the circles that fostered this movement, and the above-mentioned Abraham b. Ḥiyya served them as a translator, as did many Jews and Moors. This breath of fresh air awoke hopes for a normalization of exile conditions by transferring ingredients of secular culture into Hebrew. During these heydays of medieval civilization, Jews ornamented their books with excellent miniatures, sang the love songs of the troubadours ("a very bad custom, taken over from the surrounding peoples," Jacob *Anatoli, c. 1230) or romances (Sefer *Ḥasidim 142; cf. 3; 238, c. 1200) and listened to popular tales and epics. Hebrew poets of Provence appreciated the art of famous troubadours (Abraham *Bedersi, late 13th century) but wrote exclusively in their own tongue, albeit for a limited audience

("My lyre, awaking melodies in this generation, what is it more than a forlorn song?" Abraham Bedersi).

Such tendencies received fresh impulse from the movement of the Proto-Renaissance and from new trends in French and Italian music early in the 14th century. The poet and thinker *Immanuel of Rome ("O science of music, who will understand any more the art of thy flutes and drums?" Mahbarot, 21) complained: "It is a well-known fact that the science of music – a wonderful and esoteric science and art – was once thoroughly understood by our nation… but nowadays, none of us knows anything of it, and it is entirely in Christian hands" (Comm. Prov. 23:13). Such ideas, of whom Immanuel was only one exponent, now gave rise to a new wave of Hebrew musical literature drawn from Latin and Italian sources. The connection of its compilers with the Proto-Renaissance movement is obvious. *Kalonymus b. Kalonymus, who served King Robert ii of Anjou as a science translator, also wrote a Hebrew version of Al-*Farabi's Classification of the Sciences (3:5 on music), in 1314. *Levi b. Gershom, collaborating with Johannes de Muris in mathematics and astronomy, was commissioned by Philippe de Vitry to write a treatise De numeris harmonicis in 1343 and was thus in close touch with two outstanding figures of the Ars Nova in France, as was probably also that unknown music student whose Hebrew notebook refers to teachings of Jean Vaillant (c. 1400). Italian Trecento music is reflected by the notebook of another anonymous Jew who translated into Hebrew a brief compilation of musical theory attributed to the famous Marchettus of Padua from Italian. A more comprehensive treatise of musical theory was translated from Latin by a certain *Judah b. Isaac. In his preface, the translator brings forward the favorite idea of that epoch: that Jewish occupation with musical science actually means the recovery of one's own property, lost in the turmoil of exile. 14th-century Spain contributed some discussions on the role of music in medicine; they are only marginal phenomena, when compared to the strong tendency of Provençal and Italian Jewry to make the science of music a building stone of a secular culture of their own.

The endeavors of medieval Jewry to attach themselves to contemporary musical conceptions were buried under an avalanche of severe catastrophes that threatened the very existence of the Jews. These prompted the question whether the devotion to art and worldly goods was at all appropriate to a people in exile. Solomon *Ibn Verga (late 15th century) expressed such opinions in a fictional discussion between King Alfonso viii and three Jewish leaders (Shevet Yehudah, par. 8): "Why should you teach your children music" asks the king, "whereas you are obliged to tears and mourning all your life since the God of Heavens called you a wretched people and dispersed you for it, which he did to no other nation." The Jewish respondents cannot proffer a real answer and demonstrate a disheartened retreat from their former aims and hopes. Pushed back by the turn taken by medieval civilization, Jews had to abandon their tentative contacts with art music and musical learning. This problem was to repeat itself several times later on.

According to a pattern that became standard, rejection led to a return to traditional standards and ideas. In music, this meant a move back to the use of musical language for predominantly religious expression. By the 15th century, however, the latter had already lost its original sober purity by the adoption of metric tunes for hymnal song and by the practice of florid melodies fostered by a strong mystical movement.

Mystical Ideas and Forms

Tradition on the lines of pure halakhah hardly considered the innate dynamics of musical expression, but judged it by external (albeit exalted) standards. Direct and constant relations between religious experience and music are rather found in the mystical approach to faith, which needed music for communicating ideas that cannot be expressed by words and as a means of imparting visions and secret revelations. Such tendencies are already evident in the Midrashim of earlier Jewish mysticism. During the 13th century, the mystical trend gained in impetus and exerted an unprecedented power over both the contemplative and the active modes of life.

When the Kabbalah attempts to reveal the secrets of creation or of the heavens, it often has recourse to musical symbols, metaphors, and allegories. The reciprocal relation between the lower and the upper world, for exampe, is made comprehensible by analogy with musical resonance; divine love and grace are pictured by various allegories of song and dance. The Zohar gathers almost every musical allusion to mystical ideas found in the Talmud and Midrash, without adding anything really new; but it renovates and strengthens the impact of such visions as the angelical choirs (Va-Yetze, ed. Mantua, fol. 158b–159b) and their counterpart, Israel's song of praise ("so that the Holy One may be exalted from above and from below in harmony," Shemot, 164b; cf. Va-Yeḥi, 231a–b). Images of this kind had earlier been drawn in the Heikhalot literature (see above). Especially significant is the demand for cheerfulness in prayer, concretely expressed in song and melody: "… we know that the *Shekhinah does not dwell in sad surroundings, but only amid cheerfulness. For this reason Elisha said (ii Kings 3:15): 'But now bring me a minstrel; and it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of God came upon him'" (Va-Yeshev, 180b; cf. Va-Yeḥi, 216b; 249b). Contemporary and later kabbalists connect their allegories with a rather precise, almost scientific, description of musical phenomena (e.g., Abraham *Abulafia; Isaac *Arama). Mystical meditation, however, by its very nature, had to remain a privilege of the selected few. Its massive influence on music was made effective by books or commentaries in the prayer book and, more directly, by the personal example of individual mystics acting as cantors and rabbis.

Among the *Ḥasidei Ashkenaz, mystical ideas penetrated the particular mode of devout life taught by Judah he-Ḥasid and his followers. Their aim was to demonstrate the love of God and the joy in his commandments every day, and this strongly emotional element shaped a musical idiom of its own. Prayer and praise are the center of life, but they can be conducted in true perfection only by inseparable union with a tune. Singing is the natural expression of joy, and a frequent change of melodies prevents daily prayer from becoming mere routine. Absorption in song releases the abandonment of the self and the innermost concentration on the words uttered. Moreover, mystical prayer also has an active end in sight: *kavvanah, the "intention" or concentration on the mystical union of world and creator, is to be brought about by contemplating the hidden sense behind the plain meaning of the words. These unspoken matters must be deliberated during the utterance of certain key words of the prayers. In this context, the tune has several tasks: to eliminate the diversion of mind by the surroundings, to make room for a chain of thoughts around a word, and to remind the congregation of a specific "intention." The technical term for this application of melody was leha'arikh be-niggun, li-meshokh niggunim (extending the tune), be-orekh u-vemeshekh niggun, or niggunim arukhim (long tunes). All these terms point to the long melismas, mostly wordless coloraturas, before or within the prayer that became a distinguishing mark of mystical prayer song.

A rather simple example of melodically expressed kavvanah may be found in the recitation of the Book of Esther, which does not contain any explicit mention of God. When reaching chapter 6, verse 1, "On that night the king could not sleep," the same long melisma which ornaments the word "the King" during High Holiday morning prayers is intoned, symbolizing that it actually was the King of the World who intervened at this point. Other examples are the legendary association of the *ʿAleinu prayer with Joshua and the walls of Jericho, which is evoked by inserted trumpet-like flourishes, or the extended tune of Barekhu on Sabbath night which was believed to give the souls suffering in hell an additional moment of relief. Undoubtedly a certain poetical element dwells in the "long melodies" and, at the same time, provides a challenge for the performing cantor. The latter always took pride in giving musical shape to these sometimes phantasmagorical ideas.

Along with this outlet of dynamic music making, medieval mysticism also opened the door to the intrusion of definitely popular musical elements. Just as everyone was obliged to say daily prayers, no one would be dispensed from doing so in song:

You should never say: My voice is not agreeable… Speaking this way, you complain against him who did not make your voice beautiful. There is nothing that induces man to love his Creator and to enjoy his love more than the voice raised in an extended tune… If you are unable to add something [of your own to the prescribed text], pick out a tune that is beautiful and sweet to your ears. Offer up your prayer in such tunes, and it will be full of kavvanah, and your heart will be enchanted by the utterings of your mouth… (Sefer Ḥasidim, 11; 13th century).

This trend necessarily led away from every artistic or elaborate kind of music. Although the Sefer Ḥasidim clearly rejected "music from the tavern," the door was thrown open to a new invasion of foreign melodies, at least at the popular level of Jewish mysticism. A time was even to come when the "redemption" of a beautiful gentile tune, by its adaptation to a sacred text, was to be regarded as a great merit. The concepts of music developed by the Hasidei Ashkenaz deeply penetrated the communities and lasted for a long time in Central Europe. Made popular by the writings of *Eleazar b. Judah (Ha-Roke'aḥ) of Worms and numerous prayer books with commentaries of his inspiration, the musical expression of kavvanot became an essential task of ḥazzanut. It remained so as late as the 18th century, when it was replaced by the influence of East European Ḥasidism.

the consolidation of regional styles

The spiritual developments which shaped the various concepts of sacred song were largely concluded by 1300. It fell to the 15th century to shape music itself according to the chosen ideal and to direct the accepted patterns into the channels of a continuous tradition. Differences of ideology and taste gave rise to separate musical traditions – not only of the larger groups (Minhag Ashkenaz, Sefarad, Italyah, Romanyah), but even on the community level. Important but limited groups, such as the Jews of Avignon (*Carpentras), Mainz, and Prague, developed a characteristic musical custom (minhag) of their own.

Musical Minhag

Scattered references related to the music of certain prayer or hymn texts can already be found in the earlier compendia of liturgical practice, such as *Abraham b. Nathan ha-Yarḥi's Ha-Manhig (c. 1205). Moreover, their disciples passed down the practices of venerable rabbis and ḥazzanim through oral tradition. Some of the musical minhagim go back to the talmudic period, such as extending the melodies of "eḥad" in Shema Yisrael (Ber. 13b; 61b), (Mus. ex. 13a), of the *Amen (Ber. 47a), and of the *Priestly Blessing (Kid. 71c), see Mus. ex. 13c. The halakhic sayings that shofar and megillah are to be treated alike (Ber. 30a; Meg. 4b, etc.) are evoked by the use of an identical tune for the benedictions of both of them (Mus. ex. 13b).

The efforts to consolidate an Ashkenazi tradition of sacred song were concentrated in the school of Jacob b. Moses *Moellin, commonly called the Maharil. Although a rabbi by rank and authority, he liked to function as a ḥazzan (Sefer Maharil, ed. Lemberg, 1860, fol. 55a–b; 49b). The musical usage taught by him was, on the one hand, a continuation of existing traditions accepted from former Ḥazzanim (ibid., 28a; 82b), but on the other, his personal choice and example became normative. As a rule, the Maharil used to acknowledge the right of local custom:

Maharil said: Local custom should not be altered at any price, even not by unfamiliar melodies. And he told us an event in his life. Once he was ḥazzan during the High Holidays at the Regensburg community and sang all the prayers according to the custom of the land of Austria, which is followed there. It was difficult for him, however, so that he said the haftorah in the tune customary in the settlements near the Rhine.

It is remarkable how elaborate and thoughtful the musical performance of the Maharil was. His disciple, Zalman of St. Goar, recorded many details with great care and transmitted to posterity a "score without music," so to speak, of the most important parts of the liturgy. In the service for the Ninth of Av, for instance (fol. 49b–50b), not only is the distribution of texts between congregation and cantor defined, but also what the latter had to sing in a loud, medium, and low voice, what in a mournful intonation, and where a cry of pain was to be sent up. The pauses at the end of the verses and chapters are not forgotten, nor are the extension of melodies and other discriminate implements of expression. The music of the Day of Atonement is treated in a similar way (fol. 63a; 65a).

The Maharil used to stress the importance of hymns (Krovez, 83b), but he wished to exclude those in the German vernacular (117a), which apparently existed then, as do such in *Ladino with the Sephardim to the present. Often the Maharil

points to the identity between certain hymn tunes (28b; 74b). Unlike many other rabbis, he regarded melody as an essential element of liturgical traditon.

The "musical minhag" of the Maharil is also full of mystical "intentions" (kavvanot 40b; 55b; 56a; 66a). There are striking examples of their influence on melodical configuration: "He used to extend [the tune at] the word 'Thou' very much, obviously concentrating his mind on the faculty of 'Thou' known to all the adepts of mystics" (56a). Such musical suggestions of a hidden sense of the words were indicated by remarks in the prayer books. The Maḥzor Hadrat Kodesh (Venice, 1512), for instance, advises the ḥazzan to sing a certain chapter "to a melody" or "in a long and beautiful tune" and assigns to the prayer Nishmat Kol Ḥai "a beautiful melody, since all the people of Israel are given Neshama yetera on the Sabbath." Other books attest the use of veritable leitmotifs in the recitation of the Book of Esther when, for instance, the drinking vessels of Ahasuerus are mentioned to the tune of the Lamentations (for they supposedly formed part of the booty from the Temple of Jerusalem). It was also an old custom to prolong the tune of Barukh she-Amar in the Morning Prayer (mentioned in Ha-Manhig, c. 1205 and in 1689 by the convert Anton *Margarita); the author *Samson b. Eliezer (14th century) relates that he used to sing it as an orphan in Prague with such a sweet voice that he was given the name Shimshon Barukh she-Amar (Sefer Barukh she-Amar, preface). Although directions for musical execution are found in the works of many authors, the Maharil was made the legendary patron of Ashkenazi ḥazzanut and the invention of traditional melodies was ascribed to him. In particular, the so-called *Mi-Sinai melodies – a common heritage of Ashkenazi synagogues in both Western and Eastern Europe – were believed to go back to the authority of the Maharil (sometimes confused, by uneducated cantors, with *Judah Loew b. Bezalel, Maharal of Prague). As a matter of fact, these melodies, ascribed to an oral tradition stemming "from Mount Sinai," i.e., revealed to Moses, are common to Ashkenazi congregations all over the world. They kept their identity in Jewish settlements as distant from each other as eastern Russia and northern France, south of the Carpathians, and in Scandinavia or Britain. There is no doubt that they antedate the great migrations from Central to Eastern Europe in the 15th century or even earlier. The structural principle of the Mi-Sinai melodies is basically Oriental, inasmuch as a cycle of certain themes or motifs is used in manifold combinations and variants according to a traditional master plan. Of course, manifestations of local taste and of "acculturation" are most often present (see *ʿAleinu le-Shabbe'aḥ*Avodah); however, the essential identity of all the variants is undeniable. They may well have been inherited by the Ashkenazim from a still unspecified epoch in the Middle Ages.

Modal Scales in Synagogue Song

The term "modal" in music is often used (although not with scientific precision) for those tone sequences which are different from the familiar major and minor scales, an example being the Church modes. When applying the term "modal" to Jewish music, several precautions should be borne in mind. Firstly, a modal scale need not be an octave, but may be composed of more or less than eight notes. Furthermore, it must not necessarily repeat the same intervals over the whole gamut; on the contrary, an E natural, for instance, may appear in the lower octave and an E-flat in the upper one. Finally, the interval of the augmented second sometimes joins the tone and semitone as a note proper to the key. Of course, scales of vocal music will not necessarily be in the equal temperament of the piano, but may retain a certain flexibility (sharpened leading notes, neutral thirds). In Oriental Jewish song, micro-intervals in the style of the region are common.

The peculiarity of Jewish modes can be recognized and evaluated best in the Ashkenazi and European-Sephardi song, since their special character stands out against the background of the music of the gentile environment. The structural framework of West and North European song consists of chains of thirds bridged by whole tones, but repressing or avoiding semitones (as does Scotch and Irish folksong still today). Oriental song, on the other hand, is built on the *maqam modal scale system, which is basically conceived as a combination of several small groups of notes, whether of the same intervallic structure or not, called "genera," a skeleton of consecutive notes, including a semitone or even micro-intervals as may be seen from examples 4a and 6b.

As to the Jewish settlements in Europe, tunes determined by a tetrachordal skeleton are found among the Sephardim, including the communities of Carpentras (Avignon and Comt\at Venaissin), Bayonne, Rome, and the rest of Italy (the Balkans belonging to the realm of Eastern music). In Ashkenazi song, however, tetrachordal patterns have almost entirely vanished. This has preserved, instead, some features of the earliest Western, semitoneless melodics (Mus. Ex 14)

In spite of this environmental influence on Ashkenazi song, a particular "Jewish" character does prevail there in certain scale structures, which are strange in the context of Western music. These are called *shtayger (a Yiddish term equivalent to mode, manner). Actually there are more shtaygers than the "four synagogue modes" proposed by earlier research, but two of them outweigh the others by far: the Ahavah Rabbah and the Adonai Malakh. Their special features may be recognized from the melody-excerpts given in example 15 and accompanying analyses of their scales (Mus. ex. 15).

As the present Ashkenazi liturgy is an accumulation of hymns and prayers successively added in the course of time, its music also exhibits many characteristics of medieval monody. Among them are the Re and Mi-modes (similar to the Dorian and Phrygian of plainsong), and several peculiar final clauses. A Jewish origin has often been claimed for them but can hardly be proved. An Oriental or Mediterranean character is evident, however, in most of the genuine shtaygers, especially the Ahavah Rabbah and kindred scales. Its nearest parallel

is the second mode of the Greek Orthodox tradition; it may also be compared with the Persian-Arab hijāz scale, but it has no parallel in Western art or folk music.

The Sephardi communities that settled in Italy, France, Amsterdam, and London after their expulsion from Spain also preserve European elements in their melodies. The most remarkable of these is a strange chromaticism which imparts a certain soft and floating tonality to some of their tunes (Mus. ex. 16); it might possibly be defined as a superimposition of two different modes, or as a bi-modality, which is very remote from Western concepts of functional harmony. This kind of chromaticism is found most characteristically in examples of biblical chant notated in 1693 (Rome) and 1699 (Amsterdam), as well as during the 19th and 20th centuries. Similar "floating" phrases are found in prayers and hymns; they are a characteristic of the "sweet singing of Sepharad," whose Oriental roots may at present be postulated only speculatively but cannot as yet be proved by scientific deduction.

Performance and Practice of Synagogue Song

The collaboration of a soloist (sheli'aḥ ẓibbur or ḥazzan) and the choir formed by the whole congregation represents the main feature of synagogue music. These two bodies alternate or answer each other according to a traditional division of the liturgical texts. Especially the Sephardi communities have preserved very old practices of responsorial performance. As indicated in the Talmud (Sot. 30b) and also adopted by the Roman Church, the cantor may intone the first words of a chapter, whereupon the choir takes over, or they may alternate and respond one to the other. Among the Sephardim the congregation is also accustomed to take up the keywords of the more important prayers from the mouth of the cantor. The division of tasks between solo and choir sometimes affects the melodical configuration. If a particular prayer is sung to a nusah (see above), its original free rhythm may change into measured time when taken over by the congregation, and the hazzan may execute the simple pattern in elaborate coloraturas (Mus.ex. 17).

Many non-Ashkenazi communities provide the cantor with two assistants (mezammerim, somekhim, maftirim) who flank him at the prayer desk and take over at certain points of the liturgy. This custom is rooted in certain ideas about the community's representation before the Most High; here the participation of three singers does not influence the shape and manner of their music making. However, a special development in this field took place in the Ashkenazi synagogues. Their cantors also attached to themselves two assistant singers, but they did so with a view to the enrichment and beauty of their singing. According to a fixed rule, one of these assistants (meshorerim) had to be a boy-descant, called singer, and the other an adult, called bass. It is not known, when and why this custom was introduced; a picture in the so-called Leipzig Maḥzor of the 14th century may be regarded as the earliest representation of such a trio. The heyday of ḥazzanut with accompanying meshorerim was the 17th and 18th centuries, and it is only from the sources of this late period that its nature can be inferred. According to it, the assistants improvised an accompaniment of hummed chords, drones, or short figures; the singer also intoned thirds and sixths parallel to the cantilena of the ḥazzan. In addition, both singer and bass had their solo parts – most often extended coloraturas to be performed while the cantor paused. Famous cantors traveled, with the meshorerim as a part of their household, from one large center to another as guest ministers, while the less famed undertook such wanderings in search for a hoped-for permanent post. In the late baroque period, if not earlier, the traditional number of two assistants was supplemented by performers of distinctive tasks, such as the fistel singer (falsetto) and specialists in the imitation of musical instruments (Sayt-bass, fagott-bass, fleyt-singer, for strings, bassoon, and flute, respectively).

The use of musical instruments proper is attested in medieval Baghdad by the traveler *Pethahiah of Regensburg, between 1175 and 1190. However, this was a rare exception and restricted to the half-holidays, since the ban on instrumental music remained in force. It was only by the influence of later mystical movements that the play of instruments was employed in some 17th century Ashkenazi synagogues before the entry of the Sabbath as a token of the joy of the day of rest. Vocal performances nevertheless remained the basic characteristic of synagogue music. An incessant struggle took place in this field between older singing styles and the musical expression of spiritual tendencies that arose during the Middle Ages. This interplay of forces kept Jewish liturgical music from the petrifaction typical of many other traditions of religious chant.

migration and blending of music styles (c. 1500–1750/1800)

The era of the Middle Ages is generally regarded as completed at about 1500. The Jews, however, were not yet relieved of the pressure that had built up during medieval times. For them the period between 1500 and about 1800 was a time of forced migrations, of many a spiritual crisis, of ethno-geographical regrouping, and the formation of new centers. The uprooting of large communities and their confrontation with new environments inevitably left its imprint on their music. The most conspicuous event was the migration of these exiled from Spain to the Ottoman Empire, Italy, and other countries, followed by a steadily trickling rearguard of *Marranos; the persecutions in Central Europe also directed a Jewish mass movement to the (then very spacious) Polish kingdom. The eastbound migrations of both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews share the fact that the emigrants preserved their original vernacular and their liturgical customs, as well as part of their music, and even imposed these on the local communities. In the long run, however, the musical atmosphere of the new lands permeated the intonation and scale structure of their song, while its melodic structure was affected to a lesser degree. The developments were not left to mere chance. New ideologies came into being and also became guiding stars for the forms and contents of musical expression.

[Hanoch Avenary]

The Mystical Movement of Safed

music as concept and practice

An ideological approach to music and its role in worship took root particularly within the mystical movement. In the mystic's world, prayer and the singing associated with it were perceived as elevating the soul to celestial realms where it could bask in the supreme glory. The mystic hears singing everywhere, in his imagination the entire universe incessantly sings the praise of the Lord, as is written in Psalm 150: "Let everything that have breath praise the Lord." Leaders of this movement claimed that music is shared by angels and the Children of Israel and is part of the music of the cosmos destined to sing the Glory of the Creator; as such it helps to establish harmony between the micro and the macrocosmos. The role assigned to music as leading to knowledge and the constant repetition of music's revelation through mystical intention indicates, according to the Kabbalists, that music was God's creation. He created it on the third day, making angels out of his own breath to sing his glory day and night. This special attitude deriving from the cosmic meaning inherent in the kabbalist's approach to song also encouraged the use of song as an enhancement to ritual.

the lurianic kabbalah

Theories dealing with the meaning, power and function of song were, in particular, developed and given important practical application in the kabbalistic doctrine that flourished in Safed in the 16th century; this kabbalistic school had its wellsprings in the teachings of Isaac Luria, reverently called ha-Ari ha-Kadosh (the saintly Ari). These kabbalists, among whom were talented poets and musicians, believed in fostering poetic and musical creativity, since they could raise the individual and help him overcome the drabness and mundane tribulations of life in this world. They believed that the heavenly gates opened to receive one who intoned a Psalm and conscientiously sang hymns and supplications. He thus became a part, so to speak, of the universal singing of the celestial angels, and of the wind that stirs the trees in paradise. The systematic thinker of this kabbalistic circle, Moses Jacob Cordovero (d. 1570) wrote: "The peoples on earth are birds of varied plumage, each with its own type of music and its own song, and no sooner does the boundless power of God descend to the lower spheres than the song of the birds is heard drawing Him through all the rooms to hear the sweet music. Their singing symbolizes the fulfillment of the Divine command, and therefore great skill is required for the birds to sing the song as it should be sung; since it is part of the sage's wisdom, this skill cannot be gained unless the sage himself teaches it to the birds" (Shi'ur Komah, Warsaw, 1883, par. 20–44).

major themes characterizing their approach

It should be noted at the outset that concepts relating to the importance and virtues of music that developed in the mystical doctrine and contributed to the enrichment of the musical repertoire are so interwoven with the symbols and concepts comprising the word of the Kabbalah that it is often difficult to treat them separately.

Some of the major themes that expanded considerably and influenced the development and practice of song are the following:

(1) The sanctity of the Sabbath considered as a kind of small-scale paradise and personified as a heavenly queen imprisoned in the sky, which descends to earth once a week to dispense her holiness. This idea gave birth to a fundamental rite associated with the day, *Kabbalat Shabbat, receiving the Sabbath with the singing of appropriate hymns, as well as the introduction of the concept, oneg shabbat (Sabbath enjoyment), which consists of honoring the Sabbath through engaging in pleasurable activities. This includes the three obligatory meals which are times of supreme joy and exaltation expressed by communal singing while eating, etc.

(2) The idea of rising at the midnight hour to sing became very popular. This led to the establishment of choral groups of early risers and Watchmen of the Morning to perform a sophisticated sequence of special hymns called *bakkashot (supplications). The custom has been perpetuated up to our own days and continues to be held in great esteem.

(3) The analogy between man and the universe and the sought-after resonance and harmony between them are frequent themes in mystical speculation. It is said in this regard that everything done by the individual or the community in the mundane sphere is magically reflected in the upper region. The sublime nature of Israel's singing is related to the theme of the parallel singing of the angels, the power of this singing achieves its highest expression only when both choirs simultaneously intone the praise of God. This acquires particular importance in the performance of the *Kedushah – the Trisagion. This parallelism extends not only to the Kedushah, but implies full concordance between the singing of those on high and those below. Hence the singing of hymns on earth contributes to the establishment of perfect tuning and harmony between man and the macrocosm.

(4) Evil forces constantly obstruct the way leading to this perfect harmony meaning salvation; sacred music and prayer directed by mystical intention are the most formidable weapons in the combat for salvation.

(5) This combat is partly related to the magical power of the shofar and the symbolical roles it fulfills. Indeed many passages of the Zohar deal with its shape, the material it is made of, and the sounds it emits. Among the salient roles assigned to it are the dissipating of harsh divine judgment and to change its nature from punishment to clemency; important historical events in the life of the nation are associated with the sound of its blowing (the Exodus, the revelation of Sinai) as are events of the future – that is to say the redemption.

Some of the many symbols developed in Jewish mystical theories and practice, made their mark on and were bound up with daily activities of the past several hundreds years.

[Amnon Shiloah (2nd ed.)]

The democratic tendencies in the ideology of religious song gave rise to a new wave of popular and profane tunes that infiltrated Hebrew hymnody. The Sephardim had always been very fond of singing and did not lose this predilection during the bitter days of the expulsion. This is proven by the respectable production of Hebrew hymns for extra-synagogal use, written in the popular style and connected with tunes borrowed from songs in the vernacular. An early print of *bakkashot (Constantinople, c. 1525) attests the popularity of 13 Spanish songs with the exiles from the peninsula; six of the hymns by Solomon b. Mazal Tov (printed in 1545) were to be sung to the tune of Spanish songs, 30 to Turkish, and 29 to older Jewish ones. Solomon Mevorakh's song book of 1555 refers to only ten Turkish melodies (since it was written in Greece), and 14 taken from Jewish songs, but it quotes no less than 30 Spanish tunes that obviously were familiar to his contemporaries. Among the latter are "evergreens" of the Iberian repertoire and many pieces that have since fallen into oblivion. The natural inclination of the people to sing, both in Hebrew and in vernacular tongues, received backing from a mystical idea which, suggested that every melody, even those drawn from popular or gentile sources, may become a vehicle of elated feelings.

Menahem di Lonzano preferred to compose hymns to Turkish melodies because of their ascending "to the tenth over the note duga" (the note D in the Persian-Arabic scale); he held that this "utmost range of the human voice," not reached by Greek, Romaniote, or Arabic tunes, was the real meaning of the Psalm verse "On the Asor and on the Nevel" (Shetei Yadot, fol. 141b–142a). Thus, a rabbi and mystic used his well-founded musical knowledge for imparting high flight to his hymnal song. Religious hymns designed both for the prayer house and outside (pizmonim; bakkashot) propagated the pious mood of Safed in the Jewish world. Among the most prominent songs of this kind are: Asadder bi-Shevahin (ascribed to Isaac Luria himself), *Lekhah Dodi by Solomon *Alkabez, Yedid Nefesh by Azikri, and Yah Ribbon Olam by Israel *Najara. The last was a very productive and inspired poet-musician gifted with a sense for musical nuances. Many of his hymns (printed between 1587 and 1600) were written to the tunes of well-known secular songs in the Spanish or Turkish vernacular, less often in Greek and Arabic.

Najara continued an older custom of providing for a phonetic correspondence of the foreign and the Hebrew text. In this manner, the singer of a gentile song was reminded of the preferred religious alternative. The manuscript of Solomon Mevorakh (Greece, 1555), for instance, shows the replacement of the Spanish song "Alma me llaman a mi alma" by the very similar sounding Hebrew "'Al mah ke-alman ammi, al mah."Najara substituted for the Arabic "Ana al-samra wa-sammuni sumayra" the words "Anna El shomera nafshi mi-levayim." Hestrengthened the associative bridge still further by giving the plot of the gentile song a religious meaning. Thus the famous romance on the knight-errant Amadis becomes a tour de force of phonetic sound imitation and, at the same time, a fine allegory of Israel and God's errant glory:

(Spanish-Jewish romance)
Arboleda, arboleda,
Arboleda tan gentil,
La rais tiene d'oro
Y la rama de marfil.
Hil yoledah bi soledah
Hil yoledah bi soledah
Keshurah al lev bi-fetil
Al dod meni histir oro
U-me'oni me-az he'efil
Ashorerah li-fe'erah
Azamerah na be-shir

Najara fostered music in the broadest meaning by acknowledging the union of word and tone – not as an artistic game (as did later imitators), but for the pious inspiration of the common people by ways of a musical language that was their own.

Humanism and the Renaissance

Contemporary with the era of Safed mysticism, another encounter of East and West in the field of Jewish music was initiated by the Renaissance and Humanist movements in Italy and other parts of Europe. This was an interlude in history acted out in the circles of learned scholars and before an erudite and refined audience of art music.

the humanistic approach to letters and music

In the world of science, a direct dialogue with the authors of antiquity replaced the traditional definitions and views of the Middle Ages. This trend extended to the Bible and later Hebrew works. Several Christian scholars studied Hebrew language and grammar, including the rules of masorah and its accentuation. After a short time, the students themselves wrote books on Hebrew grammar, which contained chapters on the teʿamim, sometimes adding the music of biblical chants. Among these were Johannes Reuchlin (De accentibus et orthographia linguae Hebraicae; Hagenau, 1518), Sebastian *Muenster (Institutiones grammaticae in Hebraeam linguam; Basel, 1524), and Johann *Boeschenstein (Munich Cod. Hebr. 401). Many later writers, such as Johannes Vallensis (Opus de prosodia Hebraeorum; Paris, 1545) and Ercole Bottrigari (Il Trimerone, Ms. dated 1599) took over their notated examples. The Ashkenazi Pentateuch tunes, notated independently by several of the authors, are of very similar outlines and are based upon that same semitoneless scale which is still recognizable in the Bible chant of modern times. The renewed interest in grammar and masorah seized Jewish circles as well. Early in the 16th century, several Hebrew authors undertook the description of contemporary practices of biblical chant. The features of the Sephardi version were described by Calo Kalonymus (Appendix to Abraham de *Balmes, Mikneh Avram, 1523), and compared with Ashkenazi practice by Elijah Levita (Tuv Taʿam, 1538).

In the field of art proper, the open-mindedness of the Renaissance period favored the reconciliation of a progressive Jewish public with art music, especially in the small town-states of upper Italy and Tuscany. A very dry historical source – the book lists delivered to the papal censor by the Jewish families of Mantua in 1559 – speaks eloquently when stating that a certain Samuel Ariano had Zarlino's voluminous Instituzioni harmoniche in his library and that Isaac *Norzi possesed madrigal books of Cipriano de Rore, Donato, Stabile, and others. Two influential leaders of the Mantua community discussed the integration of art music in Jewish life. Judah *Moscato, rabbi of that town in 1587–94, preached a long sermon titled Higgayon be-Khinnor ("Meditations on the Lyre"), published in Nefuẓot Yehudah (Venice, 1589). He examined the subject "man and music" under the aspects of Jewish tradition from the Talmud and Midrash down to the contemporary kabbalists, as well as with reference to the Greek and Arabic philosophers. The rabbi stressed the interrelation of the harmony found in music and the harmony imagined in the soul and character of man, striving to show the legitimacy of musical art in Judaism.

His contemporary, the physician and rabbi Abraham *Portaleoneii of Mantua, wrote the book Shiltei ha-Gibborim ("Shields of the Heroes"; posthumously printed Venice, 1612) which may be viewed as an early attempt at biblical archaeology based on the interpretation of literary sources, in the spirit of Renaissance scholarship. The author dwells at lengthon Levitic song and the form and nature of its musical instruments. Outstanding Christian writers soon regarded these chapters as a "source" of Hebrew music, especially after Blasio Ugolino had translated them into Latin in 1767. Disregarding its dubious informative value, this book is symptomatic of the mood governing Renaissance Jewry. Even before 1480, *Judah b. Jehiel Messer Leon of Mantua had become enthusiastic about the concordance between the Bible and ancient Greek rhetoric and other literary genres; Azariah de *Rossi took up these views, and Abraham Portaleone finally applied them to the field of music. At the time, R. Portaleone's book was likely to strengthen the consciousness of the Hebrew share in the culture of antiquity and the importance of its musical achievements.

art music

With the partial release of external and internal pressure, a generation of gifted Jewish musicians and composers cropped up during the 16th century. They straightway were absorbed into the fervent development of Italian music, and several Jewish composers saw their works appear in the famous printing establishments of Venice between 1575 and 1628. Outstanding talents had already begun to run the social blockade early in the Cinquecento. The convert Giovan Maria, a lute player, won great fame even beyond the Alps. He successively served the courts of Urbino (1510), Mantua (tutor of the princes, 1513–15), and finally Pope Leo x (chamber musician, 1515–21) and Clement vii (1525–26). At the Gonzaga court of Mantua the harp players Abramo (Abraham Levi) dall' *Arpa and his family were appointed before 1550. They are mentioned as high-ranking musicians by the art theoretician G.P. Lomazzo (1584; 1587); Daniel Levi dall'Arpa was sent to the imperial court of Vienna between 1550 and 1560. The social situation of such Jewish musicians is understood from the fact that Abramo dall' Arpa also held a license for the ritual slaughterhouse and for moneylending in his native town; his son Daniel was granted a special passport to move freely about the country.

The first Jewish composer to see his works appear in print was David *Sacerdote (Cohen) of Rovere. His first book of six-part madrigals was dedicated to the Marchese del Vasto and printed in 1575 (until now only the Quinto part book has been rediscovered). For the first time the designation Hebreo was added to the composer's name; this became the rule with all those who came after him, most probably by decree of the censor.

The most conspicuous developments took place in the duchy or Mantua, whose court harbored composers of worldwide fame such as Monteverdi. Ensembles of Jewish actors andmusicians contributed to the fervent musical life of that town, including several members of the de Rossi family ("Min-ha-Adumim"). A female singer of this family participated in the performance of one of the precursors of the opera (1608), and an Anselmo Rossi had a motet based on psalm texts printed in a collective work (1618). In 1651, Giuseppe de Rossi served the duke of Savoy at Turin. The most important musician of the family was composer Salamone de *Rossi, whose life is documented between 1586 and 1628 (see below). His works were much favored by his contemporaries, as attested by several reprints and their admission to collected editions published in Copenhagen (1605) and Antwerp (1613; 1616). He also secured a firm place in the general history of music, especially by his progressive instrumental compositions and the early application of the thorough bass. Other Jewish composers whose works have been preserved in print were Davit *Civita (1616; 1622; 1625) and Allegro Porto (1619).

Outside Italy Jewish folk musicians were very active but were not given an opportunity to gain a footing in the ranks of art music. The relative freedom prevailing in Renaissance Italy came to a sudden end with one of the usual crises of Jewish existence. When the House of Gonzaga died out and troubles seized the duchy of Mantua, the Jewish musicians had to emigrate (most went to Venice). The prosperity of that city and its large Jewish population encouraged them to found a Jewish accademia musicale (concert society) called "accademia degli Impediti" and later on "Compagnia dei musici." The musicloving R. Leone *Modena promoted their activities. Attempts were made to introduce instrumental play into the synagogue at the feast of Simhat Torah; but the initiators had to yield to rabbinical objections, since the organ used by them was too reminiscent of "the foreign cult." Finally it was again a catastrophe – the plague of 1630 – that cut off the manifestations of Jewish integration in art music. Severe rabbis about the middle of the century quenched the last flickering of such intentions, but not before the first works of synagogal art music had come into existence.

efforts to establish art music in the synagogue

From the eloquent recommendation of Judah Moscato and the delight in art music fostered in wide circles of Renaissance Judaism, it was not a far cry to welcome art music in the synagogue as well. The enthusiasm for the ancient Temple music (Abraham Portaleone, see above) suggested its reinstitution in the house of prayer. The power of conservatism and exile – conditioned humility and pessimism, however, proved hard to overcome. The power behind these progressive tendencies was Leone Modena, who, although ordained as a rabbi, was actually rather one of the errant literati and jack-of-all-trades like many a learned humanist or his younger contemporary Joseph *Delmedigo. While music was for Delmedigo a matter of science (Sefer Elim, Amsterdam, 1629), it was one of the 26 crafts in which Leone Modena claimed to have been engaged.

As a rabbi in his native Ferrara about 1605, he saw to the installation of a synagogue choir and to the systematical instruction of its six to eight singers in music. They performed hymns such as *Adon Olam, *Yigdal, *Ein ke-Eloheinu, and Aleinu le-Shabbe'ah on the occasion of feasts and special Sabbaths, "in honor of God according to the order and right proportion of the voices in the art [of music]." This innovation met with the stiff resistance of a local rabbi who held that music was prohibited in exile; but Leone Modena secured a decision of four other rabbis in favor of polyphonic synagogue singing. This document was to become the main weapon for many later attempts in this direction. It was reprinted by the progressive cantor Solomon Lipschitz in 1718, as well as by Adolf *Jellinek of Vienna in 1861 (Ben Chananja 4, no. 27 suppl. as "topical for the still pending question of introducing choir singing in the sacred service of the Hungarian communities"). The most prominent place in which this decision was printed, and, at the same time, the recompense of Leone Modena's efforts, was the edition in print of Salamone de Rossi's collected synagogue compositions Ha-Shirim Asher li-Shelomo (Venice, 1622/23). The preface of the editor (de Modena) states that de Rossi, after his success in secular music, "dedicated his talents to God… and wrote down psalms, prayers and praises. As soon as one started singing [them], all the listeners were taken away by their ear-flattering beauty." The wealthy Moses Sullam and other notabilities of Jewish Venice (including the editor himself) worked hard in persuading the composer to have these liturgical works published in print.

If the flowery language of this preface can be taken at face value, de Rossi's choral works for the synagogue had already been performed from the manuscript at Mantua (possibly also at Ferrara where a Benjamin Saul Min-ha-Adumim was hazzan before 1612). The three-to eight-voiced compositions of the Ha-Shirim Asher li-Shelomo are not only a "first" and a solitary phenomenon in early synagogue music, they have also a particular standing within the musical work of Salamone de Rossi himself. Considering his way from the youthful freshness of the Canzonette (1589) down to the ripe and dramatized lyricism in his Madrigaletti (1628), the restraint and objectivity of his religious works becomes obvious. Rossi had no Jewish tradition of choral polyphony to start from; he could not use the idiom of church music, nor did he wish to employ his command of madrigalesque expressivity. Thus he turned to a sort of objective choral psalmody, on the one hand, and to the representative chordal columns of Gabrieli, on the other, interspersed with fine specimens of polyphonic voice weaving and a diversity of nonfunctional chords. The expressive values and musical declamation are austere, however, as compared with Rossi's secular works. They comply with Pietro Cerone's rules for psalm composition (El Melopeo, 1613) rather than evoking the customary conceptions of synagogue style. It should be emphasized that Rossi's compositions wereintended only for particular occasions, such as "special Sabbaths and feasts," and were not designed to replace the traditional synagogue chants.

At the Crossroads of the East and West

In the course of the 16th century, a rearrangement of the Jewish population in the lands of the Diaspora had taken place. The most important moves were the influx of exiles from Spain and Portugal into the Ottoman-ruled East and the immigration of Ashkenazim into Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe. These mainstreams of migration led to the formation of an Oriental-Sephardi and an East-Ashkenazi branch of Jewish music each developing a special character that had not previously existed.

consolidation of the oriental style of jewish music

The obstinacy shown by the Sephardim in their clinging

to the Castilian vernacular and folk song did not prevent them from yielding to the powerful influence of Oriental, especially Turkish, music. This is indicated, for instance, by the increasing use of Turkish melodies for Hebrew hymns. Musical assimilation became more spectacular when the system of *maqām was adopted in Jewish song. Israel Najjara, late in the 16th century, appears to have been the first to assign every poem to a cetain maqām, even when he demands a Spanish folk tune for it. His Kumi Yonah Yekushah, for instance, is accompanied by the instruction "Tune: Linda era y fermosa" but, at the same time, is classified as belonging to the maqām Husaynī (today it is sung to the maqām Nawā; see Mus. ex. 18) According to the Eastern custom, Najjara arranged his hymns for publication in a diwān of 12 maqāmāt. The framework of maqāmāt, each of which also represents a certain mood or "ethos," was imposed on synagogue song in general and extended even beyond hymnody proper. The majestic Siga became the mode for reading the Torah and all texts referring to it; the gay Ajam-Nawruz was used on Shabbat Shirah, Simḥat Torah, and for weddings; the mournful Ḥijāz expressed the mood of the Ninth of Av, funerals, and pericopes mentioning death. Ṣabā ("chaste love, filial affection") was reserved for texts connected with circumcisions. The most systematic adherence to the mood conventions of the maqāmāt was by the Aleppo community.

Poetry books dating from the 17th century onward open the section of every maqām with an introductory verse or independent verses called (petiḥah) – an improvised vocal piece rhythmically free and highly ornamented underlining the characteristics of the maqām as well as the art skillfulness of the performer. The Jews of North Africa (Maghreb) adhere to the Andalusian modal system called ṭubuʿ ("natures," maqāmāt), which include sequences of rhythmical pieces introduced and interspersed with improvised free rhythmical short pieces similar to the petihah, which are called Bitain and mawwāl and constitute part of the prestigious compound form, the Nuba (see *North African Musical Tradition).

All musical characteristics quoted up to now demonstrate the progressive Orientalization of the Jews who came from the Iberian Peninsula and intermingled with the veteran settlers. However, while the melodic configuration itself came to follow the ways of the East, some formal traits of European origin were retained such as the syllable-counting verse known from the Romance literature.

After Najara's time, the Orientalization of Eastern Sephardi music went on both at the popular and the artistic levels. In major centers of the Muslim world Jewish musicians became powerful agents in the exchange of tunes and styles; they were also fully accepted by the gentiles and their rulers. Jewish ensembles and entertainers were active in the major cities of Morocco. The most famous of them was Samuel ben Radan's group in Marakesh. Sultan ʿAbd al-Aziz, who ruled from 1894 to 1908, was particularly fond of Jewish musicians. In Iraq there were ensembles that excelled in the art of the prestigious Iraki maqam genre. In Tunisia, Iran, Central Asia, and elsewhere, Jewish musicians formed famous bands. The Turkish traveler Evliya Tchelebi describes the parade of the guilds before Sultan Murad iv in 1638: 300 Jewish musicians were led by their chief, Patakoglu, together with the famous Yaco and the tunbur-player Karakash; later on marched the Jewish dancers, jugglers, and buffoons. The reliability of the recorded numbers is proven by Ludwig August *Frankl, who found 500 Jewish musicians of Turkish nationality in Constantinople of 1856 forming 5.6% of all the craftsmen registered by the Jewish community.

The ranks of respected Turkish musician-composers were joined by Aaron Hamon (Yahudi Harun) late in the 17th century. Some of his peshref-suites were preserved in the so-called Harpasun notation. After him, Moses Faro ("Musi," d. 1776) and Isaac Fresco Romano ("Tanburi Issak") won great fame in the late 18th century. Turkish art music left its unmistakable imprint on the ḥazzanut of that country (Mus. ex. 19), as it did also in the case of the maftirim choirs (see above) that sometimes claim dependence on the fine melodies of the dervish orders.

As to the Sephardim settling in Italy, Amsterdam, and other parts of Christian Europe, the situation was quite different. Certainly they preserved modes and tunes of an old standing, which they held in common with their Oriental brothers; there was also a steady immigration from the Eastern communities. On the other hand, Marranos escaping from the peninsula permanently reinforced the European Sephardi congregations; they were most often highly-educated people with a flair for contemporary music. The writer Daniel Levi de *Barrios (born in Spain, from 1674 in Amsterdam) mentions several newcomers to the "Portuguese community" who excelled in playing the harp and vihuela (guitar) or flute, as well as in singing. As these returning converts were setting the fashion in cultural life, it is not surprising that the preserved music exhibits the character of contemporary art. It was in this style that Purim plays and comedies with music were performed and cantatas were composed for Simhat Torah and other festive occasions. One of the better-known composers of this style of music was Abraham *Caceres in Amsterdam early in the 18th century. De Barrios also refers to the cantors of the Amsterdam Portuguese community, some of whom received

commissions from the London, Hamburg, and other Sephardi synagogues. A musical manuscript of the ḥazzan Joseph de Isaac Sarfati (mid-18th century) contains liturgical solo pieces composed in the taste of his time or directly taken over from contemporary secular works Mus. ex. 20). It must be born in mind, however, that the hazzanim of that period used to write down only "composed" music of their own production or that of their contemporaries; there was no need to notate traditional melodies and recitations that every cantor knew by heart.

Traditional Amsterdam-Sephardi song as it is intoned or recorded today makes a deep but somewhat strange impression on the listener. One is tempted to say that this Oriental music is misunderstood both by singers and notators and nevertheless performed in naïve faithfulness. Further research may perhaps disclose that it was brought to the Netherlands by ḥazzanim recruited from Tunis or other Eastern areas in order to fill the vacuum of traditional song felt by the Marranos. The sound of Hebrew prayers was like a revelation to them and was faithfully preserved in spite of its displaced Oriental character. But the transplantation of Eastern music to the north inevitably ended in degeneration. That this was a slow process is indicated by a tune of a kinah (lament) for the Ninth of Av notated in 1775 (Mus. ex. 21): the modality, the articulation of the profuse coloraturas, and especially the attack of every new phrase after a caesura still bears the unmistakable mark of Eastern origin.

The biased character of Amsterdam Portuguese music is found in the other Sephardi communities of Europe in varying degrees. London proved more "progressive" in the direction of Westernization, while the Bayonne and other Carpentras communities preserved more of the Mediterranean character (see *Avi Avi). Leghorn and Rome retained many a non-European feature in their synagogue songs, such as tetrachord scales, free rhythm, and the variative development of modal patterns. Side by side with this conservative attitude, the Italian congregations liked to celebrate certain holidays, weddings, circumcisions, and special events (like the dedication of a new prayerhouse) by Hebrew *cantatas written in the contemporary style. Their music was of a strictly utilitarian character and significant only for the very average taste of their respective times.

the eastern branch of ashkenazi song

An uninterrupted flow of Ashkenazi emigrants poured forth to the East European countries beginning in the Middle Ages and accumulated to form the most powerful Jewish community until the 20th century. The Eastern Ashkenazim preserved their old German-Jewish idiom but developed a rich religious and secular culture of their own. The special flavor of their melodies and singing habits can be distinguished from that of the Western Ashkenazim even when the tunes are identical. The material roots of this musical evolution are uncertain. The proposed influence of the *Khazars or of Byzantine Jews is only hypothetical and cannot be proven. What remains credible is the effect of country and surroundings, just as these factors imparted a Slavic tint to the song of the German settlers in the Volga region. Such influence has been proven to alter intonation and rhythm and promote the favoring of certain modal shades, as well as supply a predominantly sentimental disposition of the singer. The Eastern Ashkenazi way of singing was first discerned at its appearance in Western Europe after the renewed migration in about 1650 caused by the *Chmielnicki persecutions. A small but steady flow of rabbis, teachers, and cantors continued infiltrating the West during the 17th and 18th centuries. Thus, in 1660, Ḥayyim Selig from Lemberg was appointed ḥazzan at *Fuerth: Judah Leib served in several synagogues of western Germany and published a critical essay entitled Shirei Yehudah (Amsterdam, 1696); Jehiel Michael from Lublin established, in about 1700, ḥazzanut with assistant singers in the Amsterdam Ashkenazi synagogue; a traveling hazzan of great fame during the years 1715–25 was Jokele of Rzeszow; and Leib b. Elyakum from Gorokhov-Volhynia was made the first cantor of the new Ashkenazi prayer-house of Amsterdam (1730). Through the activities of cantors from Poland in the most prominent places, Western Jewry

was confronted with the Eastern Ashkenazi style of singing and came to like it.

Among the special features of the East Ashkenazi ḥazzanut was its emotional power, which was stressed in particular by the early writers. The chronicle of martyrdomYeven Metzulah (by Nathan *Hannover) tells of the surrender of four communities to the Tatars in 1648. When the ḥazzan Hirsh of Zywotow chanted the memorial prayer El Malei Raḥamim, the whole congregation burst forth in tears, and even the compassion of the rough captors was stirred, until they released the Jews. A similar story was told much later of the ḥazzan Razumny; his El Malei Rahamim, said after the *Kishinev pogrom of 1913, has been taken over by many cantors (Mus. Ex. 22).

Common to the Russian and other East European peoples is the tendency to attribute to music a decisive power over human behavior and mode of action; the same is true of the Jews living among them. A highly significant characterization of East Ashkenazi ḥazzanut was given by Rabbi Selig Margolis in 1715 (Ḥibburei Likkutim, 4b–5a): a ḥazzan who delivers his prayers devotedly and with beautiful melodies, he holds, may stir up hearts more than any preacher. Margolis gives as an example the fact that the hazzan Baruch of Kalish moved the congregation to tears by his expressive rendition of "Perhaps the feeble and miserable people may vanish" or even by the recitation of the "Thirteen Attributes of God." In particular, during the penitential days, when he chanted the prayers that had always been the domain of individual cantorial creation (Zokhrenu le-Ḥayyim; Mekhalkel Ḥayyim; Seder ha-Avodah), "there was nobody in the synagogue whose heart was not struck and moved to repentance… all of them pouring out their hearts like water – the like of which does not occur in other countries that have neither melody (niggun) nor emotion (hitorerut); the ḥazzanim of our country, however, know well how to arouse penitence by their voices." This self-assertion stresses the emotional attitude, which already distinguished Eastern Ashkenazi ḥazzanut in the pre-ḥasidic period. Since the late 18th century, the Jews of the West have called it "the Polish style." This designation implied, inter alia, a certain profile of rhythm shaped by syncopes and dancelike configurations. Western cantors wrote down some early examples around 1800. It is possible that some of them reflect the practices of hasidic singing, such as the dance tune to the words "He redeemeth from death and releaseth from perdition" (Mus. ex. 23a); dancing is suggested here by the four-bar strains repeated with open and closed cadenzas and, especially, by the "bridge bars" between the phrases, which are also known from the oberek and other Slavic dances.

A minor tune of the same type (Mus. ex. 23b) embodies the full pattern of what is called "a Jewish dance." Since it is very remote from the music written by Western cantors of the 18th century, this may also be regarded as an echo of the East Ashkenazi style.

The vigor of musical life in Eastern Europe is reflected by several historical sources. It is proved by the very restrictions that the Council of the Four Lands imposed on it. As early as 1623 this board of congregations limited the creative impulse of its cantors to three or four extended works on Sabbath day; the victims of the 1650 and 1655 pogroms were mourned by reducing the instrumental music of the wedding celebration to those ceremonies where it was regarded as essential ("covering" the bride and during the night after the wedding). The council also protected the sheli'aḥ ẓibbur and the beadle from arbitrary dismissal (1670). It controlled the livelihood of popular singers and entertainers (marshalek, *badḥan) by obliging them to apply for a special license (ketav badḥanut).

Incipient Westernization of Ashkenazi Song

It was for good reasons that the music of the Jews from Eastern Europe was appreciated in the West as a genuine and heartwarming manifestation of the true Jewish spirit in song. Whether its special character resulted from the intense "Jewishness" of life in the Eastern countries or was the outcome of a happy merger with the melos and rhythms of Slavic music, Western European Jewry has welcomed it with a sort of nostalgic feeling down to the 20th century. Apparently it was felt to be a counterpoise to the Westernization that progressively displaced national music.

This process of Westernization started and developed first at the bordering strata of Jewish society, one of which was the substratum of folk musicians (klezmerim) who had ever been "wanderers between two worlds" and agents of musical exchange between peoples. Their instrumental performance

was accorded a definite social function, since wedding music was regarded as a sort of religious obligation, and klezmerim were regularly employed at the feast of Simhat Torah and Purim, the transfer of the Torah scrolls to a new synagogue, and numerous other occasions. Even the rabbinical authorities were willing to make special legal arrangements in order to secure instrumental performance wherever it was desired.

The folk musicians of Ashkenaz used to play the lute or form small ensembles of bowed strings, preferably two violins and a gamba. They were mostly true professionals and sometimes formed trade unions or guilds (Prague, 17th century). The more important communities put their musical capacity to full display at festival processions in honor of their sovereigns (Prague in 1678, 1716, 1741; Frankfurt in 1716). At the Prague festival of 1678 (described in a special Yiddish booklet) five of the usual string trios, cembalo with two fiddlers, a harpsichord with two fiddlers, a portable organ, two choirs with organ accompaniment, and a choir of hazzanim with their meshorerim (who "carried a sheet of music in their hands and pointed with the finger") marched in procession. The many trumpeters and drummers were probably hired from the outside, but Jewish dilettante musicians played the organs and the keyboard instruments..

Splendid performances of this kind did not take place every day; as a matter of fact, professional musicians seldom found a base for a decent living in their community alone. The rule was that Jewish musicians also served their Christian neighbors, and the klezmerim met stiff opposition from their Christian colleagues and their guilds. In 1651 the arme Prager Juden Musicanten und Spielleuthe had to appeal to the authorities to retain the privilege of 1640 granting them the right to play "when we are demanded by various people of rank and Christians to make music at Sundays and holidays" lest "we are bound to die miserably and to perish together with our folks" since "we poor people have to make a living of the art acquired by ourselves." Serving a broad and diversified audience called for a repertoire that pleased wide circles. The Jews in their closed quarters thus obtained their share of popular songs and fashionable dance music, besides their traditional Jewish dances and tunes.

The musical features of klezmer music are largely unknown today, but there is some circumstancial evidence that the Jewish minstrels played in a kind of "hot style" of unusual scales and lively rhythms. This becomes obvious from Hans Newsidler's parody of a "Jews' dance" (Mus. ex. 24a) and from the scornful description by their gentile competitors (Prague, 1651) that "they keep neither time nor beat, and mockingly deprive noble and sweet music of its dignity." It appears that people nevertheless liked the exotic spices of klezmer music, which may perhaps be compared with the fascination exerted by gypsy tunes.

Several old klezmer tunes were notated by Elhanan Kirchhan of Fuerth in 1727 (Simḥat ha-Nefesh 2; facs. repr. New York, 1926). Mus. ex. 24b shows a Purim song obviously composed in a humorous mood. These specimens of 1727 indicate that the general trend was already directed toward adoption of the European baroque style. A Purim niggun notated by cantor Judah Elias in 1744 (Mus. ex. 24c) exemplifies the inorganic linking of a traditional Jewish tune (i, g minor) through dance-like "bridge bars" (ii), with a continuation in the contemporary taste (iii, d minor; iv, B-flat major, modulation and da capo); some strains of the melody are echoed in the 1794 Purim tunes of Aaron Beer (Idelsohn, Melodien, 6, nos. 117–8) suggesting a common popular source. Songs in the vernacular followed the same direction as instrumental music. Although their foreign melodies were balanced by original invention, their constant use advanced the Westernization of music at the popular level.

Since the 17th century, the affluent classes had become accustomed to have their children, especially daughters, instructed in singing and instruments (cf. Jos. Kosman, Noheg ka-ẓon Yosef, 1718, 18a; Jos. Hahn, Yosif Omeẓ, 1723, 890). *Glueckel of Hameln relates that her stepsister knew how to play the harpsichord well (c. 1650). During the Prague festival of 1678, the granddaughter of the community chairman played the cembalo, and Isaac Mahler's daughter the harpsichord. The tendency toward integration in music grew stronger among the upper classes during the late 18th century, when Rachel (Levin) *Varnhagen could report: "My musical instruction consisted of nothing but the music of Sebastian (Bach) and the entire school [of the period]." Heinrich *Heine's mother, Peierche van Geldern (b. 1771), had to conceal her flute ("my truly harmonious friend both in joy and grief ") from her strict father. Sara Levi, daughter of the Berlin financier Daniel *Itzig, was the last and most faithful disciple of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (d. 1784) and preserved many of his autograph works for posterity. These developments in the upper class prepared the way for the emergence of composers like Giacomo *Meyerbeer and Felix *Mendelssohn.

The trend of integration in European music finally came to affect the broad masses of the people, and the ḥazzan, their speaker and representative, was too dependent upon the goodwill of the public not to gratify its taste. Whereas early in the 17th century only the use of foreign melodies had been protested (by Isaiah *Horowitz and Joseph *Hahn), about 1700 and thereafter the entire style of cantorial performance was challenged by practices adopted from secular music. Violent discussions about the unstable state and reputation of cantorial art are reflected in several pamphlets. The deeper reasons for this crisis were exposed by Judah Leib Zelichover (Shirei Yehudah, Amsterdam, 1696). The author still clings to the medieval idea that ḥazzanut should be the musical expression of mystical intentions (kavvanot) by means of extended vocalises; he begrudges the cantors applauded by his generation

for neglecting the traditional mode of singing ("saying: It's outdated and does not satisfy us") and replacing it by their own inventions or borrowings from the opera, dance bands, of street singers.

Considering the isolation of Judaism in those days and its divorce from secular art, these declarations could hardly be called overstatement. A remedy was suggested about one generation later by the cantor Solomon *Lipschitz (Teʿudat Shelomo, Offenbach 1718, no. 30). He also censures the ambitious individualism of his colleagues ("everybody builds a stage for himself "), which mostly turned out to be imitations of the simplest forms of music, since the cantors lacked any formal musical education. Lipschitz wishes to replace the old form of Jewish singing leaning on the lower strata of the music of the gentile environment, by more accomplished forms of art: "Making music without knowing the rules of musica is like a prayer without true intention [kavvanah]!"

The results of such ideas soon became manifest. Close to the middle of the 18th century, cantors began to use musical notation and thus began the "literary period" of Ashkenazi ḥazzanut. It was not the old and venerable traditions of synagogue song, however, which were put on paper, but rather the new compositions of the individual ḥazzanim. The earliest known document of this kind is a manuscript from 1744 written by the Herr Musicus und Vor Saenger Juda Elias in Hannover. After this work come the manuscripts of the most eminent cantor of his age, Aaron *Beer (1738–1821); famous as der Bamberger Ḥazzan; from December 1764 in Berlin). His collection contains both his own versions or new creations of synagogue melodies and those of a dozen contemporaries (published in Idelsohn, Melodien, 6). Other important manuscripts go back to meshorerim who also served their cantors as "musical secretaries" (Idelsohn, op. cit.).

The character of these cantorial works is defined, first of all, by its strict homophony, tailored to the needs of a virtuoso singer wishing to display his coloraturas (lenaggen), while the text is given a subordinate role. The structure of these compositions remains in the line of traditional ḥazzanut by developing a theme by means of variative improvisation. The resources of the basic melodies, however, are borrowed from the post-baroque music of about 1700 to 1760, often recalling the fashionable composers of that period (Monn, Wagenseil, Zach). There is little left of the strong pathos and dramatics of the true baroque, although the artistic evolution of the opening theme statement and the extensive use of sequences were imitated, as was the instrument-like treatment of the voice (Mus. ex. 25a); later in the century, some influence of the early classicists can be observed (Mus. Ex 25b).

The "new trend" of cantorial art catered to the musical taste of about 1720, but the merger of traditional and modern style was far from complete. The customary Jewish freedom of rhythm and the roving melodical line could not easily be harnessed; attempts to do so resulted in asymmetrical phrases, awkward modulation, and other flaws in conventional workmanship. Most of these cantorial compositions shared only the platitudes and the most insipid musical idioms of the period. They were the product of a superficial connection between incompatible styles – the first sign of that dualism in the West Ashkenazi musical practice that was to become the hallmark of the 19th century.

modern times

The Nineteenth Century

By the 18th century, conditions of life had become almost unbearable in the ghettos and crowded Jewish settlements of the continent. The protracted persecutions aimed at economic, moral, and physical ruins nearly accomplished their purpose and were balanced only by the firm belief in final redemption, unbroken self-confidence, and vital energy. The growing pressure put European Jewry on two different paths of self-deliverance, as divergent from each other as the leaders Moses *Mendelssohn and *Israel b. Eliezer Baʿal Shem Tov. Assimilation, aiming at civil emancipation, was the external way toward joining the society of an enlightened Europe; *Ḥasidism, on the other hand, was entirely directed toward intrinsic values and was coupled with a certain abrogation of bitter reality. Both tendencies penetrated all aspects of life and had strong repercussions on music. A specific kind of music could demonstrate a certain ideology (e.g., use of the organ in synagogue service) or be made an essential means of spiritual exaltation (the hasidic niggun); music became a vehicle of both social integration and spiritual escapism.

the Ḥasidic niggun

East European Jewry, suffering from increasing pauperization and the incessant menace of extermination for centuries, underwent a critical disillusionment with the failure of *Shabbetai Ẓevi and its aftereffects. At this doleful juncture, between 1730 and 1750, arose the ḥasidic movement, with its message of delivery of the soul from its detention in the body and the troubled earthly life by its ascent to spiritual, true values, thus partaking of a higher existence. As a continuation of the mystical tenets of Safed (see above), "a joyful heart and a devoted soul learning for our Father in Heaven" were made the cornerstone of prayer, and singing became a focal point of religious experience. For the first time, music of Jewish mysticism itself becomes known and may still be heard today. Ḥasidic singing spans the entire gamut from grief and deep concern to extreme joy, from a meditative mood to ecstatic exaltation, from purposeful melodic construction to open forms or shallow banality (see *Ḥasidism: Musical Tradition).

the absorption of the european art style

While the Jews of Eastern Europe decided to overcome their miseries by a spiritual divorce from the environment, those of the West witnessed Lessing declare the equivalence of religions and the French Revolution proclaim freedom and equality for all men. This atmosphere encouraged their striving for integration in a future society of enlightened Europeans and tendencies of assimilation that ranged from slight external changes to total surrender. Music was regarded as an essential part of future

integration. Therefore, both tradition and acquired practices (which could barely be kept apart) were put to a test against the taste, rules, and forms of contemporary music. The prolonged prelude of this process has already been mentioned; by the 19th century, it gained sway and momentum of decisive power. As soon as the obstacles of personal advancement were removed, musicians of Jewish birth broke away from their faith, either formally or tacitly. The Jewish community suffered from a heavy drain of talent of higher and medium caliber. This incessant process principally affected synagogue music until, in the second half of the century; it became partly dependent upon immigration of cantors from Eastern Europe – not to speak of the lack of high-ranking composers.

The extent and nature of this exodus can be gauged by the numerous Jewish-born musicians who entered the fields of European art and were famous enough to merit entries in general encyclopedias. Among those born between 1790 and 1850, the most prominent categories were instrumentalists, especially virtuosos (28), and composers (21); next came singers and the scholars and pedagogues (11). Allegedly "typical Jewish" occupations are as yet clearly in the minority: conductors (6), publishers (2), impressarios (1), critics (0). A peak (60%) is formed by those born in the decade 1830 to 1839 who chose their profession about 1848, hopeful of being granted full civil rights. These forces were practically lost for the cultivation and development of the Jewish musical heritage. As to synagogue music, the impetus for immediate and drastic innovations came from a sudden turn at the political level. Napoleon wished to promote the social integration of his Jewish subjects by granting the superintendents of all communities with over 2,000 members an official status. Consequently, organized and binding changes in liturgy and its music could be enforced against the will of any opposition.

The Reform Movement

Napoleon also conferred his synagogue constitution upon some annexed countries, such as the Kingdom of Westphalia; among them, the Koeniglich Wuerttembergische israelitische Oberkirchenbehoerde even survived his rule. These authorities gave the official and legal framework to the already existing tendencies of correcting and amending the synagogue service. The disregard of external form, dignity, and beauty was regarded by many as an abasing stigma of exile conditions. The mystical ideas and symbols that provided so much content to ḥazzanut and its coloraturas were no longer understood; the congregations had changed into an audience that expected music to evoke feelings they could not find within themselves. A small but energetic circle of extremists used the communal constitution given to Westphalian Jewry to materialize its vision of a liturgy modeled after European ideas and aesthetics. Perspicaciously, they started working with the young generation, on the initiative of Israel *Jacobsohn, court factor of Jerome Bonaparte and fervent champion of synagogue reform. The pupils of the Jewish mechanics school at Seesen were given formal instruction in music from 1804; they formed the choir and sang to the *organ installed in the prayer hall of their institution (1807). The music consisted of chorale-like melodies composed by their Christian music teacher to Hebrew and German texts. Soon afterward, Jacobsohn opened another Reform synagogue with organ and part-singing in the Westphalian capital of Kassel. Both his institutions were forced to close, however, with the end of the kingdom in 1814. The reformer and his musical assistant went to Berlin and opened a private synagogue with an organ and a boys' choir from the free school (1815). Two years later (1817), they moved to the private synagogue established in the house of Meyerbeer's father, the banker Jacob Herz Beer, where an organ with two manuals and pedal was put at their disposition. The bold innovations of liturgy and liturgical singing aroused disputes and quarrels with the conservatives, whereupon the government ordered the synagogue to be closed (1818).

Meanwhile, the Reform movement has spread to other communities. The Hungarian rabbi Aaron *Chorin published a book in defense of the synagogue organ (Nogah ha-Ẓedek, Dessau, 1818). Reform congregations had been founded at Frankfurt (Philanthropin orphanage, 1816), Hamburg (1817), and during the Leipzig Fair (a synagogue opened in 1820 with tunes composed by Meyerbeer). The Hamburg synagogue was joined by many of the local Sephardim and their cantors, was very active, and existed until 1938. Its members regarded the melodic recitation of prayers and Bible reading as opposed to the spirit of the age and replaced them by plain declamation. On the other hand, some Sephardi tunes (of the "civilized" kind favored by the Marranos) were adopted. Above all, Reform congregations created German-language hymnals on the pattern of the Protestant Gesangbuch (first: Jos. Joelson's Shirei Yeshurun, Frankfurt (1816)). The Hamburg hymnal (1819, many editions) contained some melodies composed by well-known musicians like A.G. Methfessel and, later, the Jewish-born Ferdinand *Hiller.

Reform congregations, however, were generally unable to recruit composers with both stature and real involvement with the task. The original tunes of their hymnals, mostly the products of music teachers, match the feebleness and absence of inspiration found in the texts. Furthermore, there existed an ideological impulse to integrate prayers with the Christian environment by adopting the tunes of well-known Protestant chorales. Banal new texts were connected with the melodies of Christological songs (Sefer Zemirot Yisrael, Stuttgart, 1836). After all the effort, a few jewels also took root outside Reform synagogues (Seele, was betruebst du dich, music by J.H.G. Stoewing; Hoert, die Posaune toent mit Macht, poetry by Abraham *Geiger). More important are two achievements of a general nature. First, the instruction of the youth in part singing – no longer in the old, improvised manner, but of music written according to the rules of harmony – through the schools, orphanages, and seminaries spread the understanding of European music to the less-privileged classes as well. Another innovation of lasting effect was playing the organ during the service. An object of raging and never-settled debates, the use of the organ in synagogues was made a cornerstone and symbol of later liberalism against strict observance in religious matters.

The "Improved Service" and Its Music

Attempts at radical reformation of the liturgy and its music did not go beyond a certain sector of the larger communities; in the provinces, they failed almost completely. This does not imply indifference or sluggishness on the part of the majority. In fact, a more decided and massive move toward musical "acculturation" has seldom been observed. Even where the liturgical tradition was handled with caution or left untouched, the conditions prevailing in prayer performance caused much indignation. Western Jewry strove for an improvement – for a geordneter Gottesdienst – and this concept included the entire field of sacred song ("orderly music of the divine service"; Sulzer).

First came the renunciation of the brilliant coloratura in the cantorial solo, once regarded as an asset in its own right. By 1800 ḥazzanut was hopelessly pervaded with foreign elements (mostly baroque) and had developed as a sort of half-breed that, unfortunately, demonstrated the weak spots of both its ancestors. Independent attempts at modernization were initiated by provincial cantors (Mus. ex. 26) whose abilities and taste were not up to their exaggerated aspirations. Therefore, these experimental works were discarded by the more urbanized taste.

The changed attitude toward musical performance also wished to dispose of the usual trio consisting of the cantor and two assistant singers (meshorerim). The improvised accompaniment executed by the latter was to be replaced by harmonies of academic regular structure, and their solo coloraturas were to be clipped as eccentricities of an outmoded taste. Likewise, the boisterous chorus of the entire congregation lost its value as a moving acoustical experience with ancient roots and was to be silenced and substituted by well-rehearsed part singing. Such ideas and tendencies materialized during the period between the Congress of Vienna (1814–15; disappointing the hope for emancipation) and the revolutions of 1848 that led to the admission to citizenship. In the meantime, synagogue music was remodeled according to the ideas of the "Jewish European." Fortunately, a cadre of real talents remained after the great exodus of musicians to devote itself entirely to this task. All of them were proficient in synagogue song and were backed by family tradition in this vocation. Most of them were gifted with extraordinary voices, and some had already excelled as child prodigies; rich patronage had paved their way to studies of musical theory and instrumental playing. They were given the chance to realize their ideas on a large scale when they were between 19 and 30 years of age: the ardent idealism of youth contributed much to the breakthrough of the new trend.

Two forerunners had already set the first standards. Israel *Lovy, a cantor and concert singer with a phenomenal voice, established a four-part choir in the new Paris synagogue in 1822. The music he composed for this body indiscriminately combined the old meshorerim tradition and the choral style of the opéra comique. The other precursor of things to come, Maier (Meir) *Kohn of Munich, did not demonstrate Lovy's creativeness when he was commissioned to establish a choir of boys and men in 1832. He had to resort to local non-Jewish musicians for choral compositions or, at least, the harmonization of melodies arranged or composed by himself and others. Kohn's compilations, (Vollstaendiger Jahrgang von Terzett-und Chorgesaengen der Synagoge in Muenchen…) known as the Muenchner Terzettgesaenge (1839), became, for some decades, a vademecum for small to medium-sized communities. The compositions offered by the early proponents of the "improved service" extended to selected chapters of the liturgy and touched upon only a small part of the highly important role of the ḥazzan. Thoroughgoing changes of the whole extent of the musical liturgy were finally put into effect by Solomon *Sulzer in Vienna (from 1826), Hirsch *Weintraub at Koenigsberg (1838), Louis *Lewandowski in Berlin (1840), and Samuel *Naumbourg in Paris (1845). The principles guiding the various renovators of synagogue music have much in common:

We might find out the original noble forms to which we should anchor ourselves, developing them in an artistic style… Jewish liturgy must satisfy the musical demands while remaining Jewish; and it should not be necessary to sacrifice the Jewish characteristics to artistic forms… The old tunes and singing modes, which became national should be improved, selected, and adjusted to the rules of art. But new musical creations should also not be avoided (Sulzer, Denkschrift, 1876).

The point of departure had to be a survey of the entire body of tunes and recitatives transmitted by oral tradition. For the first time in history, the complete cycle of obligatory or commonly accepted melodies was recorded in musical notation (until then, only the extraordinary, individual compositions and arrangements had been written down). In examining these invaluable documents, one should disregard the enclosure in bars of recitative and free-rhythmic tunes by which the notators paid tribute to contemporary usage; the obligation to fill the bars regularly resulted in shortening and lengthening of notes, and most of the ornamental passages do not disclose their deliberate rubato tempo.

The tendencies of "improvement, selection, and adjustment to artistic forms" (Sulzer) enter the picture at this point. They were justified for their time, however painful to the adherents of modern historicism and folklore conservation. However, personal liberty in the aural interpretation of traditional melody patterns or "ideas" had been the characteristic procedure of Jewish music at all times; it was also the duty of the 19th-century cantor, as it had been of his predecessors. Therefore it was not a fault but their right when cantors

now followed the earlier trend toward classicism with a new trend oriented toward the early romantic style in music. Consequently, their arrangements of traditional material tend toward melodies of clean-cut outlines and logical, if possible symmetric, structures. The old modes were preferably transformed to major or minor; if the specific shtayger scales are preserved, they are sometimes disturbed by leading notes and other dressings of modern tonality (Mus. ex. 27). The recitatives were toned down to a rational declamation, in which melismatic figures are admitted only for scoring meaningful words or marking the clauses of the sentence.

The intended "improvement" of the cantor's part demanded a gentle touch guided by sensitivity for genuine and authentic values. A bolder approach was suited to the passages assigned to the choir. Precedents of choral performance were the meshorerim accompaniment of the cantor and the largely turbulent responses of the entire congregation. The traditional singing of meshorerim contained elements that could be rearranged to form a choral style of genuine flavor. Naumbourg, Sulzer, and Lewandowski made attempts at this. Naumbourg's arrangement of one of the Mi-Sinai tunes demonstrates the special features of this style (Mus. ex. 28).

The melody is given to one of the inner parts, the cantor's tenor, embedded in the chords of male voices and tender boy sopranos. The latter proceed very often in parallel thirds or sixths (both in relation to the cantor's tune and between themselves) and produce an effect similar to certain mixture stops of an organ. The basses refrain from a steady accompaniment, entering only with hummed chords at melodic vantagepoints or acting like a community that joins in with the cantor's prayer. There are also solo sections provided for the bass and the soprano, frequently exhibiting an instrumental character; a sweet soprano could become a favorite of the public, and many of them later became famous cantors. The resources of this original style were tapped but not developed to any importance in Western Ashkenaz, but they became preeminent in East Ashkenazi synagogue music, as shall be seen later.

The free composition of choral works in the contemporary style was challenged by still another factor–the need to give shape to the songs and responses of the congregation itself. Sulzer and Lewandowski were gifted with the inventiveness and skill for creating choir pieces of high quality. The religious element in Sulzer's music exhibits delicate feeling with a sentimental timbre, clad in simple but sweet harmonies, while Lewandowski expresses himself in a more forceful manner and avoids that common intelligibility which is apt to turn into triviality in a short while.

The first synagogue choirs were quite an experience to the congregations who had been annoyed by singing habits perpetuated by inertia alone or by barren experimentation. Sulzer's choir in the Vienna Seitenstettengassen Synagoge, was also praised by Christian visitors such as Liszt, the Abbé Mainzer, and others as both a human and musical experience. The impact of Sulzer's achievements was felt very soon by the brisk demand for his scores. Synagogue choirs were founded in Prague, Copenhagen (before 1838), Breslau, Berlin, Dresden (1840), and London (1841). Sulzer's disciples or choir singers transmitted the music of the "improved service" to the United States as well (G.M. Cohen, New York 1845; A. Kaiser, Baltimore 1866; M. Goldstein, Cincinnati 1881; E.J. Stark); their appearance antedated that of East Ashkenazi synagogue song in the Western hemisphere (New York, 1852). Cantors from the East European communities came to Vienna in order to perfect themselves with the "father of the new song in Israel" (Pinchas *Minkowski). The more important of Sulzer's Eastern disciples or followers were Osias *Abrass, Jacob *Bachmann, Nissan *Blumenthal, Wolf *Shestapol, Spitzburg ("the Russian Sulzer"), and others.

In these ways and by these men, the stage was set for musical life in the Western houses of prayer. During the second half of the century, after 1848, the liberal wing of conservative (non-Reform) synagogues added organ playing to the service order. A progressive cadre of communal leaders had decreed its admissability during the second Assembly of Rabbis held at Frankfurt in 1845. It was, however, a partial vote that did not oblige or convince any sworn opponent. For instance, five years before the Berlin New Synagogue was finally furnished with an organ (1866), seven rabbis were consulted; Rabbi Michael Sachs was among the opponents, Abraham *Geiger was with the advocates. In the end 74 German-Jewish communities came to have organs played at their service, according to a count made in 1933. In Russia, the first synagogue organ was installed not before 1901 (Union Temple, Odessa). Very few of the composers writing for this instrument understood its technique and spirit. Lewandowski, a pupil of E.A. Grell, was the first to produce real organ music for the synagogue.

The absorption of European standards in the musical service was paid for later in the 19th century with the weakened understanding and cultivation of the old tradition, especially of the cantor's role. The impending loss of acknowledged values was noticed in time and was averted by collecting and publishing what remained of oral tradition. Some of the related publications exhibit a remarkable sense of authenticity: outstanding is Abraham *Baer's voluminous, almost singlehanded, collection, Baal T'fillah (1877); relatively reliable is F. *Consolo's Libro dei canti d'Israele (Leghorn-Sephardi tradition, 1892). Other authors who intended to create handbooks for the cantor's training imparted a little polish to the original tunes, but may still serve well for critical research (Moritz *Deutsch, Vorbeterschule, 1871; Meier Wodak, Ha-Menazze'ah, 1898; etc.). The Sephardi rite of Carpentras was noted by J.S. & M. Crémieu (1887), that of Paris by E. Jonas (1854), and a selection of London Portuguese melodies by the piano virtuoso E. *Aguilar and D.A. de *Sola (1857, unfortunately in a harmonized and metricized arrangement).

Parallel with the activities in collecting and editing, inquisitive minds strove to answer the question of the distinctive elements in Jewish music. The particular nature of the shtayger scales or modes, already noted by Weintraub (1854) and Naumbourg (1874), was demonstrated by the Viennese cantor and disciple of Sulzer, Josef *Singer in an attempt at systematization (1886). Outstanding in this first generation of researchers was Eduard *Birnbaum, Weintraub's successor at Koenigsberg from 1879. A sound Jewish education enabled him to place musical questions in the context of history and literature and achieve an unusually high level. His inconspicuous article (later a booklet) Juedische Musiker am Hofe von Mantua (1893) has become a classic in its field. An asset of lasting value is Birnbaum's collection of cantorial manuscripts and other source material (at present in the Hebrew Union College Library, Cincinnati); partly exploited by Idelsohn, it holds research tasks for generations to come.

The 19th century also witnessed the professional organization of West European cantors and the edition of periodicals in which the publication of source material and research had a place (Der Juedische Cantor, ed. A. Blaustein, 1879–98; Oesterreichisch-Ungarische Cantorenzeitung, founded by Jacob *Bauer, 1881–1902). In spite of all the activity and alertness in matters of synagogue song, the West European communities were drained more and more of its musical talents, including cantorial candidates. The gap was filled by immigrants from Eastern Europe, especially after the Russian persecutions of 1882. The Western synagogues could maintain their musical standard by recruiting the often-brilliant singers originating, on a nearly equal scale, in Russia, the Baltic states, Poland, Hungary, and the neo-Prussian provinces. Finally, they outnumbered their local colleagues in the ratio of three to two. The newcomers, mostly ambitious and studious youths, learned the melodies of the Western rite with great zeal; as prescribed by Jacob Moellin (Maharil), there was no intermingling of regional traditions before 1900. Exceptions were Joseph Goldstein's enclave of Eastern virtuoso song in Vienna (1858–99), and Ḥayyim Wasserzug (Lomser), who went to London (1875) as a famous hazzan.

the evolution of east ashkenazi Ḥazzanut

The breakdown of inherited musical forms in the West was the work of a few decades and generally affected synagogue and Jewish communal life, albeit to varying degrees. East European Jewry remained completely immune from the advance of the times and kept its ears shut before art music, which had now become available to the middle classes throughout Europe. The developments there, however, occurred by way of a gradual and organic evolution.

The reasons for this development in Eastern Europe must be sought both in social and intellectual conditions. The Jewish population of Eastern Europe was massed in its assigned *Pale of Settlement and bound by almost medieval restrictions. Even outstanding musical talents could find an outlet only in synagogue song or, alternatively, in popular music making and entertaining. They had to contribute their sometimes considerable gifts compulsorily, to the musical life of their community, which was deeply concerned with all matters of music. Within that responsive musical microcosm, synagogue song represented the highest level of art; the interest and knowledgeability of the public was focused on the solo performance of the ḥazzan and subjected it to both relentless criticism and unconditional adulation. P. Minkowski, for example, commented:

The Odessa community was not an ordinary one, but was split in two factions, accusers and defenders… When I had sung ancient melodies known to every listener, a dispute arose on the spot… as to whether my song was in the style of Abrass [Pitche] or of Bachman, and people of venerable age also conjured Zalel [Shulsinger] up from his grave in Ereẓ Israel in order to pitch my singing against Tzalel's… (Recollections).

Ashkenazi ḥazzanut represented an original and self-sufficient kind of music, comparable only with certain Oriental styles of song. Its most conspicuous attribute is its expressivity, the prayer of the community subsiding, as soon as the ḥazzan's voice is heard, and the mind completely identifies itself with the voice. Unlike the self-imposed restraint of the Western cantor, the aim is to produce an upsurge of religious feelings (hitorerut) and a strong and immediate response. The

impressive capacities of this particular kind of song are not easily described in precise technical terms. The cantorial melody develops as a strictly monodic line, with structural points of support quite different from those of European harmony. It proceeds by many small movements, creating melodic cells, which build up the body of the tune (Mus. ex. 29 and 30) Phrases composed of long-drawn single notes are nonexistent: they appear to be dissolved into flickering. Rhythm is not confined to bars and stringent symmetry, but is as free as in the music of the Oriental ancestors and relations of this style. Melodies are often shaped to shtayger scales; modulations are rather frequent and a proof of mastery, like the Oriental singers' shifting from maqām to maqām. Another archaic element is still in full vigor: the principle of variation

governs both the melodic cells at every instance of recurrence and the whole structure of a piece. Often a cantorial composition contains a "double course" of the same section – first as an original statement and then as a variation of the same (Mus. ex. 29). At times, the work is composed of melodic cells arranged without any apparent order (Mus. ex. 30) exactly as the ancient nusaḥ style demands (see above).

One of the rules of ḥazzanut, however, is that there is no rule of adhering to one plan or the other: expression is the element, which counts. The expressive intention is overwhelming: it dissolves the form of the underlying poetic text past recognition; single words may be repeated over and over (Mus. ex. 30), in spite of halakhic prohibition; emotional exclamations intermingle and long coloraturas expand certain syllables, in particular towering above the penultima at the end of compositions. These traits may appear exaggerated to a taste accustomed to classicist restraint, but they are capable of the most suggestive presentation of sentiments, mostly in the pitiful and lachrymose mood (the expression of joy being channeled mostly through imitations of foreign song). The ḥazzan's voice plays on a variety of sound colors, complemented by a high falsetto (in the old contralto manner) and prefers techniques such as the gliding passage from tone to tone, slowly entering trills, and other characteristics of an advanced vocal culture.

The development of East Ashkenazi ḥazzanut is known only since its early 19th-century protagonists, whose exploits and compositions had been preserved in the memory of their congregations and disciples. Besides, regional schools and stylistic subdivisions, such as the Jewish-Lithuanian, Ukrainian, etc., a parting line is recognized between an older, "classical" ḥazzanut and a younger style influenced by Western art music.

The "classical" stage is represented in the communities of the Ukraine and Volhynia by the impressive personalities of Bezalel *Shulsinger ("Tzalel Odesser"), Yeruḥam *Blindman ("Yeruḥam ha-Koton"), Yeḥezkel of Zhitomir, and Solomon *Weintraub (Kashtan). The old style was perpetuated by Israel Shkuder (1804–46) and Nissan *Spivak ("Nissi Belzer"). To judge from the small part of their music preserved, the early cantors did not indulge in the excessive coloraturas and superficial tricks preferred by the later synagogue singers. In Lithuania and Poland, the old style was upheld by Sender *Polachek of Minsk, who excelled in particular melodic formations (Sender's shtayger), and his disciple Baruch *Karliner, a master of spontaneous improvisation "when the spirit dwelled upon him." Galicia and Hungary had David'l Strelisker ("Dovidl *Brod"), who assumed the airs of a noble dilettante and would not give in to the modernistic tendencies of the Budapest chor shul of 1830.

The first waves of Sulzer's musical reform reached Eastern Europe promptly and impressed both singers and ambitious community leaders. Cantor Nissan *Blumenthal of Odessa was the first to adopt Western ways by cultivating a smooth bel canto style. Some went or were sent to Sulzer himself in Vienna (see above). Others acquired their formal education in Eastern Europe, such as Joel David Strashunsky (the "Vilner Balabess'l") with Moniuszko in Poland, and Jacob *Bachmann with Anton Rubinstein in Russia. The "Westernizing" ḥazzanim limited the influence of art music to choral composition, while the solo parts of their own were left almost untouched. In general, choral composition kept to the meshorerim style, touched up with more regular harmonic sequences; but those who were tempted to introduce fugues or other musical devices of advanced academic training also inserted showpieces of artful elaboration indiscriminately. In addition, their works frequently reflect the fascination exerted by Rossini and other idols of the day. The so-called choral synagogues soon brought forth specialists in choral leadership and composition, such as A. Dunajewski, Eliezer *Gerovich, and David *Nowakowski. Their creations do not lack touching moments, but are "conductors' music," incompatible withthe strong and style-conscious works of their older contemporary Nissan *Spivak ("Nissi Belzer").

Research in traditional Jewish music was taken up by cantor Pinchas *Minkowski, one of the prominent ḥazzanim who left for the West. Immediately before the mass emigration of star cantors, the splendor of Ukrainian ḥazzanut flashed once again with Solomon *Razumny.

The Twentieth Century

At the beginning of the 20th century, the specific kind of music inherited by European Jewry had no good expectations. The spiritual and social landslides in the West had buried the characteristic features under the quicksand of fashionable tastes, leaving the original outlines barely recognizable. The traditional solo style, still fostered in the East, drifted toward brilliant but shallow display and mingled with the first attempts in formal artistry. The musical situation reflected the general conditions of European Jewry during the period. A major part of the Jewish musicians seemed to have been integrated into the gentile environment as composers and performers; nevertheless, they were looked upon as outsiders by society.

Even the most liberal individuals referred disparagingly to these Jewish musicians. *Moscheles was referred to by Schuppanzigh in a letter to Beethoven in 1823 as "this Jewish boy"; H.A. Marschner in a letter to his wife referred to the "Jews' music fabrication" while *Tausig is referred to as "the little Jew" (Esser to the publisher Schott, 1861). They vary from the single reference to descent (with certain overtones) to the blunt identification of Jewish musicianship with the negative elements in art (a point driven home in Richard Wagner's pamphlet Das Judentum in der Musik (1850) and accepted by certain composers from Pfitzner's standing downward). The keen observer Heinrich *Heine held (1842) that Jewish-born artists, *Mendelssohn among them, were characterized by "the complete lack of naiveté; but is there, in art, any ingenious originality without naiveté?" He obviously intended to ascribe a certain degree of mannerism to their works of art. The general validity of this sweeping statement is not easily proven; but the greatest Jewish talents did go to the extreme boundaries of stylistic means or sentiment, as if they were looking for an indefinable something that would bestow ultimate perfection upon their creations. Arnold *Schoenberg has demonstrated (Style and Idea, 82–84) how Gustav Mahler probed into the subconscious and unknown in his last major work of 1911 (Mus. ex. 31), "An extraordinary case, even among contemporary composers, is the melody from Abschied, the last movement of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. All the units vary greatly in shape, size, and content, as if they were not motivic parts of a melodic unit, but words, each of which has a purpose of its own in the sentence."

The free rhythm of this truly "talking" passage; its construction by means of addition, instead of subordination of elements; and even certain melodic idiomatics have a familiar ring to an ear trained in Jewish singing and belonging to a sphere of sound forms which includes Jewish music. A similar structural affinity is also found with the "principle of permanent variation" that governs the formation of Schoenberg's serial compositions from the early 1920s onward. It was, however,

a far cry from the visionary and subconscious achievements of the great masters in the open field of pure music and the practical solutions demanded for applied music, such as synagogue song, which had to cope with tradition and habitude. But its composers also felt the need to express Jewish identity much more strongly than in the past century. The first obstacle to be overcome was their estrangement from the genuine sources of inspiration; moreover, these sources lay buried under much debris.

the collection and examinations of the inheritance

Gathering and transcribing the oral tradition of synagogue song had begun in the Western countries during the 19th century and was almost completed by the end of that era. This labor and the incipient research had been the work of cantors personally involved in maintaining the vocal traditions. It became the task of the present century to approach the material under broader aspects and, above all, to extend its scope to the Oriental Jewish communities. The decisive step was taken by Abraham Zvi *Idelsohn (1882–1938), a disciple of Eduard Birnbaum – who imbued him with the inquisitive and historical approach to tradition – educated at German conservatories and in the principles of the Leipzig school of musicology.

The impact of Idelsohn's publications made itself immediately felt in general musicology, especially in Plainchant research (Peter Wagner, Einfuehrung in die Gregorianischen Melodien 3, 1921; frequently borrowed and repeated in later research). The reaction of specialized Jewish research came with the confrontation of European and Oriental music in Israel. A wave of re-recording and extensive or intensive surveying swept over the fields of folklore, now widened beyond expectation by the "ingathering of the exiles" (from 1948). These activities form a base for present research, in addition to historical and liturgical studies by modern methods. The integration of Jewish music in the general history of music (especially its comparative branch, foreshadowed in Curt *Sachs' writings) is close to being accomplished.

Parallel to the research in Jewish Oriental song went the collection of musical folklore in the European communities. The collection and transcription of these treasures began about 1900. It was not necessarily in the wake of Herder's ideas on folk song and national character that the Warsaw watchmaker Judah Leib *Cahan began his famous collection of folk song texts and music in 1896 (published from 1912); rather he felt the waning of his Jewish world so lovingly described in I.L. *Peretz's and *Shalom Aleichem's novels. The menace came from secularization (*Haskalah) and the attraction of the Russian big cities but it was the progressive and assimilated circles themselves that approached Jewish folk music with themethods of ethnomusicology. In 1898, the writers Saul *Ginsburg and Pesaḥ *Marek initiated a collecting campaign of folk song texts (published 1901), and the critic and composer Joel *Engel began noting down Jewish folk tunes. Their motivation sprang from the conscious acceptance of the national trend in music, already realized by the Czechs, Spaniards, and the Russians themselves. Texts alone were still published by Noah Prilutzki (1911–13); but music was the foremost issue in the phonograph recordings of "expeditions" sent to the countryside by the *Petrograd Society for Jewish Folk Music and Baron *Guenzburg in 1912–14 (under the direction of S. *An-Ski). The output of Edison cylinders found its way into Soviet archives in Kiev, and the recordings were transcribed and published in part by M. *Beregovski.

After World War i, An-Ski's Jewish Historical-Ethno-graphical Society took over (1925–39) and published the first volume of its Muzikalisher Pinkas (1927, ed. A.M. *Bernstein). Only a fraction of its members as well as some of their collections reached the United States and set up the yivo Society, New York, among others. Yiddish folk song found warm and intelligent attention there (such as the collecting activity of Ruth *Rubin). Several smaller anthologies, like those of Menahem *Kipnis (Warsaw, from 1930) and Fritz Mordecai Kaufmann (Berlin, 1920) were instrumental in deepening the appreciation of Ashkenazi folkways in song.

The development was quite different as regards the Judeo-Spanish folk song of the Sephardim. The first texts, published by A. Danon in 1896/97 (rej, 32–33), aroused the interest of historians of Spanish literature (see Romancero Musical Tradition).

the revival of national values in music

The idea of imprinting a "national style" on art music of nonreligious description came late to the Jewish composers. It sprang up in Russia, but not from those composers who were linked to traditional or folk music (M. Dulitzki, D. Kabunowski, A.M. *Bernstein) and had set to music the Hebrew lyrics of the Haskalah and *Ḥibbat Zion authors. It cropped up, rather, within the thin layer of gifted students paying their precious admittance to metropolitan conservatories by complete assimilation. They were either unaware of their people's special singing style or ashamed of it and did not follow the model of the national trend in Russian music, from Glinka to Mussorgsky. The impulse had to come from the outside. In St. Petersburg in about 1902, Rimsky-Korsakov used to refer all his non-Russian students to their folk music. He also urged the Jews among them to cultivate their "wonderful music, which still awaits its Glinka" (according to *Saminsky). In a similar way, the young critic Yuli Dmitrevich (Joel) *Engel of Moscow was aroused to think of his cultural identity after having been asked point-blank by the mentor of the Russian national school, Vladimir Stassov: "Where is your national pride in being a Jew?" (according to Jacob *Weinberg). Many of these Jewish musicians, born between the 1870s and 1890s (the generation of Scriabin and Stravinsky), had little inner relation with living folk and traditional music (except for the few who had been disciples of cantors, such as E. Shkliar, M. *Gnesin, S. *Rosowsky). Saminsky, *Milner, *Zhitomirsky, *Achron, Lvov, and *Engel became enthusiasts of folk song collecting and arranging.

The rediscovered treasures were quickly brought before the public in unsophisticated arrangements for concert performance. Engel presented his folk song arrangements at concerts of the Moscow Ethnographical Society as early as 1901–02. The Petrograd Society for Jewish Folk Music (1908–18) had a statistically splendid record of concert performances. Its publishing house, Juwal, produced 58 works of 16 composers up to 1914, in addition to Engel's numerous songs and a collective songbook for schools. The results were sound craft-productions but not creative art. In consequence, the works of the National School did not gain ground beyond a certain sector of the Jewish audience. Talents like Joseph Achron struggled tragically for the fusion of Eastern-rooted Jewish and Western art music. The important problem of connecting self-sufficient melodic lines and modal (anti-harmonic) structures with harmonies was not solved; experiments went on in the tracks of Balakirev and Mussorgsky and later with the application of sound shading à la Debussy.

A short Russian spring after the October Revolution promised a new efflorescence of national aspirations in art. Hebrew and Yiddish *theaters (after having been banned since 1883) were founded (*Habimah, 1917; Vilna Troupe), and gave a fresh stimulus to Jewish composers. In fact, the latter's performances were at their best with incidental music such as Engel's Dybbuk Suite (op. 35), or A. *Krein's music to I.L. Peretz' Night in the Old Market Place. But very soon Jewish national art was dispersed for political reasons and its exponents went westward. After a short rallying in Berlin (about 1920–22), they made their way to the United States or Palestine. Others rode the tide and became useful members of the Soviet musical establishment (M. Gnesin, A. Krein, A. *Veprik).

Those who remained in Central Europe continued the national trend. The Juwal publications of music were transferred to Vienna and carried over to the new Jibneh series (closed in 1938). This group of composers did much to foster the conscience of Jewish identity in the Western communities (J. *Stutschewsky, A. *Nadel, J.S. Roskin, and singers like cantor L. Gollanin); they also became closely associated with the Zionist movement.

The earlier delegates of the National School who went to Palestine left only a superficial and transitory imprint on local art development because of their inflexible views and frozen stylistic traits; but a few representatives of the old guard, such as J. Engel and J. Stutschewsky (from 1938) played important roles in musical life.

The massive immigration of Jewish composers and musicians to America was quickly absorbed in the well established communities of East Ashkenazi extraction with their own music theaters, choral societies, and virtuoso star cantors. Members of the National School such as Lazare Saminsky, Joseph *Yasser, and others became important organizers of both sacred and secular music. They remained indebted to East Ashkenazi folk song or the styles based upon it, as can be seen, for instance, from the proceedings of the Jewish Music Forum (New York, from 1939) and similar institutions. The hope of deriving a universal Jewish style from that particular sector, with a directness bordering on imitation, is still nurtured by composers who have not experienced the pluralism of forms brought together in Israel – especially the Oriental components.

The production of Jewish music in America was well appreciated within its own small province of well-disposed listeners, but it did not conquer the general and international audience of the concert halls. This was accomplished by those few Jewish composers who were gifted enough to assimilate tradition and folkways to their own language and make them part of a profound expression of musicality. They are represented by Ernest *Bloch, Darius *Milhaud, Arnold Schoenberg, and Leonard *Bernstein – each in his own, highly individual way. A new leaf in national music was turned by the generation of composers who witnessed the reestablishment of the Jewish state in Israel (for the artistic problems to be overcome and the ideas and tracks followed by them, see *Israel, State of: Cultural Life).

new ways in sacred music

The trend in art-music of Jewish orientation was from the display of an upgraded Ashkenazi idiom to a more universally understood language. This language was the common musical vernacular; it also encroached upon liturgical music, but did not altogether supersede the traditional style. The contribution of the 20th century to synagogue song must therefore be evaluated in the light of the development of East Ashkenazi ḥazzanut in the West. It is true that the image of this original art has been marred by virtuosity for its own sake, the search for external effects, flattering the tastes of an undiscriminating public, and by the inroads of the record industry. The field is too wide and variegated for generalizations, however, and any judgment should Orient itself to the outstanding accomplishments. The development of East Ashkenazi ḥazzanut in the United States was initiated and furthered by immigrants from about 1880 until the end of World War ii. Earlier arrivals, such as *Minkowsky and Samuel *Morogowski ("Seidel Rovner"), were followed by Joseph *Rosenblatt, David *Roitman, Moses (Moshe) *Koussevitzky, and many others, who continued the traditional personal union of performer-composer. From the ranks of this generation, Zevulun (Zavel) *Kwartin (immigrated 1920) created and published works that can be taken as models of progressive ḥazzanut (Mus. ex. 32)

The most evident mark of this purely single-voice composition is the coloratura. Although it includes some recurrent patterns, these appear in no way as merely decorative adornment and avoid the brilliance for the sake of brilliance displayed by J. *Rosenblatt and others. The ornament often underlines the sense and expressive contents of the text, sometimes recalling the old cantors' musical kavvanot (mystical "intentions"). Coloraturas are affixed to points of internal or external tension, concentrating on the essential, while the intervening, preparatory words may be passed by with a certain indifference. Kwartin claimed that he absorbed "genuine

Oriental formulations" during his stay in Palestine (1926–27), and took them as a model for his compositions (Zmiroth Zebulon 1, preface, 1928). He succeeded in combining the two related musical styles and paved the way for a revival of the venerable, but outworn, art of ḥazzanut.

This sphere of music, well circumscribed by tradition, barely raised the problem of harmonic accompaniment or choral harmonies; the latter was left to the usual semi-improvisatory meshorerim style, with the spontaneous congregational responses. However, where the service followed the Western trend of part singing and eventually came to include the organ accompaniment of choir and cantor, the problem of harmony became acute. Out of dissatisfaction with the solutions propounded during the 19th century, three specific questions – old and new – came to the fore: how to harmonize melodies of an unharmonic conception, by what means to replace romanticism in synagogue composition, and how to write choral tunes inviting the participation of the congregants. Since there was no ready-made solution, the demands of the various communities had to be met by trial and error. From the 1920s, American synagogues did much to encourage the search for solutions of this problem, by sponsoring the composition of complete services or sections, often according a great measure of freedom to the composer.

The initiative in composing new synagogue music was taken by immigrant adherents of the National School, such as Lazare Saminsky (in the U.S. from 1921) and Joseph Achron (from 1925). Previously, these had dealt with the folkloristic manifestations of sacred song, or, occasionally, with single pieces of concert appeal; now they had to adopt a modern musical language appropriate to the Jewish service or, at least, had to modernize the traditional idiom (a venture quite legitimate in the flexible ideological framework of Jewish music). They understood that they should abandon the well-trodden ways of romanticism as well as the feeble "edifying" style and obtrusive sentimentality ("to vitriol away the 'cello sentimentality' of Messrs. Bruch, etc."; A. Schoenberg on his Kol Nidrei version, letter to Paul *Dessau, 1914). Saminsky, for instance, consciously renounced the plaintive shtayger scales in favour of what he called "the beautiful and majestic major and Aeolian minor of Hebrew melodies" (Sabbath Evening Service, preface, 1926). He drew much inspiration from the motive stock of Ashkenazi biblical chant and its basically pentatonic structure (ibid., ch. 36). He has the Sabbath Psalm 93 sung to a tune derived from the motive-chains of Bible reading (Mus. ex. 33). The effect is an unusual relaxed expression of joy, Jewish in substance, but completely divorced from the perpetual tension of ḥazzanut. The composer evaded the problem of harmony by prescribing the unison of choir and organ.

Lazar *Weiner, too, relied upon pentatonics (Mus. ex. 34a), but in a more schematic way and took some of his inspiration from the earlier Israel song composers (Daniel *Sambursky, Marc *Lavry). Russian-born Isadore *Freed, educated in America and in France with Vincent d'Indy, approached the problem of harmony by employing the subtle, somewhat pallid, chords of late French romanticism (Mus. ex. 34b).

The harder line of the "expanded tonality" featured by Ernst *Toch or Hindemith, with its tonal flexibility and harsh harmonies, had a refreshing influence on modern synagogue composition: here was an antithesis to romanticism, and a certain affinity to the antiharmonic elements and heterophonic performing habits of the earlier synagogue. Heinrich *Schalit applied some of these topical principles to his Sabbath Eve Liturgy (Munich, 1933; revised ed. New York, 1951), using several original Oriental-Sephardi tunes (e.g., the radiant ecstasy of the Kedushah in Idelsohn's Melodien 4, no. 41). A remarkable, but isolated, progress toward a synagogue choral style was made by American-born Frederick *Jacobi in one of his later works. The harmonies brought forth by the four-part choir have been severed from functionalism; the doubling of the

voices serves rather for the acoustical strengthening and coloration as known, in principle, from meshorerim practice. The voices go in unison at one time and move apart at another, as in the natural heterophony of a praying congregation; there are also reminiscences of choral psalmody.

Perhaps the most prolific innovator was Hugo Chaim *Adler, cantor and disciple of Toch. When still in Germany, in Mannheim, he recoined the concept of Brecht-Hindemith's ethical cantata to the ideas of Buber's Juedisches Lehrhaus. After escaping to the United States in 1939, he gave a new shape to the musical service and community life of his Worcester, Massachusetts, congregation (synagogue compositions 1934–52; cantatas 1934–48). Drawing upon the same techniques as Schalit and Jacobi, Adler was more consistent in stressing the specific Jewish elements. Traditional features such as shtayger modality, and restraint to the musical essentials endow his works with character and stature.

The specimens quoted so far may demonstrate some important trends and achievements in adapting contemporary musical language to the synagogue. Among the considerable number of commissioned works are the liturgies of L. Saminsky (1926), J. Achron (1932), Darius *Milhaud (op. 279; 1947), and L. *Algazi (1952). In a different category are the para-synagogal cantatas and prayer arrangements with obligatory orchestra accompaniment that are suited to concerts or meetings of religious or national celebration; this class is represented by the important works of Ernest *Bloch (Avodat ha-Kodesh, 1930), which was commissioned for a Reform synagogue and which entered the concert repertoire, and Arnold Schoenberg (Kol Nidrei, 1938). Selected prayers were set to music, on the commission of prominent communities, by Leonard Bernstein (1946), Mario *Castelnuovo-Tedesco (op. 90; 1936), Lukas *Foss, Morton *Gould (op. 164; 1943). Alexander *Tansmann (1946), Kurt *Weill, and others. The composers' names suggest the wide range of schools and individual styles employed but do not guarantee a degree of personal involvement and familiarity with the actual demands of the service. At any rate, the publication of new synagogue compositions, both on the traditional and the decidedly contemporary line, is growing in number, the output of the 1960s exceeding by far that of the 1950s. The impact of modern tendencies on synagogue music as a whole is checked, however, by the differences of approach to liturgy and service which form part of more comprehensive principles and ideological controversies. A new factor has been added to the question of conservativism or progress in sacred music by the meeting and clash of widely differing ritual and singing cultures in Israel. The most ancient fundamentals of Jewish song form the only common ground left for any synthesis that may be in the offing.

[Hanoch Avenary]


It is today acknowledged that differences between folk music and art music, and what is called "popular music," are not clearly defined. However, major features are usually noted as characteristic of folk music. It is transmitted orally from mouth to ear and learned through listening rather than through written notated documents. This suggests that the music can change when passed from one individual to another depending on the memory and creative power of the performer and the measure of acceptance in the performer's community. Gifted individuals who gave of the fruits of their poetical and musical talents frequently borrowed familiar pre-existing melodies and made new songs out of them. In many cases the names of the composers were forgotten and the compositions became anonymous. Folk song, primarily rural in origin, is functional, meaning that it is associated with other activities; yet it also exists in cultures in which there is a technically more sophisticated urban musical tradition and where this cultivated music is essentially the art of a small social elite.

As a whole, these and other characteristics are hardly applicable to the complex web of Jewish musical traditions, which have been rooted in many and diverse cultures through the long years of dispersion where alien traditions impinged on Jews wherever they resided. Viewed as a unit they represent a multiplicity of idioms, simple and more sophisticated musical styles in which the sacred and secular overlap. Considered separately, each tradition has numerous forms of expression, being partly folkloristic in character and partly drawing upon the sophisticated art of the surrounding environment. Thus, for instance, non-Jewish art music from the surrounding culture insinuates itself into the Oriental synagogues and other forms through the the art music spread through the areas under Islamic control, which in itself, despite its considerable sophistication, is based on oral transmission.

Another characteristic that sets Jewish musical traditions apart from other musical traditions is the use of Hebrew as a common language and the recourse to the same corpus of sacred classical texts for reading from biblical books and the liturgy. This has created a special blend of highly varied musical lore transmitted orally from generation to generation and written textual lore that operates as a unifying and stabilizing factor.

Although Hebrew is dominant and shared by all Jews in the religious hymns enhancing events marking the cycle of life and the Jewish year, extra-synagogal music displays a complex and diversified idiomatic picture in both language and music.

Celebrations of circumcision, the bar mitzvah, and weddings usually consist of two musical parts: the distinctly paraliturgical, which is almost indistinguishable from synagogue music, and what may include an almost unlimited use of secular music from the surrounding society, including instrumental accompaniment, despite the fact that musical instruments continue to be banned inside the synagogue. The accompaniment is often no more sophisticated than simple rhythm instruments but professional singing and playing is often included. One famous example out of many instrumental entertainers is that of the klezmerim. This represents a purely oral tradition, with its practitioners true professionals who, although of relatively low social status, are often given an important place in social life and public events.

The musical manifestations found in the various Jewish communities that have exclusively or predominantly folk elements are associated with the aforementioned events; at other times it focuses on the private life of the individual. There are times when the singing has a defined function, but it may also be entirely dissociated from any specific happening. Individuals may express themselves in lyrical song even if there is no apparent relation between the song and whatever evoked the urge to sing. The themes and contents of the songs are as extensive as the range of occasions that inspire them. Generally speaking they encompass events associated with (1) the Jewish calendar such as Sabbath songs (zemirot), the Purim plays, the Passover Seder and the like; (2) general festive gatherings such as the songs of hillulot or pilgrimage to the tombs of saints. Among those whose holiness has been recognized by the entire nation the outstanding figure is certainly Simeon bar Yohai, whose grave at Meron attracts great masses from all Jewish groups. One can add to this category the celebrations of the *Maimuna by the Moroccans and the Seherane by the Kurds; (3) The third category and undoubtedly the richest concerns the life cycle. A person's lifetime, from birth to death, is filled with a succession of outstanding occasions, many of which are celebrated in song and dance. A new element enters the scene here, one that is totally nonexistent in synagogue singing: women take part and even create texts that are performed in suitable circumstances and on occasions have unique reference to their world, some being considered their exclusive province, such as cradle songs and dirges (see below).

women's folk music

The phenomenon of women singing for other women on various occasions was undoubtedly a way of circumventing restrictions engendered by religious and social bias that limited their public musical activities and their participation in synagogue rituals. Women are also circumscribed by the talmudic injunction to the effect that "hearing a woman's voice is an abomination," which was interpreted as a prohibition against their singing in public. In his extensive response to the Jews of *Aleppo concerning the lawfulness of music, Maimonides, the prominent religious authority, included among the major prohibitions "Listening to the singing and playing of a woman."

All this seems to have encouraged the emergence and crystallization of songs with unique values and characteristics, as women singing for other women became a way of getting around these prohibitions. In their songs women can express their world of experiences and the Jewish and human values they uphold. The songs seem to have been a form of release through which they could express – even if only to themselves – those experiences and aspects of their lives that were special. They also often included Jewish ethical instructions, reaction to public and political events, as well as various communal happenings.

The song's texts have a broad thematic scope: comments on important historical and current events; songs of religious character, which are in the form of translations or paraphrases of biblical stories; the life cycle from birth to death with special emphasis on the wedding and its colorful attendant ceremonies; lyrical songs that accompany a woman when she is alone, when doing housework, when remembering the bitter experiences in her life, her troubles, complaints, and dreams, whether in a lullaby or a song of love or jealousy. There are also humorous and satiric songs like the songs of curses ostensibly meant to entertain women by introducing a light atmosphere.

With few exceptions, women's songs are in the language and Jewish idiom spoken locally. Their singing falls within the realm of oral tradition and consequently their songs are usually not fixed in permanent form so that gifted women can exhibit their creative ability by adding verses of their own or by rearranging the material they include in their repertoires.

The songs are sung in public on occasions of a folk nature either by a group of women or by one individual with a good voice. There are also professional performances by female musicians who are specialists in specific genres; particularly notable is the performance of funeral laments and dirges, which are considered the province of women who excel as keeners. Professional performances, much like of those of men, are given by one or two specialists – the main singer and her "assistant." They are usually performed in responsorial form and the women accompany themselves on the most characteristically feminine instrument, the frame drum. This phenomenon goes back to ancient times; one finds such instances in biblical stories like that of Miriam the prophetess in the Book of Exodus.

There are also female ensembles that enhanced women festivities such as the professional singers called tañaderas (drummers). This is a group of three women who sing and drum and are well versed not only in the musical repertoire but in all the customs. Another, larger all-female ensembles is the daqqaqat (drummers) in Baghdad, which at one time was a Jewish ensemble comprising four to five women beating various drums (frame drum, kettle drums, two-headed drum). The leader of the band was noted for her fine voice and, being a talented performer, she was the soloist.

From a musical standpoint, are the women's songs different from those of the men? Reflecting on the sexual aspect in the development of music, the prominent musicologist C. *Sachs wrote in The Rise of Music in the Ancient World: "If singing is indeed an activity of all our being, sex, the strongest difference between human-beings must have a decisive influence on musical style … woman's influence was particularly strong in shaping the structure of melody" (1943). Another great figure, composer Bela Bartok, who studied the folk songs of Hungary, Romania, and elsewhere, noted in his "Essay on the Collecting of Folk Music" (1976) the uniqueness and archaic nature of women's singing. He was of the opinion that an ancient stratum of song was reproduced therein because in the traditional societies they had little contact with the external world.

In recent decades, great interest in the subject has arisen, particularly in the United States and Canada, with deepening focus on gender as an analytical category in music research. In the realm of Jewish music, one should note in this respect Ellen Koskoff 's article: "The Sound of a Woman's Voice: Gender and Music in a New York Hasidic Community," which has been included in the collection essays of which she is the editor: Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective (1989).

In this context, it would be interesting to briefly draw attention to the phenomenon of the emergence of a professional class of talented Jewish women musicians by the beginning of the 20th century. These artists gained prominence and recognition as outstanding vocalists and creative artists in Muslim societies in a broad cultural region extending from Central Asia to the major centers of North Africa.

[Amnon Shiloah (2nd ed)]


Musical life in the Yishuv and in Israel has always been dominated by dialectical contrasts. In the broader spheres of musical activity, each Jewish ethnic group conducted intensive daily musical activity within its traditional community life, ruled by the yearly and life cycle. Such activity was inherently compartmentalized and intended only for members of the specific group (as may still be observed in the older, Orthodox neighborhoods of Jerusalem). By contrast, the national ideology – first carried forward by the Zionist movement and then as an official policy of the State of Israel – activated a drive for national unification around common values, most importantly the revival of the Hebrew language. In the case of music the national ideology was expressed in the endeavor to create a new and inherently national style of folk, popular, and art music, which acted as a powerful unifying social agent, including social gatherings in contexts of music making and concert activity. At the same time, the immigrants from Europe were reluctant to discard their rich cultural heritage. The immigrants from Europe were thus dominated by the dialectical conflict between the Vision of the East and the Heritage of the West.

Within the narrower sphere of art (concert) music and concert life, the maintenance and practice of European music – whether as active music making at home or in passive attendance of concerts – played a paramount role in softening the trauma of immigration and resettlement. By contrast, composers, strongly guided by the Vision of the East, endeavored to create a new, intrinsically national Israeli musical style. Reaching beyond a blurred vision to actual musical parameters proved a nearly insurmountable obstacle, which composers have been struggling with to the present day.

the yishuv period

Music was second only to the revived Hebrew language as a powerful agent in the creation of a unified, national culture in the Yishuv and in Israel. As the most sociable art, it had the power to bring people together, mostly for singing folk songs at work and in leisure time, but also for group performance and for passive listening.

Transplantation of Music Institutions

The Jewish immigrants from Europe took the momentous step of transplanting the European institutional model to the social setting of the yishuv. In 1895 a community orchestra was founded in the early settlement of Rishon le-Zion. It was a well-organized amateur wind band with a paid conductor, which took part in all festive and social functions of the settlement (including playing at the historical visit by Herzl in 1897). The model was soon adapted by all other settlements, such as Petaḥ Tikvah, as well as in the Jewish community of Jaffa. All of the orchestras were grouped under the rubric "Kinnor Zion" (the Violin of Zion).

The German-born singer Shulamit Ruppin founded in Jaffa in 1910 the first music school (named after her upon her untimely death in 1912). The Shulamit School maintained a pure German curriculum, with individual instrumental instruction of violin, piano, and voice, theory classes, and a student chorus and orchestra. The first director was the versatile violinist, conductor, and concert manager Moshe Hopenko, who also owned a music store and imported pianos to Palestine. The school stimulated lively interest with an unexpectedly large enrollment. Shulamit Ruppin founded a branch in Jerusalem, which soon became an independent school. The Shulamit School served as model for additional music schools such as Bet Leviim (Levite House) in Tel Aviv and Conservatoire Dunya Weizmann in Haifa.

The horrendous hardships of World War i dealt a heavy blow to all musical activities of the Yishuv, yet recovery after the institution of the British Mandate in Palestine was strikingly quick, especially due to the renewal of Jewish immigration. In 1923, conductor Mark Golinkin made the daring step of founding the Palestine Opera, which lasted against all economic odds for four seasons. Golinkin presented mostly mainstream operas such as La Traviata, Otello, Faust, and The Barber of Seville. Yet he placed special emphasis on operas by Jewish composers, with Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots, Halevy's La Juive, and Anton Rubinstein's The Maccabeans. The performers were fine singers, mostly from Russia, and the productions enjoyed full houses. Yet the lack of funds, which did not allow a proper orchestra and chorus, and the bad physical conditions of performances in badly equipped movie houses plunged the opera into deep financial crisis and it collapsed in 1927. Between 1941 and 1947 composer and conductor Marc *Lavri established the Folk Opera, which presented operettas, occasionally accompanied by two pianos. Yet the Folk Opera also pioneered the first production of a local opera, Lavri's Dan ha-Shomer ("Dan the Watchman").

There were several short-lived attempts in the 1920s to form symphony orchestras, such as conductor Max Lampel's extremely popular outdoor concert series in Tel Aviv. The performances of these groups attracted large audiences, which showed that they answered a deep need among the immigrants to maintain their connection to European art music. But these were ad hoc ensembles that recruited musicians at their miserable venues in cafes and silent movie houses, and no regular orchestra could emerge from such initiatives.

A European quality prevailed in the unique Chamber Music Association founded in Jerusalem by cellist Thelma *Bentwich-Yellin and her sister, violinist Marjorie, in 1921. They performed full seasons with their fine string quartet, including an all-Beethoven series, as well as concerts by piano trios, piano recitals, and baroque ensembles.

The most significant developments occurred in the 1930s with the Fifth Aliyah, which was called the German Aliyah. While most immigrants in the 1930s came from Poland, the Fifth Aliyah effected a major cultural change in general and in music in particular in the Yishuv, due to the high musical standards of the Jews who came from Central Europe (Germany, Austria, and countries strongly affected by German culture such as Hungary and Czechoslovakia). The so-called German immigration brought to Palestine not only well-trained composers, performers, and music teachers but also a discerning audience.

The Palestine Orchestra

The momentous act which violinist Bronislaw *Huberman undertook in founding the Palestine Orchestra (later the Israel Philhamronic Orchestra) in 1936 was of paramount importance in placing musical activity in Palestine on a high international level. Huberman's original vision was to turn the Jewish community of Palestine into an international center replacing what he considered "the declining West." The rapid deterioration of conditions in Europe made him take the emergency step of establishing a first-class philharmonic orchestra. He obtained the consent of the British Mandate authorities to grant entry certificates to the musicians he auditioned in Europe from among the fine Jewish instrumentalists who had been fired from their orchestras by the Nazi and Fascist managements. In this way he saved scores of musicians and their families from the Holocaust. The Palestine Orchestra was inaugurated in December 1936 with a concert, which served as a national celebration, conducted by the legendary Arturo Toscanini, who turned it into a powerful, internationally publicized anti-Nazi demonstration. The best international conductors and soloists followed Toscanini and performed with the orchestra, most of them gratis, and in this way it maintained the strict professional standards, which Toscanini had demanded. The core of the repertoire was the mainstream Classic-Romantic symphonic repertoire, but the orchestra also performed almost every new orchestral composition composed in Palestine. The members of the orchestra also founded fine chamber music ensembles and provided high-level instrumental instruction to children.

The Palestine Conservatoire

In 1933 violinist Emil *Hauser founded the Palestine Conservatoire in Jerusalem, with a large faculty of over 30 teachers and a comprehensive curriculum for most instruments as well as classes in composition, history, and theory in addition to instruction in the Arabic 'ūd given by Ezra *Aharon and courses in non-Western music given by Edith *Gerson-Kiwi. The conservatoire also initiated advanced professional studies. Hauser received 70 certificates from the Mandate authorities and in this way saved the most brilliant young Jewish music students from the Nazis. The conservatoire gave rise in the mid-1940s to the Academies of Music in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, which have continued to be the leading professional music schools in the country

The Palestine Broadcast Service

In March 1936, the British founded the Palestine Broadcast Service, which alternated broadcasts in Arabic, English, and Hebrew. The Music Department included a large chamber ensemble, which soon became the radio orchestra, later the Jerusalem Symphony. The Music Department also initiated an ensemble of Arabic instrumentalists and singers headed by Ezra Aharon.

Bridging East and West

Pioneer individuals made the first attempts. The great researcher Abraham Zvi *Idelsohn (1882–1938) settled in Jerusalem in 1907 with the original vision of rediscovering the original chant of the ancient Hebrew Temple through thorough fieldwork which would reveal elements common to all Eastern ethnic groups, Arabic music, and Plainchant. Idelsohn's hypothesis was that the groups of Jews in the Middle East, such as in Yemen and Babylon (Iraq) were barely influenced by the neighboring Arabs, unlike the European Jews whose liturgical chant and music were strongly imbued with Western influences. Idelsohn selected Jerusalem as the center of his activity since it presented to him a unique concentration of all Jewish ethnic groups in one location. Idelsohn's ambitious project could not be realized, yet he did extensive and unprecedented fieldwork, using the newly-invented Edison phonograph. The first volume of his monumental and influential Thesaurus of Jewish Melodies, the one including the Yemenite chants, was published in 1914. The travails of World War i and the lack of public support made his life in Jerusalem unbearable and in 1921 he left Palestine and settled in the United States, where he continued his monumental Thesaurus.

In 1924 the researcher and collector Yoel *Engel moved the center of activities of the Society of Jewish Folk Music, founded in St. Petersburg (1908) and briefly domiciled in Berlin (1922), to Tel Aviv. His main project was the publication of hundreds of Jewish folk songs, which he and his colleagues had assembled, as cheap sheet music, easily available. His project was curtailed by his untimely death in 1927.

Proceeding from the East westwards, singer Bracha *Zefira (1910–1990) started a unique project. Born to a Yemenite family, she was orphaned in childhood and raised by foster families of different ethnic origins, registering in her superb memory scores of traditional songs. After studies in Jerusalem and Berlin, she initiated in 1931 public concerts of songs of diverse ethnic Jewish and Arabic groups with improvising pianist Nahum *Nardi, which revealed the wealth of Eastern traditions to Western-educated concertgoers. From 1939 she commissioned arrangements from most local composers, deliberately using piano and Western chamber ensembles, as well as performing with the Palestine Orchestra. The Yemenite composer, singer, and choreographer Sara *Levi-Tanay made a lasting contribution to Israeli folk song, with her Kol Dodi and Ali Be'er. In 1948 she founded the *Inbal Yemenite Dance Company. The Yemenite singer Shoshana *Damari was one of the most important performers of the newly-invented Israeli folk song, having frequently performed with composer Moshe *Wilensky at the piano.

The Yemenite artists effected a major change in the self-image of Yemenite women in Palestine and Israel and were pioneers in the liberation of the Yemenite woman from her traditional boundaries.

Composition, First Generation

About 30 composers immigrated from Europe between 1931 and 1938. Most of them were of German origin and had finished their studies also in Germany. A smaller group originated from Eastern Europe, most of whom did their advanced studies in Paris. Having never met before, they did not coalesce into any "school." The often mentioned concept of a so-called "Mediterranean School" is misleading. Each composer responded to the powerful internal and external ideological pressure in an individual way. Moreover, most composers found ways to compose in different idioms and techniques at the same time, thus maintaining their Western heritage on the one hand and trying to find links with the East – whether ethnic or imaginary – at the same time. Such was Stefan *Wolpe (1902–1972), who remained dedicated to the powerful expressionism and dodecaphonic technique of *Schoenberg in his orchestral and piano works (1935–38) while composing at the same time simple settings of modern Hebrew poetry for voice and piano and arrangements of folk songs for kibbutz choirs. Wolpe's avant-garde approach was not accepted in Jerusalem and in 1939 he emigrated to the U.S. All other major immigrant composers overcame the immigration trauma and initiated intensive activity in creation and instruction in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The only person who produced a clearly defined ideology was Alexander U. *Boskovitch (1907–1964), who demanded that the Israeli composer acts as a shali'aḥ ẓibbur representing the collective and responding to the local "static and dynamic landscape," i.e., both the visual and acoustical scenery of the country, especially the sound of biblical and modern Hebrew as well as Arabic. Boskovitch created the regional concept of "Mediterranean Music," according to which Jewish music from Europe had nothing to do with the future Israeli national style. Boskovitch turned to the sonorities and the melos of Arabic music, but stressed the difference between "the Jewish and the Arabic shepherds." Boskovitch systematically realized his ideology in his early works, the Oboe Concerto (1943), Semitic Suite (1946), and Adonai Roʿi ("The Lord is my Shepherd," 1943).

The other composers never subscribed to his ideology, and the term itself was quoted only once, by Menahem *Avidom, in his Mediterranean Sinfonietta. Still, all composers responded to the ideological call of the Vision of the East. Most characteristic was the substitution of modes (in the romantic sense of scales with no leading tone) for the Western major-minor tonal system. Erich Walter *Sternberg (1891–1974) rejected all external ideological pressures and in his introduction to his largescale Twelve Tribes of Israel (1938) he proclaimed his commitment to the inner call of a composer to respond to new surroundings in his own individual way. His language was deeply ingrained with late Romanticism, especially under the influence of Brahms, Bruckner, Reger, and *Mahler. Joseph *Tal (1910) repeatedly declared that the very fact of his being a composer creating in the social and cultural environment of Israel would shape his music in a new way. Tal insisted on staying abreast of new developments in Western music. A concise illustration of Tal's attitude is found in the second movement of his Piano sonata (1952) in which an ostinato quote of simple, modal melody by his friend Yehudah *Sharett serves as the basis for a series of extremely chromatic and dissonant variations. The prolific Paul *Ben-Haim found his own manner of proceeding in simultaneous tracks. He produced over 30 arrangements for Bracha Zefira, whose melodies he later quoted and interpreted in his large scale works, such as the Clarinet Quintet and his two symphonies. In his early piano works he resorted to naïve, romantic depiction of imaginary Eastern pastorals, whereas his First Symphony (1940) is a powerful artistic response to the horrendous first months of World War ii, with strong Mahlerian influences. Ben Haim also initiated the genre of the Hebrew Lied, setting great poetry by Bialik, Rachel, Sh. Shalom, and Leah Goldberg. In his Sabbath Cantata (1940) Mordechai *Seter made a strongly personal synthesis of melodic quotes of Baylonian Jews from Idelsohn's Thesaurus, cast in a combination of contrapuntal Palestrina style and 20th century modal-dissonant harmony. Marc *Lavri (1903–1967) departed from the ideology of creating an easily accessible, tuneful, and popular style, which would obliterate the dividing line between folk and art music, as in his extremely popular Emek (Jezreel Valley) song which he developed into a folk-like symphonic poem. Lavri was the first to incorporate the Hora dance into chamber and symphonic music (the Palestinian Hora has nothing to do with the Romanian Hora Lungha; it is a dance cast in regular, brief phrases in common time, with constant syncopations, and it came out of ḥasidic dance).

During the last two decades of the British Mandate period the immigrant composers created a large repertoire of symphonic, chamber, and especially piano music, as well as songs, which was the basis of Israeli art music.

after the foundation of the state of israel

Institutional Expansion

By the time the State of Israel was proclaimed in 1948 the institutional and ideological musical infrastructure had been established. The Palestine Orchestra was renamed the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which continued to be the leading representative ensemble of Israel, attracting large subscription audiences. Concert life evolved in the direction of expansion and diversification. Orchestras were formed in Haifa and Beersheba. In 1972 the small radio orchestra was expanded and became the Jerusalem Symphony.

Soprano Edis *de Philippe founded and directed the Israeli Opera from 1948, but financial difficulties and abrasive personal relations hindered its progress for more than 30 years. New municipal orchestras emerged such as in Haifa and Beersheba. The first wave of immigration from the Soviet Union in the early 1970s made possible a significant expansion of the radio orchestra, which as mentioned became the Jerusalem Symphony. Direct initiatives of the government, other than providing for limited financial subsidies through the Public Council for Culture and the Arts, were realized in a few large-scale ventures, most importantly the establishment of the annual Israel Festival in 1960, which from the start introduced some of the foremost international artists such as Pablo Casals and Igor Stravinsky to the Israeli audience. Once every few years the State of Israel has granted the prestigious Israel Prize to composers and performers.

Following the demise of the Israeli Opera following de Philippe's death, a new opera company was founded in 1985 with a new house erected in Tel Aviv. The New Israeli Opera (later named The Israeli Opera) soon reached high professional standards and brought about a significant change on the Israeli musical scene, collaborating with major opera houses in productions of operatic masterpieces. It started a project of commissioning new operas from Israeli composers, the first of which was Tal's Joseph.

The large wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union after 1990 effected an unprecedented expansion of the community of professional musicians, leading to the founding of several new orchestras, foremost among them the Rishon le-Zion Symphony (which is also the opera orchestra) and the Raʿanannah Orchestra.

Musicological Research

The immigration of the ethnomusicologists Robert *Lachmann and Edith (Gerson) Kiwi in 1935 initiated a highly productive period of field research, now preserved and digitalized at the Sound Archives of the Hebrew University. The Music Department of the National and University Library and the Center for Jewish Music Research, founded by Israel *Adler, initiated studies and publications and became the world repository of archives of Jewish and Israeli music. The first Department of Musicology was founded at the Hebrew University in 1965, with scholars doing high-standard historical and ethnomusicological research, including extensive field work and recording in the ethnically extremely diverse Jewish and Arab society in Israel, among them ethnomusicologists and historians Amnon *Shiloah, Ruth *Katz, Dalia Cohen, and Don *Harran. This was followed by musicology departments at Tel Aviv University (1966) whose faculty included Edith Gerson-Kiwi, Herzl *Shmueli, and Judith Cohen, and Bar-Ilan University (1969) with Bathia *Churgin, Uri Sharvit, and Judith Frygesi on the faculty.

Composition, Second and Third Generations

The founders of Israeli music persisted in their individual ways of coping with the expectations of critics, fellow musicians, and the composers themselves for a new Israeli style to emerge as a fusion of east and west. After the long period of isolation during wartime, the country was reopened to the west and composers renewed direct contacts with new music, such as when Haim *Alexander (1915) participated in the Darmstadt workshops, interpreting the serial techniques in his personal way (Sound Patterns for piano) while retaining folklike modal tuneful writing such as in Nature Songs. Mordekhai *Seter developed an extremely individual synthesis of Eastern chant and primeval dissonant harmony, combined with direct quotes of traditional Yemenite tunes in his monumental Midnight Vigil. Paul *Ben Haim persisted in simultaneous tracks, ranging from the daring adoption of Arabic melos and sonorities in his Sonata a tré for mandolin, guitar, and harpsichord, to the dense contrapuntal texture of his Metamorphoses on a Bach Chorale, written a year apart (1967–68). Joseph Tal composed dramatic, innovative symphonies, and founded the first studio of electronic music in Israel, his work there culminating in the opera Metzada for singers and magnetic tape, and the large-scale vocal work Death Came to the Wooden Horse Michael to a poem by Nathan Zach.

The second and third generations of composers included Ben-Zion *Orgad, Zvi *Avni, Yehezkel *Braun, Ami *Maayani, Noam *Sheriff, and others. They all received their initial training under the founders of Israeli music, but then went abroad for advanced studies. Their styles branched in new directions of increased pluralism. Yehezkel Braun always maintained flowing tuneful melodies, even in his dodecaphonic works, Orgad found his inspiration in the rhythms and sound qualities of the Hebrew language, whether biblical or modern. Avni established his own individual synthesis of Eastern declamation and rich Western atonal harmony, such as in his powerful Meditations on a Drama, and Maayani likewise turned to syntheses of Arabic maqams with Western counterpoint, such as in his tense and dramatic String Quartet.

New waves of immigrations, such as from the Soviet Union in the early 1970s, further diversified Israeli music. Mark *Kopytman (1929) found his own strongly personal heterophonic technique with strong influences of Eastern music, such as in Memory, which is a complex orchestral interpretation of a traditional Yemenite song which opens and closes the composition, and of traditional Jewish prayer chant of Eastern Europe such as in Beyond.

The younger generations of composers further diversified the extreme pluralism of Israeli music, in response to the increasing diversification of Western music since the 1970s. Haim Permont (1950) turned in his powerful opera Dear Son of Mine to a direct commentary and critique of painful issures in contemporary Israeli society. The endeavor to achieve a synthesis of Jewish traditions continued and reached its peak with Betti *Olivero (1954– ), whose rich repertoire presents a strongly personal interpretation of Jewish Eastern, ḥasidic, and Sephardi traditions within advanced Western harmonic techniques.

Since the 1980s several composers have achieved new breakthroughs in Arab music, strongly influenced by the contemporary emergence of "World Music." Ensembles combining Arab and Western instruments such as Bustan Avraham with the 'ūd and violin virtuoso Taisir Elias were founded, and the Music Academy in Jerusalem opened a department for applied study of Arab music. Composer Tzipi *Fleischer (1946– ) undertook full academic studies of Arab music and culture and composed vocal works to classical and modern Arabic poetry, culminating in her Hexaptichon – six versions of the same composition moving from a powerful Arab rendition to a purely Western version for two pianos. Michael Wolpe (1960) combined the 'ūd and Arab drum with a string trio and the voice of a Persian-born singer in his poignant Songs of Memory. Wolpe also turned to nostalgic evocation and commentary in the style of early instrumental and folk music, such as in his Piano Trio no. 3 "On Israeli Songs."

The musical scene was further expanded with the large-scale immigration from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, especially with a group of composers coming from the Central Asian republics, such as Joseph *Bardanashvili and Benjamin Yosupov (see below).

Interest in the performance of contemporary music was stimulated through the regular performances of three fine ensembles: Musica Nova, The Ensemble of the Twenty-First-Century, and Caprizma.

(See also "Israel, State of: Culture Life – Music and Dance.)

[Jehoash Hirshberg (2nd ed.)]

Immigrant Artists

The wave of over one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union since 1989 brought to Israel a great number of musicians. To the 1,500 active professional musicians in Israel, another 5,500 arrived from the U.S.S.R. Some of them went back to their countries of origin; some moved on to other countries, and some even changed their professions. Those who continued their careers in Israel changed the musical life of the country. They were employed in existing orchestras, chamber ensembles, and ballet troops, founded new orchestras (the Israel Symphony Orchestra of Rishon Le-Zion, Camerata Jerusalem, the Hed Big Band of Tel Aviv and others). They have also filled pedagogical positions at academies and conservatories. New concert halls were built for some of these orchestras, like those in Rishon le-Zion and in Kefar Shmaryahu. Concert life has also been enriched by the performances of new soloists. The most noted among them are the singers Susanna Poretsky, Felix Lipshitz, and Yuri Shapovalov; pianists Raimonda Sheinfeld, Irena Berkovich, Dinna Yoffe, Gabriela Talrose, and Evgeny Shenderovich; jazz-pianists Viacheslav Ganelin and Leonid Ptashka; violinists Maxim Vengerov and Sergey Ostrovski; cellists Mikhail Homitzer and Oleg Stolpner; clarinetist Evgeny Ehudin; bassoonist Alexander Fain; harpist Julia Sverdlova, and others. Many of the new artists appear as guests in concerts.

As many as 50 new composers from the former Soviet Union have joined the existing 150 members of the Israel Composers' League. The musicians imported a variety of styles, from followers of "socialist realism" to followers of Gubaidulina, Kancheli and other representatives of the Russian post-modernism. Among the post-modernists, the highest achievements were attained by Josef *Bardanashvili, who in a few years won the most prestigious Israeli awards and became one of the leading composers (especially in the fields of theater and film scores). His piano composition was selected as the compulsory piece at the 2005 International Rubinstein piano competition. Even though he spent only his last years in Israel (from 1994), Valentin Bibik (1942–2003) had significant achievements and produced important new works. The composers who came from the Asian republics of the former Soviet Union also had interesting achievements combining the elements of modernism and post-modernism along with a variety of local musical elements from their regions. In Israel, Jewish elements were added (Yusupov, Pigovat, Davydov, Fel, Perez, Freidlin, Heifets). Most of the composers from this group display a growing interest in Jewish themes. Many new compositions have been written in the "Jewish style." In most cases it is only a simple rearrangement of popular Jewish melodies. However, some composers have created remarkable works (Bardanashvili, The Children of God; Yusupov, Sonata for Two Pianos).

Among the winners of the Klon Prize for the best young Israeli composer are also some newcomers: Benjamin Yusupov, Karel Volnianski, and Uri Brener.

In the field of electro-acoustic music, the most noted newcomer artists are Marcel Goldmann (from France) and Simon Lazar (from Bulgaria). Among the musicologists, Marina Ritzareva and Yulia Kreinina achieved the best works.

[Dushan Mihalek (2nd ed.)]


Life during the Holocaust, the suffering of the Jews under the Nazi regime, has been reflected in music and musical life. Musical performance created venues to express humanity under inhuman conditions, it was a way to escape from reality, a way to find comfort and hopes and express freedom.

Shortly after the Nazi rise to power in 1933, the regime established a central office to control all musical activity in Germany. The composer Richard Strauss was appointed its president, and the conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler his deputy. All Jewish professional musicians in Germany were dismissed from their posts and works of Jewish composers were banned. Many of them immigrated to Palestine and the U.S. and resumed their careers there.

In July 1933, Jewish performers set up the Kulturbund Deutscher Juden (Cultural Society of German Jews) for promoting music and the arts among German Jews. In its eight years of existence the Kulturbund organized over 500 concerts of opera, operettas, symphonic and chamber music, Jewish cantorial music, and other genres. When the Kulturbund could no longer function, some of the musicians left Germany while others were sent to ghettos and concentration camps and continued to perform there, like those at the Theresienstadt (Terezin).

During the war, there were public musical activities in some ghettos as well as performances for private occasions where people sang, played, and even danced. Street performances were known in some ghettos, such as Lodz, Warsaw, and Cracow, where several singers performed songs, some of them composed ad hoc, on ghetto life while others were set to pre-composed melodies. One of the popular street performers in the Lodz ghetto was Yankele Hershkowitz (1910–1970).

Professional musical performance was censored and controlled by the authorities; however, the freedom to sing and compose music could not be controlled or censored totally. Thus music became a symbol of freedom. In Warsaw, Adam Furmanski (1883–1943) organized small orchestras in cafés and in soup kitchens. In the Warsaw ghetto a symphonic orchestra played until April 1942, when the German authorities put an end to the orchestra, punishing it for having performed works by German composers. In Lodz, the Jewish Council chairman, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, centrally directed musical activities. The community center organized musical and theatrical performances, a symphony orchestra, the Zamir choral society, and a revue theater appeared on its stage. In the Cracow ghetto, chamber music recitals and concerts of liturgical music were performed. The Vilna ghetto had an extensive program of musical activities, with a symphony orchestra and several choirs. A revue theater presented many popular songs composed in the ghetto on ghetto life. A conservatory with 100 students was established in the Vilna ghetto.

Many songs were heard in the ghettos – some old, perhaps with new words, and some new. One of the first anthologies of songs was published in 1948, under the title Di Lider fun Getos un Lagern ("Songs of Ghettos and Camps"), which was collected and edited by the poet, teacher, and partisan from Vilna Shmerke Kaczerginski (1908–1954). The anthology contains 236 songs (lyrics) and 100 melodies. However, many songs were lost forever.

Among the best-known songs composed and performed during the Holocaust are songs of the Vilna Ghetto "Zog nit Keymol" ("Never Say"), also known by its postwar title "Song of the Partisans," written by Hirsh Glik (1922–1944) to a melody of Russian composer Dimitry Pokrass; "Shtiler, Shtiler" ("Quiet, Quiet") with words by S. Kaczerginski and music by the 11-year-old Alexander Volkoviski (*Tamir; 1931– ); "Friling" ("Spring"), words by S. Kaczerginski, music by Abraham Brudno (1910(?)–1943), and "Yisrolik," words by Leyb Rozental and music by Mischa Veksler (1907–1943). Songs of the Vilna ghetto inspired the writer Yehoshua *Sobol in his play Ghetto, which made the songs popular in many languages around the world. Many of the Vilna ghetto theater songs became songs of remembrance and are still performed in commemoration ceremonies, mainly in translation, especially in Hebrew and English. The songwriter Mordecai *Gebirtig (1877–1942) from Cracow wrote another song "Es Brent" ("It Burns") that became popular during the Holocaust and afterward. The song was written in 1938 under the impact of the pogrom in Przytyk and became a prophecy of the Holocaust. It became after the war a symbol for the fate of the Jews in Eastern Europe.

Those who became partisans composed songs in a variety of languages, which were performed mostly in group singing. Some of the partisan groups also used an instrument for accompaniment. The best-know partisans' songs from Vilna gained fame thanks to the collection work of Kaczerginski.

Many songs performed and composed in the camps were popular prewar songs in a variety of languages and were not transmitted from one ghetto to another. However, after the war, at the dp camps, songs were also transmitted and were shared by Holocaust survivors.

In the Theresienstadt ghetto, where professional composers as well as classical and jazz musicians were interned, many compositions were created and many musical pieces were performed. Viktor Ullman (1898–1944) composed there three of his piano sonatas (No. 5, Op. 45, 1943; No. 6,Op. 49, 1943; No. 7, 1944), String Quartet (No. 3, Op. 46, 1943), three songs for baritone and piano, and arrangements of songs for choir. His last piece, the opera The Emperor of Atlantis, was never performed, and Ullman was sent to the gas chambers in Auschwitz in August 1944. In the same transport, his colleagues Pavel Haas (1899–1944), Hans Krasa (1899–1944), and Gideon Klein (1919–1945) were also sent to Auschwitz. Gideon Klein composed in Theresienstadt a Piano Sonata (1943), Fantasie and Fugue for string quartet (1942–43), Trio for violin and cello (1944), Two Madrigals (1942–43), and arrangements of folk songs. One of the more memorable performances was of the children's opera Brundibar by Hans Krasa (1899–1944) (in Czech), which was composed in 1935 and performed in the ghetto with a children's choir, soloists, and piano. Hans Krasa also composed a Theme and Variations, based on Brundibar's song for string quartet (1942), Songs (1943) for baritone, clarinet, viola and cello, Dance (1943) for trio, Passacaglia and Fugue for trio, and more. Other composers interned in Theresienstadt who composed there were Zigmund Schul (1916–1944), Erwin Schulhoff (1894–1942), and Carlo S. Taube (1897–1944), who was also a singer and conductor.

In most of the big concentration and extermination camps, the Germans formed orchestras from among the prisoners and forced them to play when Jews arrived at the camps, on their way to the gas chambers, when they marched to work, and also for the pleasures of the ss men.

The Auschwitz camp had six orchestras at one point. The biggest one, in Auschwitz i (the main camp), consisted of 50 musicians. A women's orchestra in Auschwitz-Birkenau consisted of 36 members and eight women who wrote musical notes under the musical direction of the singer Fania Fenelon. All four of the extermination camps – Treblinka, Majdanek, Belzec and Sobibor – had orchestras as well as Mauthausen and Buchenwald camps. Dachau had four orchestras and a string quartet.

The written documentation published after the Holocaust includes the earliest anthologies of ghetto and camp songs compiled by Yehuda Eisman (Bucharest 1945); that of Zami Feder (Bergen-Belsen, 1946), and that of Kaczerginski (New York, 1948). Kaczerginski also made recordings among survivors in Displaced Persons camps in 1946, some of which survived at Yad Vashem archives. Composers and poets who immigrated to Israel, the U.S., and other countries composed new songs about the Holocaust, such as Henek Kon in the anthology Kdoishim-Martyrs (New York, 1947). Later even popular musicians such as the Israeli Yehudah *Poliker composed songs to lyrics of Yaakov Gilad, like "Efer ve-Avak" ("Ashes and Dust," 1988). Both of them are sons of Holocaust survivors.

Several organizations of people from the same home city or ghetto, the State of Israel, other countries around the world, etc. organized commemoration gatherings for Holocaust survivors. In these ceremonies the song "Zog Nit Keynmol" of the partisans of Vilna became the Holocaust hymn. Other ghetto and camp songs were never performed again while new songs about the Holocaust or related themes such as survival, uprising, belief, and hope were added to the ceremonies.

New compositions have been composed since the Holocaust, including Arnold Schonberg's Survivor from Warsaw (1947), Dies Irae of the Polish composer Krzystof Penderecki, the Thirteenth Symphony Babi Yar by the Russian composer Dimitry Shostakovich, I Never Saw Another Butterfly by Charles Davidson, and more.

With the growth of research on music of the Holocaust and the revival of Jewish Yiddish music since the 1980s more songs were recorded, especially by American musicians, and performed to mixed audiences around the world. (See also: *Israel, State of – Cultural Life, Music and Dance; *Hasidism; Dance.)

[Gila Flam (2nd ed.)]


general: Idelsohn, Music; idem, Toledot ha-Neginah ha-Ivrit, Mahutah, Yesodoteha ve-Hitpatteḥutah, 1 (1924); E. Werner, in: Grove, Dict, 4 (19545), 615–36; idem, From Generation to Generation; Studies in Jewish Musical Tradition (1968); P. Gradenwitz, The Music of Israel; its Rise and Growth Through 5000 Years (1949); A. Nadel, in: Der Jude, 7 (1923), 227–36; H. Avenary, in: mgg, 7 (1958), 226–61; E. Gerson-Kiwi, ibid., 261–80; idem, in: Madda, 4 (1960), 26–33; idem, The Legacy of Jewish Music Through the Ages (1963); idem, in: Yuval (1968), 169–93, mus. ex. 16–25; A.M. Rothmueller, The Music of the Jews (1967); A. Ackermann, in: azj, 63 (1899), 379–82, 392–4, 414–5; A. Friedmann, Der synagogale Gesang (1908); idem (ed.), Dem Andenken Eduard Birnbaums (1922); A.Z. Idelsohn, Phonographierte Gesaenge und Aussprache-Proben des Hebraeischen der jemenitischen, persischen und syrischen Juden (1917); D. Milhaud, in: Musica Hebraica, 1–2 (1938), 18–20; M. Wohlberg, in: uje, 8 (1942), 48–55; H. Harris, Toledot ha-Neginah ve-ha-Ḥazzanut be-Yisrael (1950); I. Rabinovitch, Of Jewish Music, Ancient and Modern (1952); E. Werner, in: New Oxford History of Music, 1 (1957), 313–35; A. Rechtman, Yidishe Etnografye un Folklor (1958); I. Adler, in: Encyclopédie de la Musique Fasquelle, 2 (1959), 640–54; idem, in: J. Porte (ed.), Encyclopédie des musiques sacrées, 1 (1968), 469–93; L. Algazi, ibid., 494–9; E. Gerson-Kiwi, ibid., 512–4; H. Avenary, in: R. Patai (ed.), Studies in Biblical and Jewish Folklore (1960), 185–98; J. Walbe, Der Gesang Israels und seine Quellen (1964); I. Heskes (ed.), The Cantorial Art (1966); Levy, Antologia; E. Piattelli, Canti liturgici ebraici di rito italiano (1967); C. Vinaver, Anthology of Jewish Music (1953); A. Herzog, Renanot – Dappim le-Shirah u-le-Musikah Datit, 1–10 (1958–63). the biblical period (to c. 200 b.c.e.): Sendrey, Music, nos. 10,005–10,682; Finesinger, in: huca, 8–9 (1931/32), 193–228; O.R. Sellers, in: Biblical Archaeologist, 4 (1941), 33–47; A. Buechler, in: zawb, 19 (1899), 93–133, 329–44; 20 (1900), 97–135; C. Sachs, The Rise of Music in the Ancient World – East and West (1943); E. Werner, in: Musical Quarterly, 43 (1957), 21–37; idem, in: Grove, Dict, 4 (1954), 615–21; idem, in: mgg, 10 (1962), 1668–76; H. Avenary, ibid., 7 (1958), 238ff. (incl. bibl.); Kraeling-Mowry, in: New Oxford Dictionary of Music, 1 (1957), 238ff. G. Rinaldi, in: Biblica, 40 (1959), 267–89; E. Gerson-Kiwi, in: Enciclopedia de la Biblia, 5 (1963), 364–79; O. Eissfeldt, An Introduction to the Old Testament (1965), 88–127, 444–54, 483–91; B. Bayer, in: em, 5 (1967), 755–82 (incl. bibl.); idem, in: Yuval, 1 (1968), 89–131; idem, The Material Relics of Music in Ancient Palestine and its Environs (1963); S. Hoffman, Mikra'ei Musikah (1966); D. Wohlenberg, Kultmusik in Israel – eine forschungsgeschichtliche Untersuchung (1967); A. Sendrey, Music in Ancient Israel (1969). the second temple period (to c. 70 c.e.): H. Avenary, in: Revue de Quamrân, 13 (1963), 15–21; E. Werner, The Sacred Bridge (1959), first period (c. 70 to 950 c.e.): A. Buechler, Untersuchungen zur Entstehung und Entwicklung der hebraeischen Accente (1891); J. Adams, Hebrew Accentuation (1906); S. Krauss, Tal Arch, 3 (1912), 76–99; P. Kahle, Masoreten des Ostens (1913); idem, Masoreten des Westens, 2 vols. (1927–30); A.Z. Idelsohn, in: A.M. Luncz (ed.), Yerushalayim, 11–12 (1916), 335–73; idem, in: Zeitschrift fuer Musikwissenschaft, 4 (1922), 515–24; H. Loewenstein (Avenary), ibid., 12 (1930), 513–20; idem, in: The Jewish Music Forum, 7–8 (1946–47), 27–33; idem, in: jjs, 16 (1965), 87–104; S. Rosowsky, in: Proceedings of the Musical Association (1934), session 60; E. Werner, in: Review of Religion, 7 (1942/43), 339–52; idem, in: huca, 20 (1947), 407–70; 23 (1950–51), 397–432; 25 (1954), 327–45); idem, in: Actes du Congrès de Musique Sacrée, Rome 1950 (1952), 134–48; idem, in: mgg, 10 (1962), 1668–76; A. Scheiber, in: Sinai, 29 (1951), 80–89; J. Kafih, ibid., 29 (1951), 261–6; idem, in: Tarbiz, 31 (1961/62), 371–6; B. Szabolcsi, in: Ignace Goldziher Memorial Volume, 1 (1948); A. Shlesinger, in: Ereẓ Yisrael… le-Zikhro shel M.D. Cassuto (1954); M. Gonzalo, in: Miscelanea de Estudios Arabes y Hebraicos, 4 (1955), 129–41; J.L. Ne'eman, Ẓelilei ha-Mikra (1955); L. Levi, in: Estratto da Scritti in Memoria di Sally Mayer (1956), 139–93; A.W. Binder, Biblical Chant (1959); E. Gerson-Kiwi, in: Festschrift Heinrich Besseler (1962), 43–49; idem, in: Festschrift Brunno Staeblein (1967), 64–73; D. Weisberg, in: jqr, 56 (1965/66), 315–36; G. Engberg, in: E. Wellesz, ed., Studies in Eastern Chant, 1 (1966), 37–49; Y. Walbe, in: Ethnomusicology, 11 (1967), 54–70; A. Herzog and A. Hajdu, in: Yuval (1968), 194–203, mus. ex. 1–15. second period, the music of the medieval diaspora (c. 950–1500): Y. Singer, Die Entwicklung des synagogalen Gesanges (1882); idem, Die Tonarten des traditionellen Synagogengesanges (Steiger); ihr Verhaeltnis zu den Kirchentonarten und den Tonarten der Vorchristlichen Musikperiode (1886); M. Steinschneider, in: Beit Oẓar ha-Sifrut, 1 (1887), 29–37; E. Kirschner, Ueber Mittelalterliche hebraeische Poesien und ihre Singweisen (1914); S. Krauss, Synagogale Altertuemer (1922), paragraphs 16.2, 16.3, 44.6; J. Schoenberg, Die traditionellen Gesaenge des israelitischen Gottesdienstes in Deutschland (1926); A.Z. Idelsohn, in: Zeitschrift fuer Musikwissenschaft, 8 (1926), 449–72; idem, in: Reshummot, 5 (1927), 351–61; 6 (1930), 411–22; idem, in: Acta Musicologica, 5 (1933), 162–8; idem, in: huca, 8–9 (1931–32), 495–503; 14 (1939), 559–74; H.G. Farmer, Maimonides on Listening to Music (1941); idem, in: The Music Review, 3 (1942); M.S. Geshuri, in: Sinai, 13 (1943–44), 317–49; 39 (1956), 298–316; B. Szabolcsi, in: Semitic Studies in Memory of Immanuel Loew (1947), 131–3; B.J. Cohon, in: Journal of American Musicological Society, 3 (1950), 17–32; H. Avenary, in: Musica Disciplina, 4 (1950), 51–57; 6 (1952), 27–32; idem, in: huca, 39 (1968), 145–62; E. Werner, in: G. Reese and R. Brandel (eds.), The Commonwealth of Music; in Honour of Curt Sachs (1965), 71–96; H. Wagenaar-Nolthenius, in: Mélangesofferts à René Crozet (1966), 881–5; Y. Ratzaby, in: Tazlil, 6 (1966), 8–13; A. Shiloah, ibid., 5–8; idem, in: Fourth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Papers, 2 (1968); idem, in: Yuval, 1 (1968), 221–50; I. Adler, ibid., 1–47; N. Alloni, ibid., 12–35; Angles, ibid., 48–64; A. Heshel, in: J. Porte (ed.), Encyclopédie des musiques sacrées, 1 (1968), 515–20; B. Cohen, Law and Tradition in Judaism (1969). third period, the migration and blending of musical styles (c. 1500–1800): E. Birnbaum, Juedische Musiker am Hofe von Mantua von 15421628 (1893); D. Kaufmann, in: mgwj, 39 (1895), 350–7; A.Z. Idelsohn, ibid., 57 (1913), 314–25; idem, in: huca, 11 (1936), 569–91; P. Nettl, Alte juedische Spielleute und Musiker (1923); idem, in: Musical Quarterly, 17 (1931), 40–46; R.L. Henriques and H.M.J. Loewe, Medieval Hebrew Minstrelsy (1926); C. Roth, in: Rassegna Mensile di Israel, 3 (1927–28), 152–62; E. Werner, in: mgwj, 45 (1937) 92–416; idem, in: Studies in Bibliography and Booklore, 5 (1961), 110–21; A. Nadel, in: Musica Hebraica, 2 (1938), 28–31; M. Vital, Di Khazonim Velt, 3 (1939), 2–4; E. Lifschutz, in: yivo Annual of Jewish Social Science, 7 (1952), 48–83; H. Shmueli, Higgajon Bechinnor (Betrachtung zum Leierspiel) des Jehudah… Moscato (1953); J. Stutschevsky, Ha-Klezmerim: Toledoteihem, Oraḥ-Ḥayyeihem vi-Yẓiroteihem (1959); A. Hemsi, in: Sefarad, 20 (1960), 148ff.; I. Adler, La Pratique musicale savante dans quelques communautés juives en Europe aux xviie et xviiie siècles, 2 vols. (1966); idem, in: A. Altmann (ed.), Jewish Medieval and Renaissance Studies (1967), 321–64; S. Simonsohn, in: Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, 34 (1966), 99–110; H. Avenary, in: Yuval (1968), 65–85, mus. ex. 26–34; R.D. Barnett, in: jhset, 22 (1968), 1–38; R. Katz, in: Acta Musicologica, 40 (1968), 65–85; M. Gorali, in: Tatzlil, 10 (1970), 9–28. fourth period, modern times: D. Deutsch, Die Orgel in der Synagoge (1863); S. Sulzer, Denkschrift an die hochgeehrte Wiener israelitische Cultus-Gemeinde, zum 50 jaehr. Jubilaeum des alten Bethauses am 1. Nissan 5636 (1876); A. Berliner, Zur Lehr' und zur Wehr; ueber und gegen die Kirchliche Orgel im juedischen Gottesdienste (1904); J. Lebermann, Aus dem Kunstleben der Hessischen Residenz am Anfang des vorigen Jahrhunderts (1904), 22–31; A Friedmann, Lebensbilder beruehmter Kantoren, 3 vols, (1918–28); S. Krauss, Zur Orgelfrage (1919); M. Brod, in: Musikblaetter des Anbruch, 2 (1920); H. Berl, Das Judentum in der Musik (1926); A. Einstein, in: Der Morgen, 2 (1926), 290–602; L.L. Ssabanejew, Die nationale juedische Schule in der Musik (1927); M. Joseph and L. Seligman, in: jl, 4 (1930), 601–4; L. Kornitzer, in: Juedisch-liberale Zeitung, 11, nos. 31–33 (1931); O. Guttmann, in: Der juedische Kantor (1934), nos. 1–4, 6; J. Stuschevsky, Mein Weg zur juedischen Musik (1936); M.S. Geshuri, La-Ḥasidim Mizmor (1936); idem, Neginah va-Ḥasidut be-Veit Kuzmir u-Venoteha (1952); idem, Ha-Niggun ve-ha-Rikkud ba-Ḥasidut, 3 vols. (1955–59); idem, in: Sefer ha-Besht (1960); M. Ravina, Mikhtavim al Musikah Yehudit me'et Yo'el Engel, M.M. Warshavsky, Shalom Aleichem (1942); E. Werner, in: Contemporary Jewish Record, 6 (1943), 607–15; A. Berliner, Ketavim Nivharim, 1 (1945); R. Glanz, in: yivo Bleter, 28 (1946), 394–97; M. Lewison, in: Di Tsukunft, 52 no. 4 (1947); W.Z. Rabinowitsch, Ha-Ḥasidut ha-Lita'it (1951), music appendix; H.D. Weisgal, in: Judaism, 3 (1954), 427–36; A. Weisser, The Modern Renaissance of Jewish Music, Events and Figures; Eastern Europe and America (1954); A.W. Binder, in: The Jewish Forum, 38 (1955), 19–21, 44–46; I. Freed, Harmonizing the Jewish Modes (1958); A.L. Holde, Jews in Music (1959); O.D. Kulka, in: blbi, 4 (1961), 281–300; G. Krause, in: Mitteilungen aus dem Arbeitskreis fuer Jiddistik (1961), 36–39; A.W. Binder, The Jewish Music Movement in America (1963); N. Stolnitz, in: Canadian Jewish Reference Book and Directory (1963), 101–4; A. Tarshish, in: ajhsq, 54 (1964), 411–49; P. Nettl, in: Music and Letters, 45 (1964), 337–44; D.S. Lifson, The Yiddish Theatre in America (1965); E. Werner, in: Central Conference of American Rabbis Journal, 13 (1965/66), 35–40; A. Soltes, in: I. Heskes and A. Wolfson (eds.), The Historic Contribution of Russian Jewry to Jewish Music (1967); A.L. Ringer, in: Studia Musicologica, 11 (1969), 355–70; P.E. Gradenwitz, in: Fourth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Papers, 2 (1968), 147–51. folk music; C. Seeger, "Oral Traditions in Music," in: Funk and Wagnall's Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, 2 (1950); G. Herzog, "Song, Folk-Song and Music of Folk-Song," in: ibid.; Sendrey, Music; (1951), see table of contents; Waterman, in: Music Library Association Notes (1950/51); Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale (RILM) (1967– ); The Music Index, 1–13 (1949– ); Shunami, Bibl; I. Joel, Reshimat Ma'amarim be-Madda'ei ha-Yahadut, 1 (1964), 49–51, 87–90; 2 (1967), 61f., 121f., 124f.; 3 (1968), 56–58, 114f., 117f.; D. Noy, in: Mehkerei ha-Merkaz le-Heker ha-Folklor, 1 (1970), 389–423; Tazlil, 10 (1970), 82–91 (index to vols. 1–10). general articles: E. Gerson-Kiwi, in: MGG, 7 (1958), 261–80 (incl. bibl.); idem, in: Grove, Dict, 3 (1954), 304–13. recent particular studies and source-publications: a. europe, general: D. Sadan, in: Bamah, 9–10 (1961), 27–33; J. Stutschewsky, Folklor Musikali shel Yehudei Mizrah Eiropah (1958); W. Heiske, in: Jahrbuch fuer Volksliedforschung, 9 (1964), 31–44; M. Gorali et al. (eds.), Di Goldene Pave (1970); E. Sekuletz, Shirei Am Yehudiyyim mi-Romanyah (19702); S. Prizament, Di Broder Zinger (1960); A. Rechtman, Yidishe Etnografye un Folklor, Zikhroynes vegn der Etnografisher Ekspeditsye Angefirt fun S. An-Ski (1958); E. Mayer, in: ylbi, 3 (1958), 202–10. B. klezmorim and badḤanim: J. Stutschewsky, Ha-Kleizmerim (1959); I. Riwkind, in: Hadoar, 9 (1960), 412f., 463f., 483f., 504–30, 533f., 574f.; idem, in: Minḥahli-Yhudaḥ (1950), 235–57; E. Lifschutz, in: yivoa, 7 (1952), 43–83; H. Liberman, in: Yidishe Sprakh, 13 (1953), 149–53; A. Yaari, in: ks, 35 (1960), 109–26; 36 (1961), 264–72. C. asia and africa: A. Shiloah, in: Meḥkerei ha-Merkaz le-Ḥeker ha-Folklor, 1 (1970), 349–68; Levi, Antologia, 5 vols. (1965–69); idem, Chants judéo-espagnols, 3 vols. (1959–71); A. Larrea Palacin, Cancionero judío del Norte de Marruecos, 2 vols. (1952–54); See also articles on musical traditions of various communities and areas, and bibliographies in articles on E. *Gerson-Kiwi, R. *Rubin, and M.S. *Geshuri. music in modern israel: P.E. Gradenwitz, The Music of Israel (1949); idem, Music and Musicians in Israel (19592); E. Gerson-Kiwi, in: Acta Musicologica, 30 (1958), 17–26; M. Smoira-Roll (Zmora), Folk Song in Israel: An Analysis Attempted (1963); idem (ed.), Yesodot Mizraḥiyyim u-Ma'araviyyim ba-Musikah be-Yisrael (1968); A.L. Ringer, in: Musical Quarterly, 50 (1965); idem, in: P.H. Lang and N. Broder (eds.), Contemporary Music in Europe (1965), 282–98; A. Shaḥar and B. Bayer, Ha-Jazz (1966), 149–56; B. Bayer, in: Dukhan, 7 (1966), 11–30, 89–98; Y. Boehm, The Making of Music (19664); D. Harran, in: Current Musicology, 7 (1968), 120–7; Taẓlil, 10 (1970), 82–91 (index to vols. 1–10); I. Miron-Michrowsky, A Profile of Israeli Music Today (1964); B. Bar-Am (ed.), Twenty Years of Israeli Music (1968). bibliographical works: J.N. Forkel, Allgemeine Litteratur der Music (1792), 33–44; A.Z. Idelsohn, in: Studies in Jewish Bibliography and Related Subjects in Memory of A.S. Freidus (1929), 388–403; O. Kinkeldey, ibid., 329–72; R. Rubin, Jewish Book Annual, 6 (1947), 64–70; Sendrey, Music; W. Sparger, in: The American Hebrew (1892), 197–9, 229, 265–6; A. Weisser, Bibliography of Publications and Other Sources of Jewish Music (1969); E. Werner, in: huca, 18 (1943/44), 397–428; idem, in: Historia Judaica, 6 (1944), 175–88. add. bibliography: Journal of Synagogue Music (1967– ); Musica Judaica (1975– ); Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy (1976– ); E. Werner, A Voice Still Heard: The Sacred Songs of the Ashkenazic Jews (1976); A. Shiloah, The Musical Subjects in the Zohar (1978), with the assistance of R. Tene (Yuval Monograph Series V); H. Avenary, Encounters of East and West in Music (1979); E. Gerson-Kiwi, Migrations and Mutations of the Music in East and West: Selected Writings (1980); B. Bayer, "The Titles of the Psalms – A Renewed Investigation of an Old Problem," in: Yuval 4 (1982), 29–123; M. Slobin (ed.), Old Jewish Folk Music, The Collections and Writings of Moshe Beregovski (1982); E. Werner, The Sacred Bridge: The Interdependence of Liturgy and Music in Synagogue and Church during the First Millennium, vol. 2 (1984); M. Nulman, Concepts of Jewish and Prayer (1985); H. Avenary, Kantor Salomon Sulzer und seine Zeit: eine Dokumentation, with an Introduction by Israel Adler (1985); K.K. Shelemay, Music, Ritual, and Falasha History (1986); M.I. Beregovski, Evreiskaya narodnaya instrumentalnaya muzyka (ed. M. Goldin) (1987); R. Flender, Der biblische Sprechgesang und seine muendliche Ueberlieferung in Synagoge und griechische Kirche (Quellen zu Musikgeschichte, 20) (1988); I. Adler, Hebrew Notated Manuscript Sources up to circa 1840 – with a Checklist of Printed sources… with assistance of Lea Shalem, 2 vols. (rism bix1) (1989); P.V. Bohlman, The Land Where Two Streams Flow, Music in the German-Jewish Community of Israel (1989); A. Tischler, A Descriptive Bibliography of ArtMusic by Israeli Composers (1989); M. Slobin, Chosen Voices, The Story of the American Cantorate (1989); F. Alvarez-Pereyre, La transmission orale de la misnah: une méthode d'analyse appliquée à la tradition d'Alep (Yuval Monograph Series 8) (1990); J. Hirschberg, Paul ben Haim, His Life and Works (1990); S. Hofman, Music in the Talmud (1990); Y.W. Cohen, The Heirs of the Psalmist: Israel's New Music (1990); P. Dorn, Change and Ideology: The Ethnomusicology of Turkish Jewry, umi Dissertation Services (2001); W. Salmen, Juedische Musikanten und Taenzer vom 13. bis 20 Jahrhundert (1991); P.V. Bohlman, The World Centre for Jewish Music in Palestine 19361940 (1992); G. Flam, Singing for Survival: Songs of the Lodz Ghetto (1992); L.A. Hoffman and J.R. Walton (eds.), Sacred Sound and Social Change: Liturgical Music in Jewish and Christian Experience (1992); R. Flender, Hebrew Psalmody; A Structural Investigation (Yuval Monograph Series ix) (1992); I. Heskes, Yiddish American Popular Songs 18951950,a catalog based on the Lawrence Marwick Roster of Copyright Entries, Washington, Library of Congress (1992); A. Shiloah, Jewish Musical Traditions (1992); M. Slobin, Tenement Songs, The Popular Music of the Jewish Immigrants (1992); A. Shiloah, The Dimension of Music in Islamic and Jewish Cultures (1993); M. Gorali, The Old Testament in Music (1993); A. Hemsi, Cancionero Sefardi, ed. and intro. by E. Seroussi in collaboration with P. Diaz-Mas, J.M. Pedrosa, and E. Romero (Yuval Music Series, iv) (1985); J. Hirshberg, Music in the Jewish Community of Palestine 18801948 (1995); A. Tietze and J. Yahalom. Ottoman Melodies, Hebrew Hymns: A 16th Century Cross-Cultural Adventure (Bibliotrca Orientalis Hungarica, vol. 43) (1995); D.M. Weil, The Masoretic Chant of the Bible (1995); I. Adler, The Study of Jewish Music: A Bibliographical Guide (Yuval Monograph Series X) (1995); P. Gradenwitz, The Music of Israel: From the Biblical Era to Modern Times (1996); K.K. Shelemay, Let Jasmine Rain Down: Song and Remembrance among Syrian Jews (1996); R. Fleisher, Twenty Israeli Composers Voices of a Culture (1997); A. Shiloah (ed.), The Performance of Jewish and Arab Music in Israel Today, 2 vols. (1997); H. Sapoznik, Klezmer Jewish Music from Old World to Our World (1999); D. Harran, Salamone Rossi: Jewish Musician in Late Renaissance Mantua (1999); J. Braun, Die Musikkultur Altisraels/Palaestinas: Studien zu archaeologischen, shriftischen un vergleichenden Quellen (1999) (translated from the German by D.W. Stott, 2002); H. Rotten, Les Traditions musicales Judéo-portuguaise en France (2000); J. Levine, A Synagogue Song in America (2000); Y. Mazor, The Klezmer Tradition in the Land of Israel (2000); K.K. Shelemay (ed.), Studies in Jewish Musical Traditions: Insights from the Harvard Collection of Judaica Sound Recordings (2001); E. Koskoff, Music in Luba vitcher Life (2001); F.C. Lemaire, Le Destin Juif et la musique (2001); M. Slobin (ed.), American Klezmer – Its Roots and Offshoots (2002); A.L. Ringer, Arnold Schoenberg das Leben im Werk, Mit einem nachwort von Thomas Emmering (2002); Y. Strom, The Book of Klezmer: the History, the Music, the Folklore (2002); S. Kalib, The Musical Tradition of the Eastern European Synagogue (2002); I. Heskes, Passport to Jewish Music: Its History, Traditions and Culture (paperback ed., 2002); R. Katz, The Lachmann Problem (Yuval Monograph Series xii) (2003); M. Regev, and E. Seroussi, Popular Music and National Culture in Israel (2004). holocaust: F. Fenelon, Playing for Time. trans. J. Landry (1979); J. Karas, Music in Terezin, 19411945 (1985).


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MUSIC. Just as artists, poets, and men of letters looked to antiquity for direction in the mid-fifteenth century, the musically minded in early modern Europe also spoke of ancient powers lost to modern times.

The composer Johannes Tinctoris in 1474 yearned for the former potency in melody "by whose virtue gods, ancestral spirits, unclean demons, animals without reason, and things insensate were said to be moved!" Humanists read in Polybius that music could enrage, elevate, or enfeeble; in the Republic, Plato schooled his guardian class in modes that hardened and conditioned them for civic duty and emboldened the weak and effeminate; and Aristotle, in the Politics, distinguished the vulgar use of music in public entertainments from its proper use to educate. The generation of composers who came of age around 1500 was responding in part to new calls for the recovery of music's forgotten force in the civic and moral life of the community. At issue for humanists was how to sharpen and enhance the effects of the text. Renaissance composers employed novel techniques to do this, including a system of emphatic syllabic declamation called musique mesurée, promoted by the French humanist Jean-Antoine de Baïf (15321589). In his letters patent approving Baïf's academy, Charles IX praised its aim "of improving the morals of its citizens and promoting the welfare of the city." Composers found a more fertile path in fashioning melodic phrases to mirror the poetic line in length and emotional direction. Orlando di Lasso (15321594) used extreme chromaticism and elaborate polyphony in his twelve-motet cycle Prophetiae sibyllarum (c. 1555) to evoke the unnatural voices of ancient seers. "Polyphonic songs which you hear with a chromatic tenor," he wrote, "these are they, in which our twice-six sibyls once sang with fearless mouth the secrets of salvation."

The music from such composers as Pierre de La Rue (c. 14501518), Jacob Obrecht (c. 14501505), Heinrich Isaac (c. 14501517), and Josquin des Prez (c. 14401521) was self-consciously revolutionary, rejecting predecessors and forging a fresh style. They employed greater musical variety, added instruments to sacred songs to supplement what had been a cappella singing, and drew attention to emotional expression. Josquin was the boldest innovator of his time, moving away from plainsong and chant as his musical foundation to freely composed and self-generating phrases that he wove into interlocking parts. The composer of some 20 Masses, over 100 motets, and more than 75 secular works, Josquin achieved a pliancy and sumptuousness in his writing that stands in marked contrast to the more angular, Gothically inflected works that preceded him. Music in the Renaissance progressed from theory-laden books to concrete and practical applications. It also expanded into the vernacular and away from liturgical settings. Popular expressions were the French chanson and the Italian madrigal; varieties of the latter became the continuo song and cantata in the baroque age.

The Renaissance courts of northern Italy were centers of innovation and patronage. "Seek not to deprive our Courtier of music," Castiglione advised in The Book of the Courtier, "which not only soothes men's minds, but often tames wild beasts." Ercole I d'Este schooled his children in music, and Lorenzo de' Medici (14491492) sang. Competition among Renaissance princes for grandeur and power sparked bidding wars for professional talent and even cases of musical espionage. The rivalry was especially keen among Florence, Ferrara, Mantua, Urbino, Milan, and the Papal States. On the low end of the social scale were singers and poets on the peripheries of power: itinerant improvisatore, cantimbanchi, and ciarlatini moved from court to court to sing about King Arthur, Orlando, and Charlemagne. At the high end of the scale were highly sought after talents like Claudio Monteverdi (15671643), whose sixteen-year association with the Gonzaga family of Mantua produced three books of madrigals, the operas Orfeo and L'arianna, and numerous other works for festive and commemorative occasions. Musicians allegorized and elevated the might of their patrons with lavish works for weddings, feasts, private celebrations, dances, theatrical displays, and liturgical services. Music was also a prominent feature in state ceremonials: in Venice, the announcement of victory at sea over the Turks at Lepanto in 1571 came with a flourish of drums and trumpets; choirs in St. Mark's greeted a diplomatic delegation from Japan; and the annual marriage of Venice and the sea celebration on Ascension Day, when the doge announced his "true and perpetual domination" over the Adriatic, was consummated to music. Each artistic center proudly claimed priority in leading music out of its medieval darkness. The theorist and composer Gioseffo Zarlino (15171590) blamed the "ravages of time" and the "negligence of men" for bringing music to its degraded state and credited God for sending "one of the rarest intellects ever to have practiced music" to Venice, Adrian Willaert (c. 14901562). As maestro di capello at St. Mark's and composer of Masses, motets, madrigals, and chansons, Willaert pioneered the use of split choirs situated throughout the basilica for stereophonic effect, a technique taken up by Giovanni Gabrieli (c. 15531612) and, much later, Hector Berlioz (18031869).

The printing press speeded the pace and broadened the diffusion of musical innovation. Its appearance helped to shape a new profile of the composer around 1500, as music masters moved away from church administration and toward uniquely musical pursuits. The first music printed with movable type came from southern Germany in the 1470s. The first published volume for multiple voices and intended for large-scale distribution was Harmonice Musices Odhecaton A (1501), which came from the Venetian house of Ottaviano de' Petrucci; Petrucci later published volumes of single composers including Josquin, Pierre de La Rue, Obrecht, Agricola, and Isaac. The other major musical publishing centers were Rome, Milan, Ferrara, Florence, Naples, Antwerp, Nuremberg, and Augsburg. Publishers sought to establish a particular niche in the rapidly growing commercial market by affiliating themselves with a single composer, building more specialized lists in secular or sacred music, offering music across a range of levels and abilities, and providing simplified arrangements of well-known works for the amateur. The large firms sent scouts to Rome and other Italian cities to recruit young talent. Instruction books geared toward the nonaristocratic public fed a growing popular appetite for private music making, particularly in lute and keyboard works. By 1550, musical presses in Italy and the German states were publishing vocal part books by the tens of thousands. In England, by contrast, there were comparatively few works of music published in the sixteenth century, an early sign that English and Continental music were already on separate paths of development. A single published volume of polyphony from the first half of the sixteenth century anthologized the music of William Cornysh (c. 14651523), Robert Fayrfax (14641521), and John Taverner (c. 14951545).


The level of music making varied widely across early modern Europe, from the superb organists and choirmasters of cathedral towns to unlettered singers of rudimentary plainchant at parish churches. Most people experienced music through vernacular songs in the streets and inns. Towns employed municipal musicians for popular entertainment and to trumpet fanfares on special occasions. Folk songs encompassed a wide array of types, including narrative ballads, lovers' laments, parting songs, drinking songs, devotional songs, and saints' day songs. There were also more pointed songs, like this 1520 lyric urging the expulsion of Jews from the German city of Rothenburg:

Ein Reichstat an der Tauben legt, 
Ist Rottenburg genannt.

Da haben die Juden lange zeit,
Getreiben grossen Schand.

Mit Wucherei und schärfer List
Damit gar mancher Trümmer
Zu Grund verdorben ist.
(A city on the Tauber lies, 
Whose name is Rothenburg.
There, for many years, the Jews
Have spread their shame.
They saw waste and destruction
Through usury and other cunning tricks
In order to bring ruin.)

Vernacular songs furnished ready tunes for new texts, a practice that proved useful for religious instruction given the minuscule literacy rates. In France, the tune Quand j'ai pensé en vous, ma bien aimée ("When I think of you, my beloved") was kept but the words reworked to become Quand j'ai pensé en vous, Bible sacrée ("When I ponder you, O sacred Bible"). Such substitutions provided the vehicle and the message for the spread of the Reformation. Easy to memorize and quick to spread, Lutheran songs rapidly became a weapon more potent than the flood of anti-Catholic books and pamphlets. Hundreds of popular tunes, many of them originally Catholic, were rewritten with Lutheran texts. Posted at inns and passed by travelers from town to town, the songs were used to "sing down" priests as they spoke.

The uncertainty and dissent among Reformers about the proper use of music is testimony to the extent of innovation since 1500. In the minds of many Reformers, new musical styles revealed the dangers of the humanists' project. In The Genevan Psalter (1543), John Calvin warned of music's power to pervert the morals of its listeners and urged strict controls: "Just as wine is funneled into a barrel, so are venom and corruption distilled to the very depths of the heart by melody." The English Puritan Phillip Stubbes wrote in his Anatomie of Abuses (1583) that music "corrupteth good minds, maketh them womannish and inclined to all kinde of whordome and mischeef," while Erasmus censured the appearance of brass and stringed instruments in liturgical settings, which caused people "[to] flock to church as to a theater for aural delight." Calvin banned polyphony from services, though it was permitted in social gatherings; Huldrych Zwingli (14841531) banned all music in services. In England, Anglican reforms vastly simplified music in both style and text: statutes in Lincoln Cathedral specified that the choir was to sing no anthems to "our Lady or other Saints, but only to our Lord, and them not in Latin." Catholic reform undertaken by the Council of Trent went in the same direction, stopping just short of Calvin's move to ban all polyphony. The council censured music composed merely "to give empty pleasure to the ear" and urged composers to write in such a way as to make the words easily understood by all. Within fifteen years of his death, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 15251594) was hailed as having saved polyphony in the wake of the council's decrees by crafting an audition piece for the Vatican that convinced the authorities of its value through sheer beauty as well as its calculated propriety. The story is likely apocryphal, but it captures the tension between the direction of musical development and the liturgical needs of the Catholic Church in the sixteenth century. It also highlights Palestrina's own solution, which was to craft a style less ornately contrapuntal than that of Lasso by alternating chordal sections and free movement among independent lines. Palestrina was one of the most prolific of all composers, writing some 104 Masses, 250 motets, 68 offertories, 65 hymns, 35 Magnificat settings, and various lamentations and litanies.

In contrast to the other major religious reformers, Martin Luther (14831546) embraced the widest possible variety of musical expression. He called music "the mistress and governess" of human emotion, deserving highest praise "next to the word of God," and yet more eloquent than the most powerful orator in its "infinite variety of forms and benefits." Luther's musical ecumenicism, which helped to inspire the popular musical education that spread throughout the Lutheran lands on every level of society, had lasting consequences for music in Germany. The highest expression of this encompassing vision came in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach (16851750), whose 200 known sacred cantatas (about three-fifths of what he is thought to have composed) convey their texts with remarkable subtlety, variety, and precision. Here, as well as in his keyboard and orchestral works, Bach employed virtually every European style, high and low, sacred and profane, from the grand French overture to dances of the popular classes. Famously provincial in his aversion to travel, Bach nevertheless drew from all available printed sources to produce works of universal appeal and enduring mastery. Bach's six keyboard partitas, for example, transformed popular dance forms known throughout Europe into virtuoso solo pieces. These included the corrente, a zigzag, hop-stepped Italian dance; its more fluid French counterpart the courante; the noble German allemande, a grave dance involving couples in a line; and the Spanish saraband, a slow, dignified dance of great sweeping gestures. Living on the threshold of musical classicism, an aesthetic whose simplified style he steadfastly resisted, Bach was doggedly anti-progressive. From within this conservative world Bach also surveyed and on occasion borrowed from more recent styles of such contemporaries as Johann Adolf Hasse (16991783) and Carl Heinrich Graun (17031759). Like Dante before him, Bach brought the elements of a passing age together in magnificent synthesis. Bach resisted any notion that he possessed special powers of genius; composers were instead to be craftsmen. He said: "I have had to work hard; anyone who works just as hard will get just as far."


Throughout the seventeenth century, and owing to the wide availability of printed scores, amateur music making was increasingly viewed as a pastime for the great and small. One source was the Protestant tradition of hymn singing. The 1561 Sternhold and Hopkins edition of the Psalms in English included a brief introduction on the "Science of Music" that urged readers to sing in common worship and "privately by themselves or at home in their houses." There was much secular music, too. New wealth and a taste for luxury among the moneyed in late-sixteenth-century England supported a flourishing publishing industry, with some eighty collections of vocal music published from 1587 to 1630 intended primarily for the amateur market. The large number of dedications to gentry and noble patrons in England in lute and madrigal collections is one indication of their likely audience, but the presence of merchants and tradespeople among the dedicatees suggests that private performance was not limited to elites. Thomas Morley's Canzonets to Five and Six Voices (1597), a volume of five- and six-part madrigals with lute accompaniment, was dedicated to "Master Henrie Tapsfield, Citizen and Grocer of the Cittie of London," and Thomas Weelkes's Balletts and Madrigals (1598) was dedicated to Edward Darcye, a groom in the royal household. Such examples notwithstanding, private music making throughout Europe was largely a pursuit of those with the time and money to devote to refining their skills and acquiring the music and instruments. The lute was the aristocratic instrument par excellence in much the same way the piano became a fixture in nineteenth-century middle-class interiors. There are glimpses of social mixing in private performance even at the highest levels.Roger North (16531734), gentleman and brother to Baron Francis North, who was keeper of the Great Seal of England, described musical evenings of his childhood involving solo and ensemble performances by his sisters, the servants, the steward, and the clerk of the kitchen.

In England, public concerts were first offered in private houses, taverns, and other meeting halls. Old forms of patronage persisted into the eighteenth centuryand in some places on a scale greater than everbut the new public concerts fundamentally recast the relationship between composer and audience by granting immediate access to large numbers and creating a venue for the rise of popular individual performers. The first truly public musical recital in England, and probably in Europe, occurred in 1672 when the composer and violinist John Banister opened his home for regular 4:00 P.M. performances given, as the London Gazette promised, "by excellent masters." Other series soon followed, with their success a part of the overall exuberance in public entertainments associated with the Restoration. Cromwell's destruction of organ pipes with battle-axes at Chichester, Worcester, Norwich, Peterborough, Canterbury, and Winchester was only the most dramatic example of the socalled purification of music during the Protectorate. The appearance of public concerts also marked a shift from church-sponsored to more secular music, much of it tied to the court. Entrepreneurs such as Banister and Robert King, who obtained a license to offer concerts in 1689, also oversaw performances within the royal household.

This was the context for one of England's most versatile and gifted composers, Henry Purcell (c. 16591695), who was appointed composer-in-ordinary for the king's violins in 1677, just four years after his voice changed. Principal organist at Westminster Abbey from a young age and later at the Chapel Royal, Purcell also wrote for the stage. His output included anthems, overtures, "semioperas," entr'actes, dances, instrumental works for harpsichord, organ, and viol consort, and royal birthday odes and welcome songs. He was also famous for his catches, a popular form that in England displaced the madrigal and which, especially in Purcell's hands, delighted in randy lyrics. His catch on the plot of Titus Oates includes a characteristic mix of politics, religion, and sport:

Now England's great council's assembled 
To make laws for English-born freemen.
Since 'tis dang'rous to prate of matters of state
Let's handle our wine and our women.
Let's drink to the Senate's best thoughts 
For the good of the King and the nation.
May they dig on the spot as deep as the plot
As the Jesuits have laid the foundation.
A plague of all zealots and fools, 
And each silly Protestant hater;
Better turn cat-in-pan and live like a man
Than be hanged and die like a traitor.

As court composer and keeper of the king's instruments, Purcell wrote music for state occasionsincluding five welcome songs for Charles II, three for James II, and six birthday odes for Queen Marybut neither he nor his contemporaries undertook the kinds of lavish productions deifying the monarchy that composers in absolutist France were perfecting at the time. There is a discreet reference to William and Mary in the prologue to Purcell's best-known work, Dido and Aeneas (1689), an opera staged at the Josiah Priest Boarding School in Chelsea just after the Glorious Revolution. A Nereid announces the appearance of a "new divinity," to which the chorus responds: "To Phoebus and Venus our homage we'll pay, / Her charms bless the night, as his beams bless the day."

In eighteenth-century France, private concerts in aristocratic salons were an important feature of upper-class sociability, though, as Mozart related to his father, the attention of the listeners was not always fixed on the musicians. "What vexed me most of all," he wrote of a performance for the duchesse de Chabot's circle, "was that Madame and all her gentlemen never interrupted their drawing for a moment, but went on intently, so that I had to play to the chairs, tables, and walls." The first public concerts in France began in 1725 with the Concert Spirituel, a regular series of sacred music held in the Tuileries Palace. Among favored works, performed by an orchestra of forty players and a chorus of fifty-three singers, were motets by André Campra (16601744), Michel-Richard de Lalande (16571726), and Jean-Joseph de Mondonville (17111772) and chamber works by Guiseppe Tartini (16921770) and Antonio Vivaldi (16781741). Given the high ticket prices, concert audiences were necessarily the moneyed, and the atmosphere was uniquely aristocratic. There were other semipublic concerts in France later in the century, most notably those sponsored by the celebrated musical patron Alexandre-Jean-Joseph Le Riche de La Popelinière, a wealthy tax farmer who invited the likes of Jean-Philippe Rameau (16831764) and Johann Stamitz (17171757) to conduct their own music with an orchestra whose members lived on the premises. Late in the century, subscription concerts, one of them sponsored by the Freemasons, attracted a broader public with programs that regularly featured the symphonies of Franz Joseph Haydn (17321809).

Until the second quarter of the nineteenth century, music making in Paris was dominated by the Opéra, whose state monopoly on virtually all staged productions dated from its 1669 establishment as the Académie Royale de Musique. France's most celebrated composer in the epoch of Louis XIV was Jean-Baptiste Lully (16321687), whose operas came to define the French style of the grand siècle with their characteristic mix of stately pomp, dazzling effects, and refined graciousness. Lully reworked and enlarged the elements of Italian courtly spectacles in the Renaissance to produce a musical formula that shaped the monarchy's public image, depicting and occasionally casting Louis XIV in productions that were transparent homages to the state in the dress of Olympians. "The Peace which Your Majesty has given as generously to his conquered enemies," Lully wrote of his work Le temple de la paix (1685), "is the subject of this ballet." While French operatic audiences retained their aristocratic complexion in the decades before the French Revolution, such royal allegories receded before the ambitious musical innovations of Rameau, whose dense textures and bold orchestral effects shocked some listeners, and the reforms of Christoph Willibald von Gluck (17141787), who simplified plotlines and concentrated musical expression to heighten the dramatic intensity of his operas.


The relationship of Haydn and Mozart to their publics, which grew in many ways from their differing professional status as composers, shaped the nature and style of their works. Haydn was among the last of the great classical composers to live on the premises of his patron; over a thirty-year period beginning when he was twenty-nine, Haydn existed as a virtual ward of Prince Paul Anton Esterházy. He was required by contract to dress in uniform at all times and to provide music whenever requested; he was regularly denied visits to Vienna and forbidden to copy his music or compose for others without the prince's permission. Nevertheless, pirated editions of his symphonies flooded Europe, possibly with his clandestine assistance. The isolation and routine of Esterháza castle proved extraordinarily fertile for the composer, whose prodigious output revealed the expressive range of the classical form. Deft, witty, harmonically rich, and endlessly inventive, Haydn's string quartets are the essence of eighteenth-century grace and refinement. "A certain kind of humor takes possession of you, and cannot be restrained," Haydn remarked to a visitor. Haydn typically led over 100 concerts a year that featured newly composed orchestral, chamber, vocal, and keyboard repertoire. His oeuvre includes 107 symphonies, over 60 string quartets, 58 keyboard sonatas, 42 keyboard trios, and 24 operas.

Mozart, by contrast, was the first major composer to flourish without a permanent position or sustained patronage. His famous indignation over his treatment by his employer, Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg ("When I see that someone despises me and treats me with contempt, I can be as proud as a peacock"), was a mark of his temperament, but it was also an indication of the changed relationship between the artist and his public. It was possible for Mozart to leave his position as Konzertmeister only because of new public opportunities in the Vienna of Emperor Joseph II (ruled 17651790). Vienna was home to two flourishing opera companies, the Italian-language Hofoper and the German Singspiel, both of which mounted his productions. Mozart also taught privately, encouraged commissions, and wrote numerous works, for his own performances and those of his students, with particular audiences in mind. His letters are explicit and even gleeful about his opportunities as a free agent. In a 1778 letter to his father he wrote: "I pray to God daily to give me grace to hold out with fortitude and to do such honor to myself and to the whole German nation as will redound to His greater honor and glory; and that He will enable me to prosper and make a great deal of money."

The rise in public musical performance encouraged the explosion of new forms in the eighteenth century. Audiences in rapture over virtuoso performers fueled the composition of solo instrumental and vocal works. The fireworks of Mozart's Queen of the Night aria in Die Zauberflöte were an exuberant and gloriously exaggerated version of what attracted many to opera in the late 1700s, a lesson not lost on Rossini and the nineteenth-century school of bel canto. The eighteenth century witnessed the appearance of keyboard sonatas and solo concertos in unprecedented numbers, as well as the birth of the symphonie concertante, a concertolike genre involving multiple soloists and orchestral accompaniment. The development of the string quartet from the 1760s is among the century's most important musical achievements, with the quartets of Haydn and Mozart the best known among a field of composers that included the Chevalier de Saint-Georges (c. 17391799) and François Joseph Gossec (17341829) in Paris, Carl Friedrich Abel (17231787) in London, and the Italian Luigi Boccherini (17431805). Between 1760 and 1780 over five hundred quartets were printed in Paris alone. At the same time, the modern symphony found immense approval in public settings, with some twelve thousand composed in Europe from 1720 to 1810. Its centers were Vienna, Mannheim, Paris, and London.

In many ways, the musical public in European capitals on the eve of the French Revolution resembled modern audiences. Its tastes increasingly drove programming decisions and influenced compositional styles. The public could select from among competing theaters and concert halls. It was the key ingredient in an increasingly commercialized art. The French Revolution and its effects across Europe hastened these tendencies and introduced others that changed the nature of public performance by ending state theater monopolies and reducing aristocratic and church patronage. The new taste for "ancient music"works generally over twenty years oldformed an emerging canon of classics to be performed, preserved, and repeated in everlarger concert halls and opera houses.

See also Bach Family ; Buxtehude, Dieterich ; Calvin, John ; Gluck, Christoph Willibald von ; Haydn, Franz Joseph ; Hymns ; Louis XIV (France) ; Lully, Jean-Baptiste ; Luther, Martin ; Monteverdi, Claudio ; Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus ; Music Criticism ; Opera ; Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi da ; Printing and Publishing ; Purcell, Henry ; Rameau, Jean-Philippe ; Reformation, Protestant ; Songs, Popular .


Atlas, Allan W. Renaissance Music: Music in Western Europe, 14001600. New York, 1998.

Braunbehrens, Volkmar. Mozart in Vienna, 17811791. Translated by Timothy Bell. New York, 1990.

Brown, Howard Mayer. Music in the Renaissance. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1976.

Butt, John. Music Education and the Art of Performance in the German Baroque. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 1994.

Butt, John, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Bach. New York, 1997.

Caldwell, John. The Oxford History of English Music. Oxford, 19911999.

Carter, Tim. Music in Late Renaissance and Early Baroque Italy. Portland, Ore., 1992.

Downs, Philip G. Classical Music: The Era of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. New York, 1992.

Feldman, Martha. City Culture and the Madrigal at Venice. Berkeley, 1995.

Geiringer, Karl. Johann Sebastian Bach: The Culmination of an Era. In collaboration with Irene Geiringer. New York, 1966.

Haar, James. Essays on Italian Poetry and Music in the Renaissance, 13501600. Berkeley, 1986.

Harley, John. Music in Purcell's London: The Social Background. London, 1968.

Hogwood, Christopher, and Richard Luckett, eds. Music in Eighteenth-Century England: Essays in Memory of Charles Cudworth. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 1983.

Isherwood, Robert M. Farce and Fantasy: Popular Entertainment in Eighteenth-Century Paris. New York, 1986.

Johnson, James H. Listening in Paris: A Cultural History. Berkeley, 1995.

Kmetz, John, ed. Music in the German Renaissance: Sources, Styles, and Contexts. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 1994.

Lockwood, Lewis. Music in Renaissance Ferrara, 14001505: The Creation of a Musical Center in the Fifteenth Century. Cambridge, Mass., 1984.

Lowinsky, Edward E. Music in the Culture of the Renaissance and Other Essays. Chicago, 1989.

MacClintock, Carol, ed. and trans. Readings in the History of Music in Performance. Bloomington, Ind., 1979.

Mackerness, Eric David. A Social History of English Music. London, 1964.

McVeigh, Simon. Concert Life in London from Mozart to Haydn. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 1993.

Miller, Leta, and Albert Cohen. Music in the Royal Society of London, 16601806. Detroit, 1987.

Oettinger, Rebecca Wagner. Music as Propaganda in the German Reformation. Aldershot, U.K., and Burlington, Vt., 2001.

Palisca, Claude V. Humanism in Italian Renaissance Musical Thought. New Haven, 1985.

Perkins, Leeman L. Music in the Age of the Renaissance. New York, 1999.

Pirrotta, Nino. Music and Culture in Italy from the Middle Ages to the Baroque: A Collection of Essays. Cambridge, Mass., 1984.

Sherr, Richard, ed. The Josquin Companion. Oxford and New York, 2000.

Steptoe, Andrew. The MozartDa Ponte Operas: The Cultural and Musical Background to Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte. Oxford, 1988.

Walls, Peter. Music in the English Courtly Masque, 16041640. Oxford and New York, 1996.

Weber, William. The Rise of Musical Classics in Eighteenth-Century England: A Study in Canon, Ritual, and Ideology. Oxford and New York, 1992.

Wolff, Christoph. Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician. New York, 2000.

Zimmerman, Franklin B. Henry Purcell, 16591695: His Life and Times. London, Melbourne, and New York, 1967.

James Johnson


views updated May 18 2018



"Film music" as a term has come to refer to music composed or expressly chosen to accompany motion pictures. The practice of pairing music and image is as old as cinema itself. In fact, Thomas Edison imagined motion pictures as visual accompaniment to the music produced by his phonographs. From the first motion pictures projected to Paris audiences in 1895 to the widescreen, Dolby Digital Surround Sound films of today, music has been a persistent element in the filmic experience. It has been improvised and it has been scored; it has been experienced as live and as recorded performance; it has consisted of both original and previously composed music; and it operates differently from country to country, culture to culture, and genre to genre. The musical, for instance, like the concert film and the musical biopic, has a set of conventions that foreground music. Through all of its various guises, however, film music can be characterized by its expressive power to shape the meaning of the image and to connect the audience to the film.

Film music serves many purposes: it grounds a film in a particular time and place; creates mood and heightens atmosphere; characterizes the people on-screen and helps to define their psychology; delineates abstract ideas; relays the film's theme; and interacts with the images to sell a film economically. Film music engages with the deepest and most profoundly unconscious levels of the audience; it is a crucial part of the apparatus through which a film engages with cultural ideology; and it largely serves these purposes without drawing conscious attention to itself.

Of course, differences in historical and cultural traditions shape music's effect on the film audience. For instance, in the classical Hollywood style, certain of film music's functions have been emphasized over others, giving Hollywood scores a distinctive and recognizable structure. But music's expressive power crosses many borders, and the ability to resonate emotion between the spectator and the screen may well be film music's most distinguishing feature. Films, of course, have various techniques for conveying emotion, including dialogue, expressive acting, close-ups, diffuse lighting, and aesthetically pleasing mise-en-scène. Film music, historically, has been the most reliable and efficient of them. Music embodies the emotion that the image represents, prompting audiences to recognize that emotion and connect to the characters on the screen. Film music thus engages audiences in processes of identification that bond them to the film. The tremolo strings accompanying a suspenseful murder or the pop song heard under a love scene both embody the emotion that the on-screen characters feel and prompt the audience to identify with and share that emotion.


How film music works in relation to the image was a lively subject of debate among the first critics to consider the subject seriously. Beginning in the 1930s, classical film theorists as well as the first historians of film music posited that film music either paralleled or counter-pointed the visual image. Even today, much popular writing on film music perpetuates this model, limiting film music's function to commentary: music either reinforces or undercuts the visual image. But in the 1940s, the composer Hanns Eisler (1898–1962) and the philosopher and music critic Theodor Adorno, in one of the earliest and most important studies of film music, Composing for the Films (1947), raised objections. Eisler and Adorno pointed out the futility of conceptualizing film music in terms of the image: "A photographed kiss cannot actually be synchronized with an eight-bar phrase" (p. 8). The model based on the assumption that music either parallels or counterpoints the image, of course, cannot account for music that responds to what is not evident in the image, its subtext; moreover, it assumes that the visual image is a direct and unproblematic form of representation. Contemporary film music scholars have posited a different model for film music's operation in which music and image are interdependent, sharing power to shape meaning. As Claudia Gorbman put it in her pioneering study, film music works by anchoring the image, shutting off certain readings and emphasizing others, policing the ways in which the audience interprets the film.

Film music is, of course, music, and as such it brings to its functioning in film the basic principles of music: melody, harmony, rhythm, meter, volume, tempo, form, timbre, and instrumentation. Music derives its power largely from its ability to tap into conventions derived from these principles. Conventions, shared between composers and audiences, harness musical affect to concrete meaning through the power of association; through repetition, conventions become ingrained in a culture as a kind of collective musical experience. Composers can use conventions as shorthand to produce specific and predictable responses on the part of listeners. For example, brass instrumentation, because of its association with the military, is linked to heroism and became a staple of Hollywood scoring in historical epics, especially swash-bucklers. When John Williams (b. 1932) relies on the brasses in his score for Star Wars (1977) rather than electronic instrumentation or futuristic musical sounds, he underscores the heroic arc of the film and connects the narrative, not to the genre of science fiction, but to the great swashbucklers of the classical Hollywood era. Composers can also deliberately contradict conventions to unsettle an audience. The waltz, for instance, has historical associations of lyricism and romance; yet Bernard Herrmann (1911–1975) chooses a waltz to accompany the deterioration of a marriage in the break-fast montage of Citizen Kane (1941), an unconventional choice that dramatically underscores the couple's failed romance. Film music also has at its disposal the conventions of song, especially lyrics. When Quentin Tarantino chooses the 1970s pop rock hit "Stuck in the Middle With You" to accompany a graphically violent scene in Reservoir Dogs (1992), his unconventional musical choice, coupled with the song's innocuous lyrics, creates disturbing effects.

Musical conventions change across history and culture and operate differently from one musical style to another. Some composers depend on conventions more than others, and some refuse to use them at all. But musical conventions generate responses so strong that listeners are affected by them whether they are consciously aware of it or not. In fact, film music can short-circuit listeners' processes of conscious recognition and create meaning on something less than a fully conscious plane. Thus film music is one of film's most potent tools to shape and control our response to what we see.

The origins of musical accompaniment to moving images, and the evolution of this pairing over the course of film history, point to a psychic realm that needs to be considered in order to understand fully the ways in which film music works. This realm is the unconscious. Psychoanalysis seeks to understand the operation of the unconscious and in the 1970s and 1980s French and North American theorists used psychoanalysis to bring music into focus. From our earliest moments inside the womb, we experience the elements of music: the rhythmic patterns of our mother's heartbeat, breathing, and pulse as well as the pitch and dynamics of her voice. After birth, the newborn continues in a blanket of aural stimulation, including and especially the mother's voice experienced as music. (Think of the ways in which language itself incorporates musical elements such as rhythm, pitch, dynamics, and intonation.) From a psychoanalytic viewpoint, the reason why music is so pleasurable and indeed a central part of human experience is that it is experienced as repressed longings for a return to the original state of fusion with the mother. For critics adhering to this approach, film music both stimulates and encourages us to regress to that complete sense of satisfaction and pleasure. This facet of film music transpires in the unconscious and is thus inaccessible to our conscious selves. But it cannot be discounted in a study of what pleases and engages us when we listen to film music.

A theoretical investigation into the pleasures and power of film music also, however, leads in an outward direction, into culture. Beginning in the 1920s, Marxist critics associated with the Frankfurt School, especially Adorno, and other German intellectuals such as the play-wright Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) and the composer Ernst Bloch (1885–1977), began to examine the nexus of economics, politics, and culture that shapes music as a social discourse. The Frankfurt School maintained that all art, including music, is a form of cultural ideology, largely reinforcing but potentially resisting or subverting the dominant ideological values of a culture. In staking out this position, the Frankfurt School attacked long-held assumptions about music's autonomous function, the unique creativity of the composer, and the ability of the individual subject to resist cultural ideology. For these critics, music served a political function under advanced capitalism: to pacify dangerous, anarchic impulses by lulling listeners into an acceptance of (or at the very least, a diversion from) their social conditions, thereby supporting the status quo. Even something as seemingly countercultural as rock music has been studied through this perspective by contemporary British and American cultural studies critics. Adorno, in collaboration with Eisler, extended this argument to the film score. Music holds the film together and masks its material constitution as a technological product. Film music's adhesion stems from its exceptional ability to create and resonate emotion between the screen and the spectator. In so doing, film music distracts spectators from the two-dimensional, often black and white, and sometimes silent images. Thus film music fulfills a potent ideological function: to promote the audience's absorption into the film. The audience is thus positioned to accept, uncritically, the ideology circulating through the film. Indeed, Eisler and Adorno refer to film music as a drug.

b. New York, New York, 29 June 1911, d. Los Angeles, Calfornia, 24 December 1975

Bernard Herrmann was a Hollywood rebel—cantankerous, combative, and brilliant. Working both inside and outside the studio system, he managed to put his unique stamp on a series of films for a variety of directors. His scores, sometimes brooding and anxious, sometimes sweeping and lyrical, sometimes jarringly modern, and sometimes lushly romantic, are always inventive (and some of them are decidedly more interesting than the films they "accompany").

Arriving in Hollywood with Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater in 1941, Herrmann scored Citizen Kane and, in 1942, The Magnificent Ambersons. Angered by studio changes to his Ambersons score, he insisted that his name be removed from all prints of the film. He would in later life proclaim that Welles was the only director he worked with who knew anything about music. He is most well known, however, for a series of films he scored for Alfred Hitchcock.

Herrmann championed modern music throughout his life, and his music for Hitchcock bears its imprint: unusual instrumentation (the all-string ensemble for Psycho [1960]; the all-brass ensemble for the discarded Torn Curtain [1966] score); arresting rhythms (the opening moments of Psycho, the fandango from North by Northwest, 1959); dissonant harmonies (the shower scene from Psycho), and polytonality (the famous Vertigo [1958] chord—two perfectly conventional chords, in two different keys, played together). Never reticent about expressing himself, Herrmann parted ways with Hitchcock over the Torn Curtain score, which Herrmann completed but Hitchcock discarded under pressure.

Reclusive and uncompromising, Herrmann spent a significant portion of his creative life working outside Hollywood, scoring films internationally and composing and conducting music for the concert hall and operatic stage. He adamantly protested being defined as a film composer, preferring instead to be known as a composer who also scores films. At the end of his life, Herrmann found himself rediscovered by the young directors Brian De Palma and Martin Scorcese. He died the night he finished conducting his score for Scorcese's Taxi Driver (1976). Herrmann's final collaboration with Scorcese would be a posthumous one: the director reused Herrmann's 1961 score for Cape Fear when he remade the film in 1991.


Citizen Kane (1941), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959), Psycho (1960), Cape Fear (1961), Obsession (1976), Taxi Driver (1976), Cape Fear (1991)


Bruce, Graham. Bernard Herrmann: Film Music and Narrative. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1985.

Smith, Steven C. A Heart at Fire's Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.

Kathryn Kalinak

That art serves a political function was a radical notion, and in postwar America it raised suspicions.

Eisler, working as a composer in Hollywood, paid the price for his leftist views. He became a target of the Communist "witch hunts," was summoned before the House Un-American Activities Committee for alleged communist activities, and deported. That art is inextricably tied up with politics is clearly evidenced in the lives of many of the composers cited here, whose music, careers, and even lives were threatened and sometimes claimed by political events of the twentieth century.

Considering the form and practice of film music as an ideological mechanism has profound consequences for our understanding of how film music works within individual films as well. This ideological function of film music has been an especially rich site of investigation for contemporary film music scholars who have examined how such ideologically loaded concepts as gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity are encoded through music. Cultural ideology manifests itself in a work of art in indirect ways, operating on less than a conscious plane. Yet the results of that process, though complex, sometimes contradictory, and often elusive, are clearly audible. Can you recognize North American "Indian music" when you hear it and what does it mean when you do? Hollywood composers depended on a set of clichéd musical conventions to represent Indians on screen but also to encode a response consistent with the dominant cultural ideology of the era. Tomtom rhythms, descending melodic contours, and harmonies built on fourths and fifths were powerful indicators of the primitive, the exotic, and the savage. (It should be noted here that genuine native American music is not on offer.) In Stagecoach (1939), for instance, when the camera pans from the stagecoach wending its way through the western landscape to the Indians poised on a bluff, the "Indian music" we hear tells us not only of the Indians' presence but of their threat. Despite the fact that Stagecoach takes place during a period of western history when the government repeatedly reneged on its treaty obligations to many tribes, it is the Indians who are positioned as savage and untrustworthy. As culture changes, however, so does the film score. In Dances with Wolves (1990) the cliches for "Indian music" have been replaced by John Barry's (b. 1933) symphonic themes for the Lakota composed in the romantic idiom of the classical Hollywood film score.


Film music was largely live in the silent cinema but its practice was specific to the various cultures and nations where it was heard. In the United States phonograph recordings were sometimes used in early film exhibition; in Japan the tradition of live narration extended throughout the silent period. The notion of pairing film and music had a number of antecedents, among them the nineteenth-century stage melodrama. The conventional explanation for the use of music in silent film is functional: music drowned out the noise of the projector as well as talkative audiences. But long after the projector and the audience were quieted, music remained. Music eventually became so indispensable a part of the film experience that not even the advent of mechanically produced sound could silence it (although for a few years it looked as though it might). Film is, after all, a technological process, producing larger-than-life, two-dimensional, largely black and white, and silent images. Accepting them as "real" requires a leap of faith. Music, with its melody, harmony, and instrumental color (not to mention the actual presence of live musicians), fleshes out those images, lending them credibility. Further, music distracts audiences from the unnaturalness of the medium. Adorno and Eisler even posit that film music works as a kind of exorcism, protecting audiences from the "ghostly" effigies confronting them on the screen and helping audiences, unaccustomed to the modernity of such sights, "absorb the shock" (Composing for the Films, p. 75).

The history of musical accompaniment in the United States has yet to be fully written, but this

important work has begun. Martin Marks, a musicologist and silent film accompanist, finds that original scores existed as early as the 1890s. The scholar Rick Altman shows that in the crucial early periods of silent film exhibition, continuous musical accompaniment was not the normative practice, and he provides compelling evidence that accompaniment was often intermittent and sometimes nonexistent. The US film industry began to standardize musical accompaniment around between 1908 and 1912, the same period that saw film's solidification as a narrative form and the conversion of viewing spaces from small, cramped nickelodeons to theatrical auditoriums. Upgrading musical accompaniment was an important part of this transformation; attempts to encourage the use of film music and monitor its quality can be traced to this era. Trade publications began to include music columns that often ridiculed problematic accompaniment; theater owners became more discriminating in hiring and paying musicians; and audiences came to expect continuous musical accompaniment.

Initially, accompanists, left to their own devices and untrained in their craft, improvised. Therefore the quality of musical accompaniment varied widely. The single most important device in the standardization of film music was the cue sheet, a list of musical selections fitted to the individual film. The most sophisticated of them contained actual excerpts of music timed to fit each scene and cued to screen action to keep the accompanist on track. As early as 1909, Edison studios circulated cue sheets for their films. Other studios, trade publications, and entrepreneurs began doing the same. Musical encyclopedias appeared, containing vast inventories of music, largely culled from the classics of nineteenth-century western European art music and supplemented by original compositions. Encyclopedias like Giuseppi Becce's influential Kinobibliothek (1919) indexed every type of on-screen situation accompanists might face. J. S. Zamecnik (1872–1953) composed the Sam Fox Moving Picture Music series (1913–1923). It included not only a generic "Hurry Music," but "Hurry Music (for struggles)", "Hurry Music (for duels)"; and "Hurry Music (for mob or fire scenes)." Even treachery was customized for villains, ruffians, smugglers, or conspirators. Erno Rapee's Encyclopedia of Music for Pictures (1925) offers music for scenes from Abyssinia to Zanzibar (and everything in between). Popular music of the day was also featured in silent film: in illustrated songs during the earliest periods of film exhibition; as ballyhoo blaring from phonographs to lure passersby into cinemas; and in "Follow the Bouncing Ball" sing-alongs, popular in the 1920s. It is not surprising that popular music crossed over into accompaniment.

Much more work needs to be done on the impact of geography (neighborhood vs. downtown settings; the urbanized east coast vs. the less populated western states) and ethnicity and race (the place of folk traditions, ragtime, jazz) on musical accompaniment. By the teens, however, silent film accompaniment had developed into a profession, and the piano emerged as the workhorse of the era. The 1920s saw the development of the mammoth theatrical organ, like the Mighty Wurlitzer, and motion picture orchestras, contracted by the owners of magnificent urban picture palaces. Orchestral scores, music transcribed for the orchestra, developed during the late silent era. Orchestral film scores based on original compositions were rare in the United States, but there are some famous international examples (not all of which, unfortunately, have survived): Camille Saint-Saëns's (1835–1921) L'Assassinat du duc de Guise (1908), Arthur Honegger's (1892–1955) Napoléon (1929), Dmitri Shostakovich's (1906–1975) Novyy Vavilon (The New Babylon, 1927), Erik Satie's (1866–1925) Entr'acte (1924), and Edmund Meisel's (1894–1930) Bronenosets Potyomkin (Battleship Potemkin, 1925), blamed for causing riots at the German premiere and banned. Most orchestral scores, however, were compiled from existing sources, largely nineteenth-century Western European art music. The first American orchestral score, generally acknowledged as The Birth of a Nation (1915), was a compilation by Joseph Carl Breil (1870–1926) and the film's director, D. W. Griffith, raiding such classics as Richard Wagner's (1813–1883) Ride of the Valkyries, from his opera Die Walkure, and Edvard Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King, from his Peer Gynt suite no. 1.

Wagnerian opera and Wagner's theory of the Gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork) were early influences on accompanists. Wagner argued that music in opera should not be privileged over other elements and should be composed in accordance with the dramatic needs of the story. Accompanists envisioned film music as performing the same function. Especially influential was Wagner's use of the leitmotif, an identifying musical passage, often a melody, associated through repetition with a particular character, place, emotion, or even abstract idea. Silent film accompanists often used the leitmotif to unify musical accompaniment, and during the period of film's transformation into a narrative form, leitmotifs became an important device for clarifying the story and helping audiences keep track of characters. However, Eisler and Adorno, among other critics, argued that the leitmotif was inappropriate for such short art forms as films.

Spurred by reconstructions in the 1970s of silent film scores by scholar-conductors such as Gillian Anderson and by screenings of the restoration of Abel Gance's Napoléon, silent film has enjoyed a resurgence. The rebirth of the silent film with musical accompaniment has made it possible for audiences today to feel something of the all-encompassing nature of the silent film experience. Original scores have been rescued from oblivion, and new scores have been created. Some of these restorations exist in recorded form and boast the original music: Broken Blossoms (1919), scored by Louis Gottschalk (1864–1934); Metropolis (1927), scored by Gottfried Huppertz; Chelovek s kino-apparatom (The Man with a Movie Camera, 1929), with a recreation of the director Dziga Vertov's (1896–1954) score by the Alloy Orchestra. Other restorations feature newly composed scores: The Wind (1928), scored by Carl Davis; Stachka (Strike, 1925), scored by the Alloy Orchestra; and Sherlock, Jr. (1924), scored by the Clubfoot Orchestra. Giorgio Moroder (b. 1940) used disco in his restoration of Metropolis in 1985. But the most exciting development has been the success of silent screenings with live musical accompaniment at film festivals, in art museums, on college campuses, and sometimes even in renovated silent film theaters.


Most filmmakers responded to the coming of sound by transplanting the live, continuous musical accompaniment of silent film to the mechanically produced soundtrack. Standardizing and upgrading the quality of musical accompaniment was one of the most compelling reasons for Warner Bros. to invest in Vitaphone, an early sound reproduction system. Warner Bros. hired the New York Philharmonic to record the studio's first sound feature, Don Juan (1926). Al Jolson's ad-libbing in their second Vitaphone venture, The Jazz Singer (1927), not only put the "talk" in "talking pictures" but ushered in a new aesthetic possibility: realism. Sound, specifically dialogue and sound effects, could now be used to heighten the impression that films captured reality. Musical accompaniment challenged this aesthetic, and thus the common practice in Hollywood in the transition years between silent and sound expunged background music entirely. Most films made during this period either have no musical score at all or include only music visibly produced within the world of the story. And yet the power of film music could not be ignored. Many films go to absurd lengths to include musical accompaniment "realistically." In Josef von Sternberg's crime drama Thunderbolt (1929), for instance, prisoners just happen to be practicing music in their cells (von Suppe's Poet and Peasant) during the film's climax.

Some filmmakers and composers proved more adventurous. In Hollywood, the composer Hugo Riesenfeld (1879–1939) used two different musical mediums simultaneously (a jazz band and a small orchestra) for distinctive effects in Sunrise (1927). Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977), who composed the music for some of his films, continued the practice of continuous musical accompaniment well into the 1930s for films such as City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936). In France, the director René Clair (1898–1981) used musical effects to replace naturalistic sound in Le million (The Million, 1931) and Sous les toits de Paris (Under the Roofs of Paris, 1930); Maurice Jaubert (1900–1940) used electronic manipulation to produce an arresting musical cue for a slow-motion sequence in Jean Vigo's Zéro de conduite (Zero for Conduct, 1933). Eisler scored Joris Ivens's documentary Nieuwe gronden (New Earth, 1934) using naturalistic sound for the machines but music for the humans. In Britain, Arthur Benjamin (1893–1960) experimented with orchestration techniques to compensate for the problems in early sound recording, reducing the number of strings and even creating pizzicato from tuba and piano. And in Berlin, at the German Film Research Institute, experiments in scoring techniques for sound film produced filmic equivalents for musical principles, such as the dolly-in and dolly-out for crescendo and decrescendo and superimpositions for dissonant chords. Perhaps it was these experiments that Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951) was thinking of when he was approached by Hollywood. The story goes that he expressed interest if he could complete his score first and the film could be made to fit his music. It is tempting to consider Fritz Lang's M (1931) in this light, where the mesmerizing circularity of the motif from Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King, whistled by the murderer, finds its reflection in a series of circular visual motifs.

By the 1930s it was clear that sound film would replace silent film as the norm, and that film music fulfilled an important function in sound film. Sometimes cautiously and sometimes boldly, filmmakers began reintegrating background music. In Hollywood, music could be heard connecting sequences, underscoring dramatic moments, and providing accompaniment for the credit sequences (main title and end titles). But ultimately it was a giant gorilla that taught Hollywood the importance of film music. Worried about the credibility of the eighteen-inch models used in the creation of the monster in King Kong (1933), the film's director, Merian C. Cooper (1893–1973), asked Max Steiner (1888–1971) to write music to bring Kong to life. And bring Kong to life he did, scoring over three-quarters of the film's one-hundred-minute runtime. The success of King Kong validated Steiner's saturated scoring techniques. In 1934 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences added the originally composed film score as an award category.


Hollywood has dominated filmmaking as an institutional practice, and its model for the use of music in film has had a determining influence on the history of film music. This influence can be traced to the classical studio era, roughly from the early 1930s to the 1960s. A wave of academic interest in film music that began in the 1980s has focused on the classical Hollywood film score with several important books devoted to the subject. In the 1930s several key composers—most importantly Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897–1957), and Alfred Newman (1901–1970), but also Dmitri Tiomkin (1894–1979), MiklósRózsa (1907–1995), Bronislau Kaper (1902–1983), and Franz Waxman (1906–1967)—rose to prominence for their work in films. All but Newman had emigrated from Europe, many fleeing Hitler and the rise of fascism. (Korngold was Jewish, and his family had a narrow escape from Austria.)

The classical Hollywood film score follows a set of conventions so as to help tell the film's story and to engage the audience in the world that the story creates. To this end, music was subordinated to narrative and rendered unobtrusive through techniques developed both to mask its entrances and exits and to subordinate it to dialogue. Music served several important functions nonetheless: sustaining narrative unity by covering over potential gaps in the narrative chain (such as transitions between sequences and montages); controlling connotation; fleshing out mood, atmosphere, historical time, geographic space, and characters' subjectivity; connecting the audience emotionally to the film; and heightening screen action, often through mickey-mousing, or directly synchronizing screen action and music. (The term comes from the making of Disney animated films, where characters move in exact time to the music—think of Mickey conducting the brigade of brooms in The Sorcerer'sApprentice sequence in Fantasia [1941]). The medium of the classical film score was symphonic; its musical idiom derived from late romanticism, with its structure dependent on the leitmotif. Outstanding examples of the form are too numerous to list, but highlights include Korngold's The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Newman's Wuthering Heights (1939), and Steiner's Gone with the Wind (1939), the last with over three hours of music.

Studio filmmaking in the classical Hollywood era emphasized efficiency, following an assembly-line mode of production with a highly specialized division of labor. Work on the score began when the film was in rough cut and was usually completed within three to six weeks. (There were exceptions: Korngold, for one, got more time.) The process began with a spotting session to determine in which "spots" to place the music. Composers produced sketches of the music, but orchestrators (and sometimes arrangers for songs and choral material) produced the finished version of the score. (Again there were exceptions: Herrmann orchestrated all his own film scores.) The top Hollywood composers established long-term relationships with orchestrators or arrangers they trusted: Korngold with Hugo Friedhofer (1901–1981) (who would go on to become an important composer himself), Tiomkin with choral arranger Jester Hairston (1901–2000). Some composers had the privilege of conducting their own work, but usually it was the studio's musical director who conducted. Often, especially on "B" pictures, teams of composers, arrangers, and orchestrators worked together, so screen credit can be misleading. On Stagecoach, five composers shared screen credit, seven worked on the score, and four received the Academy Award® that year for Music (Scoring). Ultimately, the producer had the final approval over the score and the studio owned any music written for its films.

Hollywood's mode of production did not accommodate individuality, perfectionism, or complaint. And yet some composers managed all three. Caryl Flinn argues that it was just these conditions and the sense of artistic frustration that they fostered that drove Hollywood composers to romanticism, with its idealized focus on the individual, the transformative nature of creativity, and art's transcendence over social and historical reality.

The symphonic film score remains an option for composers, especially in studio big-budget, action-adventure films and historical epics. The phenomenal success of John Williams's scores, such as Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and especially the first Star Wars trilogy (1977–1983), has been instrumental in revitalizing both the symphonic medium and a neoromantic idiom. Composers who work in the form include Jerry Goldsmith (1929–2004), Danny Elfman (b. 1953), James Horner (b. 1953), and Howard Shore (b. 1946), as well as composers who established their careers abroad, such as John Barry, Nino Rota (1911–1979), Ennio Morricone (b. 1928), Maurice Jarre (b. 1924), Georges Delerue (1925–1992), and Patrick Doyle (b. 1953), to name but a few. Even in films with more contemporary musical styles and instrumentation, it is interesting to note the extent to which classical scoring principles remain. Amid the rock scoring of The Matrix trilogy (1999–2003), for instance, the leitmotif for Neo, the protagonist, can be heard in a classically inflected, symphonic arrangement.


In the 1940s and 1950s the classical film score began to undergo an evolution when the next generation of film composers arrived in Hollywood. With them came more contemporary musical language from the worlds of art music and popular music that opened up the stylistic possibilities of the Hollywood score. Largely American by birth and by training, composers such as Herrmann, David Raksin (1912–2004), Alex North (1910–1991), Elmer Bernstein (1922–2004), Leonard Rosenman (b. 1924), and Henry Mancini (1924–1994) incorporated American vernacular music (folk song and jazz), elements of modernism (dissonance, polytonality, serial music), and the popular song in their film scores. Later, composers from the world of art music brought postmodern musical techniques. And in the 1950s, concurrent with many of these developments, rock 'n' roll arrived.

Folk song had become a subject of interest to American art music composers in the 1930s. Rejecting the experimental techniques of modernism, composers such as Aaron Copland (1900–1990) sought to define a uniquely American idiom and turned to folk song and its distinctive melodies and harmonic textures. Copland's Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942), and Appalachian Spring (1942) are prototypical examples of this "American" sound, which crossed over into film in the scores for Of Mice and Men (1940) and Our Town (1940), by Copland, and for the documentaries The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936), The River (1938), and Louisiana Story (1948), by Virgil Thomson (1896–1989). Perhaps because the western as a genre focuses so transparently on American values, its scores have tended to favor this approach. Tiomkin's scores for Duel in the Sun (1946) and Red River (1948), and Richard Hageman's (1882–1966) for several John Ford westerns, especially Fort Apache (1948) and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), are exemplary. A more recent example of the use of this American sound can be heard in Randy Newman's (b. 1943) score for The Natural (1984). Contemporary composers have opened up the focus on American folk song to include various types of world music. Elliot Goldenthal (b. 1954), for instance, himself a student of Copland, uses Mexican folk traditions and indigenous instruments in Frida (2002).

b. Long Island, New York, 8 February 1932

With well over a hundred major feature films to his credit to date, the American-born and -trained John Williams may well be the most recognizable film composer in the Western world. He began his career as a studio pianist and arranger, working with the composers Alfred Newman, Dimitri Tiomkin, Franz Waxman, Bernard Herrmann, and Henry Mancini, and went on to become Hollywood's most successful composer as well as one of its most prolific (although he has not caught up with the legendary Max Steiner and his 350-plus credits). Largely responsible for the revival of the symphonic film score written in a neoromantic style, and for adapting the film orchestra to the modern recording studio, Williams is a connection to Hollywood's classical era.

More important, Williams has raised the visibility (or to be more precise, the audibility) of the film score. In an era when much of the music heard at the movies is almost immediately forgotten, Williams's music has entered the popular consciousness—the shark motif from Jaws (1975), the theme from Star Wars (1977), the five-note melody through which aliens and earthlings communicate in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Indelibly identified with the Star Wars films, Williams has scored all six of them. He once described them as silent movies, and indeed the music is an important part of these films' success. At the age of seventy-three, he completed over two hours of music for the last installment, Revenge of the Sith (2005).

In 1975 Williams began what would prove to be his most enduring partnership, with the director Steven Spielberg. This collaboration on over two-dozen films across a variety of genres has given Williams a premiere showcase for his work. Although less known for his art music, Williams has pursued a career on the concert stage as a composer and conductor, wielding the baton at the Boston Pops from 1980 to 1993. He remains Hollywood's preeminent film composer.


Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), JFK (1991), Jurassic Park (1993), Schindler's List (1993), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)


Kalinak, Kathryn. "John Williams and The Empire Strikes Back: The Eighties and Beyond: Classical Meets Contemporary." In Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film, edited by Kathryn Kalinak, 184–202. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.

Scheurer, Timothy E. "John Williams and Film Music since 1971." Popular Music and Society 21, no. 1 (1997): 59–72.

Kathryn Kalinak

Beginning in the 1950s, jazz proved another possibility, especially for films set in urban environments. In edgy urban dramas, jazz exploded onto the soundtrack in scores such as A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), by Alex North (1910–1991); The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), by Elmer Bernstein; Touch of Evil (1958), by Mancini; and in numerous biopics about (white) jazz artists such as Young Man with a Horn (1950) and Rhapsody in Blue (1945). Krin Gabbard makes the case that this focus on white jazz artists provides a key to understanding American ideology of race, gender, and sexuality. Later filmmakers such as Robert Altman (b. 1925) and Clint Eastwood (b. 1930) (who also composes film scores) have used jazz to great effect. Hollywood did turn its attention to black jazz performers in Mo' Better Blues (1990) and biopics such as Lady Sings the Blues (1972), about the singer Billie Holiday, and Bird (1988), about the saxophone legend Charlie Parker. Jazz on the soundtrack was initially associated with urban decadence; the extent to which it has shed this association remains an interesting question. A number of jazz artists have themselves scored films: Duke Ellington (Anatomy of a Murder, 1959), Charles Mingus (Shadows, 1959), Herbie Hancock (Death Wish, 1974), and Joshua

Redman (Vanya on 42nd Street, 1994), among others. But the premiere showcase for African American jazz performers in American film may well have been the live action and animated shorts, produced in the 1930s and 1940s, featuring jazz greats Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday. The racism of the era is strongly in evidence in many of them. In cartoons produced by the Max Fleischer studio, for instance, jazz artists found themselves captured not only by animated form (Cab Calloway was a walrus) but by numerous racial stereotypes.

The introduction of rock 'n' roll occurred simultaneously with these developments. First heard on a feature film soundtrack when Bill Haley's song "Rock Around the Clock" was used under the titles of The Blackboard Jungle (1955), rock 'n' roll was initially limited to teen pics and used to target young audiences. In the 1970s soul could be heard on the soundtrack in films like Shaft (1971), for which Isaac Hayes wrote the songs as well as the background score. Rock 'n' roll ultimately functioned as a pressure point on the classical Hollywood film score and was an important influence in a new type of scoring that would emerge in the 1960s, the compilation score.

In the 1940s and 1950s, modernist musical techniques, such as dissonance, atonality, striking rhythms, and unconventional instrumentation, made their way into Hollywood film scores such as Rózsa's for Spellbound and The Lost Weekend (both 1945, and both making use of the theremin, one of the first electronic instruments), and Rosenman's for East of Eden (1955) and Rebel Without a Cause (1955). The cutting edge of modernism, serial music, can be heard in Rosenman's score for The Cobweb (1955). Initially, electronic instrumentation was limited to horror films and science fiction or used for specific psychological effects (dream sequences, for instance), but it moved into the mainstream and high visibility with Giorgio Moroder's score for Midnight Express (1978) and Vangelis's for Blade Runner (1982). In the late twentieth century Philip Glass (b. 1937) brought minimalism out of the world of art music and into the film score. Characterized by repetitive musical

figures that disturb conventional notions of rhythm and time, Glass's mesmeric music first attracted attention in Koyaanisqatsi (1983) and The Thin Blue Line (1988). Glass's work in Hollywood has been limited (The Hours in 2002 is his most high-profile score), but not his influence: the distinctive techniques of minimalism (but with more conventional tonality) can be heard in many Hollywood films.


The rise of the popular song precipitated the most fundamental and lasting changes to the Hollywood film score. Popular music had been used in film accompaniment from the beginning; by the 1920s studios began promoting songs written expressly for their films, known as theme songs, through sheet music and record sales. Popular songs appeared in sound film, too. Sometimes they were performed on-screen, as by Dooley Wilson, singing "As Time Goes By," in Casablanca (1942), and sometimes they were heard emanating from on-screen nightclubs or radios. In the 1930s and 1940s, songs were sometimes culled from a score's themes with lyrics hastily added to tap into additional profits. Raksin's leitmotif for the title character of Laura (1944) became "Laura," with the addition of Johnny Mercer's lyrics. The large-scale promotion of theme songs, however, was a product of the 1950s and the phenomenal success of Tex Ritter's "Do Not Forsake Me" from High Noon (1952). Theme songs were everywhere, now heard in films complete with their lyrics, cross-promoted on radio, television, and on record, and generating huge revenue for the studios.

The popularity of soundtracks dates from this era, although there are some interesting earlier examples, such as Disney's Snow White (1938). Often composed in advance of the score, theme songs had a determining influence on both the shape and sound of Hollywood films in the 1950s and 1960s. Mancini created many of the most memorable songs of the era, such as "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). Yet Mancini never defined himself as a songwriter, considering song melodies as motifs to be exploited in the scoring process. Jeff Smith argues persuasively that the theme song did not undermine classical scoring principles, positing that scores based on theme songs fulfilled the primary functions of classical film music: to attend to the needs of the narrative and to connect the audience to the film emotionally and psychologically. Classical scoring depended to a large extent on musical conventions to generate audience response and to lend meaning. Theme songs shifted away from those conventions to make use of popular culture, with lyrics providing an additional layer to make the meaning of a film resonate.

In the 1960s, new scoring possibilities produced a hybrid of the theme score and rock 'n' roll—the compilation score. Compiled scores consist of a collection of existing songs, often used in their original recorded format and largely derived from noncinematic sources (usually popular music but also opera and classical music); these can be supplemented by original songs and orchestral background scoring. The compilation score has brought cinema full circle, harking back to the days of silent cinema when accompanists would select music from a variety of sources, including popular song. The compilation score for Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol. I (2003), for example, contains Nancy Sinatra's cover of Sonny and Cher's "Bang Bang" and songs by Isaac Hayes, Tomoyasu Hotei, Charlie Feathers, Al Hirt, Quincy Jones, Meiko Kaji, and a cue from Herrmann's score for Twisted Nerve (1968). Other notable compilation scores feature various kinds of popular music: rock 'n' roll (Easy Rider, 1969), disco (Flashdance, 1983), rap (Dangerous Minds, 1995), country (Nashville, 1975), popular standards (Sleepless in Seattle, 1993) and eclectic mixes (Apocalypse Now, 1979, which includes Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries and the Rolling Stones' "[I Can't Get No] Satisfaction.") Cross-promoted on radio, MTV, and various recording mediums, soundtracks now precede a film's release and may produce higher profits than the film itself.

Compilation scores have brought dramatic changes to film scoring. Responsibility shifts from the composer to the producer or director (to name just two examples, Tarantino and Woody Allen), who select the music for their films themselves. The choice may fall to a music supervisor, whose job includes clearing copyright for the final selections. Compilation scores also present some formidable challenges to traditional film scoring. Because songs have a structural autonomy of their own, they sometimes do not correspond directly to the image track. Additionally, audiences may perceive songs on a more conscious level than background orchestral scoring. Preexisting songs also trail with them not only a cultural history, but often a personal history, triggering memories and experiences that may be at odds with the film's dramatic needs. Anahid Kassabian views this change as liberating, as compilation scores have opened up possibilities for alternative voices (especially women and minorities) to be heard. Interestingly, the job of music supervisor has opened up economic space for women. While female composers' access to Hollywood has been limited in the past (Elizabeth Firestone and Ann Ronnell found some work in the classical studio era) and more are doing so at present (Shirley Walker, Rachel Portman, Anne Dudley), women now dominate the ranks of music supervisors in Hollywood and thus have more access to film music than they had in the past. But even with these changes, compilation scores continue to respond to the image track, exploiting the associations that songs generate to fulfill some of music's most conventional functions: to create mood, heighten atmosphere, aid in characterization, establish time and place, and relay theme.


Outside Hollywood, national cinemas the world over have adopted and adapted film music to fit their own particular needs, sometimes emulating conventional Hollywood practice, sometimes departing from it in distinctive ways, sometimes ignoring it altogether. As compared to Hollywood, international film, historically, has been characterized by a less capital-intensive and elaborate machine for the production and distribution of film. Funding is different, relying more on government subsidies than sales, and many national cinemas have been or are protected from competition by legislation (import quotas, for instance). International directors have also been more interested in using composers from the world of art music, resulting in more stylistic diversity. In Britain, Arthur Bliss (1891–1975), Arthur Benjamin, and William Walton (1902–1983) each composed important early film scores. Most memorable are the scores for the futuristic Things to Come (1936), by Bliss; The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), by Benjamin and containing his original composition "The Storm Cloud Cantata" (retained by Herrmann in his score for the remake in 1956); and several of Laurence Olivier's adaptations of Shakespeare, including Hamlet (1948) and Henry V (1944), by Walton. Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughn Williams (1872–1958) composed scores for British documentaries in the 1930s and 1940s, with Song of Ceylon (1934) an important example. Michael Nyman (b. 1944) scored a series of films for Peter Greenaway, including The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), and Patrick Doyle did the same for Kenneth Branagh, including his adaptations of Henry V (1989) and Hamlet (1996).

Maurice Jaubert worked prominently in early French sound film, with Jean Vigo, René Clair (Quatorze Juillet, [July 14, 1933]), and Marcel Carné (Le Jour se lève, [Daybreak, 1939]), before his untimely death duringWorld War II. But George Auric (1899–1983) proved France's most prolific and versatile composer of the pre-and postwar eras. In France he scored Le Sang d'un poète (The Blood of a Poet, 1930), La Belle et la bête (Beauty and the Beast, 1946), and Orphée (Orpheus, 1950) for the avant-garde filmmaker Jean Cocteau; in Britain, The Lavender Hill Mob (1951); and in Hollywood, Roman Holiday (1953). Maurice Jarre established his career in France in the 1950s and 1960s and catapulted to the top of the international "A" list with scores for Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965). The French New Wave brought a new set of French composers to the fore, including Pierre Jansen (b. 1930), who scored over thirty films for Claude Chabrol, and Georges Delerue, who worked with Jean-Luc Godard (Le Mépris, [Contempt, 1963]), Alain Resnais (Hiroshima mon amour, 1959), and François Truffaut (eleven films, including Jules et Jim, 1962) before embarking on an international career, scoring Il Conformista (The Conformist, 1970), and eventually settling in Hollywood. Among the most striking film scores of the twentieth century are those for several Godard films that capture the unconventionality and iconoclasm of the director's filmmaking style: Martial Solal's (b. 1927) jazzy score for À bout de souffle

b. Sontsovka, Ukraine, Russia, 23 April 1891, d. Moscow, USSR (now Russia), 5 March 1953

It is sometimes described as one of the greatest film scores ever written; it is often described as one of the worst soundtracks ever recorded. The score for Alexander Nevsky (1938), one of three films that the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev scored for the legendary director Sergei Eisenstein, is to this day one of cinema's most striking and memorable film scores.

Like many international film composers, Prokofiev, born in Ukraine but raised in St. Petersburg, had an established reputation in art music when he turned to film scoring. His work with Eisenstein on Nevsky was a collaboration in the fullest sense of the word: some of the film was shot to Prokofiev's music and some of Prokofiev's music was composed to Eisenstein's footage. In The Film Sense, Eisenstein wrote that Prokofiev found the inner essence of the images, capturing the dynamic play of the frame's graphic content instead of merely illustrating action on the screen. The film was conceived to honor a medieval Russian hero and to ignite Soviet passions against Germany on the eve of World War II. Eisenstein, in trouble with Soviet authorities, had not made a film in years; Prokofiev, who lived extensively abroad before returning to Moscow in 1936, was finding his career similarly stalled. When Stalin himself asked to see the film, Eisenstein and Prokofiev hastily finished a rough-cut of the film's image track and soundtrack to meet with his approval. (Stalin liked the film, at least initially; Nevsky's fortunes would rise and fall with the Soviets' shifting political alliances during World War II.) In fact, it is highly likely that this rough-cut version is the film we see and hear today. Given the state of Soviet sound recording in the 1930s, the speed with which the score was recorded, and the size of the orchestra that performed it, the soundtrack is crude at best. Today, symphony orchestras around the world have accompanied screenings of Alexander Nevsky live in the concert hall, giving Prokofiev's score the performance it deserves.

On what turned out to be his last concert tour of the West in 1938, Prokofiev found himself in Hollywood, with his wife and children back in Moscow as collateral against his return. Touring Disney Studios, he met with Walt Disney himself to discuss the animation of Peter and the Wolf, one of Prokofiev's most enduring concert pieces, for Fantasia (1940). That idea would come to fruition not in Fantasia, however, but in Make Mine Music (1946), in which the Peter and the Wolf segment becomes Prokofiev's only "Hollywood" film score.


Lieutenant Kije (1934), Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1944), Ivan the Terrible, Part II (banned 1946, released 1958)


Eisenstein, Sergei M. "Form and Content: Practice." In The Film Sense, translated and edited by Jay Leyda, 157–216. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1942; revised ed., 1975.

Merritt, Russell. "Recharging Alexander Nevsky: Tracking the Eisenstein-Prokofiev War Horse." Film Quarterly 48, no. 2 (Winter 1994–1995): 34–45.

Kathryn Kalinak

(Breathless, 1960); Michel Legrand's (b. 1932) truncated theme and variations for Vivre sa vie (My Life to Live, 1962); Antoine Duhamel's (b. 1925) score for Weekend (1967), which features a concert pianist in a barnyard; Gabriel Yared's (b. 1949) score for Sauve qui peut (la vie) (Every Man for Himself, 1980), where characters in a shoot-out run past the orchestra playing the score; and Prénom Carmen (First Name: Carmen, 1983) with its mix of Beethoven, Bizet, and Tom Waits. The much-noticed score for Diva (1981) features a stylish mix of opera and techno, with recording itself becoming a part of the plot.

Hans Eisler worked in Germany and France before and after his stint in Hollywood, composing original and unconventional scores such as those for Kuhle Wampe oder: Wem gehört die Welt? (1932) and the documentary Nuit et brouillard (Night and Fog, 1955). Peer Raben (b. 1940) lent a distinctive sound to the work of Rainer Werner Fassbinder in several films, including Die Ehe der Maria Braun (The Marriage of Maria Braun, 1979) and Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980). In Italy, Nino Rota forged an extremely important collaboration with Federico Fellini, as did Ennio Morricone with Sergio Leone. In the Soviet Union, Shostakovich continued to score films, including Grigori Kosintsev's Hamlet (1964) and King Lear (1975). Serge Prokofiev's (1891–1953) famous collaboration with Sergei Eisenstein resulted in the scores for Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Ivan Groznyy (Ivan the Terrible, part 1, 1944; part 2, 1958). In India, Ravi Shankar (b. 1920) scored Satyajit Ray's (1921–1992) Apu trilogy, and Ray himself scored his Ashani Sanket (Distant Thunder, 1973) and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World, 1984). In Indian popular cinema, composers, arrangers, and "playback singers" like Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle (who dub songs for the stars), rank high in a film's credits and achieve enormous popularity in their own right: a film's success can often depend on the "hit" status of its songs. In Japan, Fumio Hayasaka (1914–1955) collaborated with Akira Kurosawa on many of his early films, including Rashômon (1950), Ikiru (To Live, 1952), and Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai, 1954). Tôru Takemitsu (1930–1996), whose extraordinary range encompasses a variety of historical styles, worked in Japan with Hiroshi Teshigahara on Suna no onna (Woman of the Dunes, 1964), with Kurosawa on Dodesukaden (1970) and Ran (1985), and with Nagisa Oshima on Tokyo senso sengo hiwa (The Man Who Left His Will on Film, 1970); in France he worked on the omnibus film L'Amour à vingt ans (Love at Twenty, 1962); and in Hollywood, at the end of his life, he scored Rising Sun (1993). The director Teinosuke Kinugasa (1896–1982) composed and recorded a score for his 1926 surrealist film Kurutta Ippeji (A Page of Madness) almost fifty years after its initial release. And Ryuichi Sakamoto crossed over from the world of popular music to the soundtrack with his score for Oshima's Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983).


Music for animation has long suffered from critical neglect despite being the form of film music that many viewers first encounter. It diverges significantly from other film music practices. In the United States, for instance, although it developed concurrently with classical scoring principles (sometimes, as in the case of Warner Bros., at the same studio) and even shared composers and techniques, music for animation operates in a fundamentally different way. From the beginning, music for animated films was characterized by stylistic diversity (jazz, swing, pop, modern, and even serial music), an eclectic approach to musical genres (mixing opera, jazz, pop songs, and classical music), and an indifference to the leitmotif and other unifying strategies (in Warner Bros. cartoons, for instance, music emphasizes the cuts). Animated films were often created in "reverse," with the music composed in advance of the images, and decades before the classical score exploited popular songs, the

cartoon soundtrack was filled with them. The golden age of film animation in the United States spans the years from the conversion of sound to the breakup of the studio system, and during that period Disney Studios pioneered a number of important technical advances: mickey-mousing, a crucial model for the integration of music and action for classical Hollywood composers; the tick system, which facilitated precise synchronization and which developed into the click track, a standard operating procedure in Hollywood; and the forerunner of today's surround sound, Fantasound, a stereophonic multitrack recording and playback system that surrounded the audience in sound by positioning speakers around the theater.

But, ultimately, it was the composers who defined the form. Carl Stalling (1891–1972), who composed over six hundred cartoon scores in his career. Stalling began in the late 1920s with Disney scoring many of the early Mickey Mouse shorts and helped to inaugurate the Silly Symphony series, where classical music was accompanied by animated images. (The trajectory of the Silly Symphonies led to Fantasia, a box office failure at the time but much be loved today.) Later at Warner Bros., Stalling transformed the house style by creating a pastiche of quotes, some only a few measures long, from a number of sources and in a variety of styles. Scott Bradley (1891–1977) at MGM experimented with twelve-tone composition for Tom and Jerry cartoons, once stating, "I hope that Dr. Schoenberg will for give me for using his system to produce funny music, but even the boys in the orchestra laughed when we were recording it" (quoted in Goldmark, p. 70). At UPA in the 1950s, Gail Kubik (1914–1984) adroitly exploited percussion in his scores for the Gerald McBoing Boing series. The rise of television and the cost-saving measures attending the breakup of the studios signaled the end of the golden age, when the US animation industry, with some exceptions, transferred largely to television. The renaissance of Disney feature animation in the 1980s continued the practice of modeling Disney films and their scores after musicals, although as South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut (1999) reminds us, animated musicals do not have to be conventional. Internationally, music for animation has achieved high visibility in Japan, where soundtracks for Japanese animation, anime, have become an important part of the Japanese recording industry. Some of these soundtracks mix traditional Japanese and Western musics in interesting ways. Shoji Yamashira's Akira (1988), for instance, combines Buddhist chant, taiko drumming, and synthesizers. Film scholars and musicologists have begun to turn their attention to "cartoon music," and books on animation now often include attention to the score.


Film music, as the composer David Raksin (1912–2004) put it, "makes the difference. There's no doubt about that. All you have to do to get the point of film music across to the skeptical is to make them sit though the picture without the music"(quoted in Kalinak, p.xvii). This is exactly what Herrmann did during the production of Psycho. Hitchcock did not think the shower sequence should be accompanied by music; Herrmann thought otherwise and asked for the opportunity to score it. Hitchcock, not entirely satisfied with the shower sequence himself, was open to the experiment. Later, Herrmann screened two versions: one accompanied only by sound effects, the other, accompanied only by music. Hitchcock chose the latter, resulting in one of cinema's most powerful and arresting moments, a grisly murder made even more horrific by the shrieking violins that accompany it. Not all films use music, but the vast majority of films from every corner of the globe from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first have exploited it. All evidence points to its persistence well into the future.

SEE ALSO Animation;Ideology;Musicals;Silent Cinema;Sound;Studio System;Technology


Altman, Rick. Silent Film Sound. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.

Brown, Royal S. Overtones and Undertones: Reading Film Music. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

Dickinson, Kay, ed. Movie Music: The Film Reader. London and New York: Routledge, 2003.

Donnelly, Kevin J. The Spectre of Sound: Music in Film and Television. London: British Film Institute, 2005.

Duncan, Dean. Charms That Soothe: Classical Music and Narrative Film. New York: Fordham University Press, 2003. Eisler, Hanns, and Theodor Adorno (uncredited). Composing for the Films. New York: Oxford University Press, 1947.

Flinn, Caryl. Strains of Utopia: Gender, Nostalgia, and Hollywood Film Music. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992.

Gabbard, Krin. Jammin' at the Margins: Jazz and the American Cinema. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Goldmark, Daniel. Tunes for 'Toons: Music and the Hollywood Cartoon. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

Gorbman, Claudia. Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1987.

Kalinak, Kathryn. Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.

Kassabian, Anahid. Hearing Film Music: Tracking Identifications in Contemporary Film Music. New York and London: Routledge, 2001.

Marks, Martin. Music and the Silent Film: Contexts and Case Studies 1895–1924. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Smith, Jeff. The Sounds of Commerce: Marketing Popular Film Music. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Wojcik, Pamela Robertson, and Arthur Knight, eds. Soundtrack Available: Essays on Film and Popular Music. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001.

Kathryn Kalinak


views updated May 11 2018


MUSIC This entry includes 10 subentries:
African American
Country and Western
Early American
Folk Revival
Theater and Film

African American

Among the defining features of African American music are the mix of cultural influences from African to European, the presence of both syncopation and improvisation, and the pull between city and country, spiritual and secular. These characteristics eventually led black Americans to create what is widely believed to be America's greatest cultural achievement: jazz.

When Africans first arrived in America in 1619, they brought with them only memories. Among those memories, the drumming, singing, and dancing of their West African homes. Although music was often forbidden to the slaves, they sometimes found ways of using it to communicate, as well as to commemorate occasions, especially deaths. Work songs and sorrow songs, or spirituals, were the first music to grow out of the African experience in America. These songs were often performed a cappella; when instruments were used, they were largely fiddles and banjos.

Some slave owners felt that blacks should be Christianized, though this was far from universal, as many slaveholders felt that slaves should not be treated as humans or beings with souls. However, in New England in the late seventeenth century, blacks often did attend church services and learn church songs. In the South, those slaves who were sent to church services were taught to obey their masters; good behavior would result in heavenly rewards. As life on earth was clearly without hope, many slaves found solace in this message and in the Christian hymns that accompanied it. At the same time, they built their own repertory of songs, both religious and secular. Often the songs combined a mix of influences, including the Middle Eastern nuances of West African music, the Spanish accent in Creole music, and the anguish drawn from everyday experience. Black music has always been appreciated; there are many reports of slave entertainment on plantations and of street vendors who made up original songs to hawk their wares. In the 1820s white performers began to capitalize on the accomplishments of black performers by using their songs in minstrel shows. Whites—and later blacks as well—performed in black face, using burnt cork to create a parody of an African. The minstrels altered their songs from the original African American versions to suit the taste of whites, a tradition that endured well into the twentieth century when white artists made covers of songs by African Americans. Between 1850 and 1870, minstrel shows reached the peak of their popularity. The two main characters, often called "Jim Crow" and "Zip Coon," represented country and city dwellers, respectively. Minstrelsy continued its popularity long after the Civil War, until the early twentieth century.

Around the turn of the twentieth century, the two major precursors of jazz came into popularity: ragtime and blues. Scott Joplin was the premier composer of rag-time, a form that reflected the taste of the newly formed black bourgeois, who preferred pianos over banjos and fiddles. Ragtime took its name from the practice of "ragging" tunes; the left hand of the pianist added the syncopation that was provided in earlier music by foot stomping. At about the same time, American blacks were innovating the blues. City versus country is again a factor in blues music; often a third category, "classic" blues, is used. While the best-known ragtime tunes are instrumental, memorable blues songs are meant to be sung. Country blues is widely deemed an older form and derives from folk music. It was originally accompanied by folk instruments including strings, crockery jugs, and harmonicas and sometimes had a sound near to that of spirituals. Urban blues tends to be more complex and played by a band with a rhythm section. Chicago is the capital of urban blues. Classic blues has a woman singer, such as Ma Rainey or Bessie Smith, in front. Both ragtime and blues were created by more musically sophisticated blacks who often knew how to write music and were knowingly fusing the music of their African roots with European-influenced composition. At this time, brass bands, boogie-woogie piano bars, and dance orchestras flourished throughout the country. African American music was not recorded until the 1920s, though it did find many proponents at the close of the nineteenth century, including the Czech composer Antonín Dvorˇák.

The New Orleans brass bands developed Dixieland jazz, with trumpeter Louis Armstrong the first to stress on-the-spot innovations while playing. At the same time, Kansas City jazz was developing under Count Basie and his orchestra, and, perhaps the greatest American jazz composer, Duke Ellington, was conducting his swing band on the East Coast. Billie Holliday influenced music by using blues and jazz touches in popular songs and by singing with white orchestras. By the 1950s Charlie Parker and Dizzie Gillespie were making "bebop" jazz in New York City.

The 1940s and 1950s saw the rise of rhythm-and blues (R&B), a combination of both jazz and blues. By the 1950s, some black artists (T-Bone Walker, Louis Jordan, Bo Diddley) had become popular with mainstream audiences—but what often happened was that white performers made a sanitized cover version of a black artist's work and sold many more records. Still, R&B stars such as Little Richard and Chuck Berry had a huge influence on the then-burgeoning rock and roll. The 1950s also brought the popularity of doo-wop, a gospel-based vocal style that emphasized harmonizing.

Gospel was the basis for soul music, which began its development in the 1950s and peaked in popularity during the Black Power movement of the 1960s. In 1959 Ray Charles combined contemporary R&B with the call and response of the church in "What'd I Say." Aretha Franklin also drew on her gospel roots, starting with 1967's "Respect." The 1960s brought the first multimillion-dollar black-owned recording company, Motown. Detroit producer Berry Gordy Jr. introduced the world to such crossover groups as the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, and the Jackson Five, all of whom received massive airplay on top-40 radio stations. Michael Jack-son's 1982 album "Thriller" sold forty million copies and gave Jackson a spot as the first black artist on MTV.

Both Jackson and James Brown are known for their dancing. Brown's version of soul was funk. He used African polyrhythms to sing 1969's "Say It Loud—I'm Black and I'm Proud" and in turn influenced other socially conscious groups, as well as disco in the 1970s and rap in the 1980s.

Funk, soul, and R&B mix in rap, which grew out of the hip-hop movement. Some early rappers such as The Last Poets, Grandmaster Funk, and Public Enemy commented on racial issues. At the same time, other rappers were largely interested in the entertainment value of break dancing and producing music that was nonmelodic and almost entirely dependent on syncopation. Gangster rap spawned another subculture as artists such as Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tupac Shakur ran into real life trouble with the law and sometimes, as with Shakur who was murdered in 1994, with other gangsters.


Charlton, Katherine. Rock Music Styles: A History. 3d ed. Boston: McGraw Hill, 1998.

Jones, LeRoi (Amiri Baraka). Blues People: Negro Music in White America. New York: Morrow, 1963.

Ogg, Alex, with David Upshal. The Hip Hop Years: A History of Rap. New York: Fromm, 2001.

Southern, Eileen. The Music of Black Americans: A History. New York: Norton, 1971.

Stambler, Irwin. The Encyclopedia of Rock, Pop, and Soul. Rev. ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989.

White, Newman I. American Negro Folk-Songs. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1928.

Rebekah PressonMosby

See alsoBlues ; Jazz ; Minstrel Shows ; Ragtime .


Bluegrass music is a form of country music that emerged in the 1940s and 1950s from a group known as the Blue Grass Boys headed by Grand Ole Opry star Bill Monroe,

who came to be known as "the father of bluegrass." The music in its definitive form was first heard in Nashville, Tennessee. Early bluegrass was distinctively flavored by Appalachia, where such groups as the Stanley Brothers and their Clinch Mountain Boys, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and the Foggy Mountain Boys performed on radio station WCYB in Bristol on the Tennessee-Virginia border. As elsewhere in country music, white performers predominated in professional settings, but the music took its inspiration from both white and black musicians. Several characteristics define bluegrass style. A typical band consists of four to seven players and singers who use acoustic rather than electrical instruments. Early bluegrass musicians tuned their instruments a half note above standard, a practice still used by some groups today, and bluegrass generally uses high-pitched vocals and requires more than one voice to sing something other than harmony parts. The guitar, mandolin, banjo, string bass, and fiddle play both melody and provide rhythm and background for vocal soloists. Through recordings, television, tours, and festivals, bluegrass performers have gained a national and even international constituency. An establishment consisting of several recording companies (Country, Rebel, Rounder, Sugar Hill, and others), clubs, and magazines, such as Bluegrass Unlimited, developed as the bluegrass festival movement spread in the 1960s. In the 1970s performances departed from the traditional form with "new grass," using rock repertoire and techniques. The formation of the International Bluegrass Association in 1985 and the creation of the Americana Record chart in 1995 carved out radio time for late twentieth-century bluegrass musicians and expanded the music's popularity.


Cantwell, Robert. Bluegrass Breakdown: The Making of the Old Southern Sound. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984.

Ewing, Tom, ed. The Bill Monroe Reader. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000.

Rosenberg, Neil V. Bluegrass: A History. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985.

Charles A.Weeks/f. h.

See alsoBluegrass Country .


Early American Classical Music

Classical music encompasses instrumental and vocal music written by trained composers, expressing cultivated artistic and intellectual values, as opposed to music of an essentially commercial nature (popular) or music that develops anonymously and is transmitted aurally (folk). In the eighteenth century, classical music could be heard in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Williamsburg, Charleston, New Orleans, and elsewhere in the homes of talented amateur musicians (most notably Francis Hopkinson and Thomas Jefferson) and in occasional public and private concerts (beginning in the 1730s) performed by local or touring musicians. Nearly all of the art music heard during this period was that of European masters such as George Frideric Handel, Arcangelo Corelli, Antonio Vivaldi, Luigi Boccherini, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Franz Joseph Haydn, and Thomas Arne. A few Americans, including Hopkinson and immigrant professional musicians Alexander Reinagle, Rayner Taylor, James Hewitt, and Benjamin Carr, composed and published songs and instrumental music in the style of their European contemporaries. German-speaking Moravian or Unitas Fratrum settlers in Pennsylvania and North Carolina had perhaps the most active musical communities of the period. A large part of their music was composed locally by European-trained members.

A movement to regularize psalm singing in New England Protestant meeting houses led to the formation of singing schools that fostered the development of musical skill in a wider population. Groups of amateurs formed musical societies for the recreational singing of sacred music, including psalm settings by Boston composer William Billings. In the nineteenth century, hymn singing gradually replaced psalm singing in popularity. Massachusetts composer Lowell Mason, along with writing his own hymn melodies, adapted music from classical composers such as Handel and Mozart to fit hymn texts.

The nineteenth century produced new audiences, performing venues, and important musical organizations. The Boston Handel and Haydn Society (established 1815) promoted the performance of choral music. The Philharmonic Society, predecessor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, gave its first concert in 1842. As early as the 1790s, operas were performed in New Orleans and Philadelphia. In New York City, opera was performed in theaters and at the Academy of Music (beginning in the 1850s). A concert circuit developed during the 1840s, introducing solo performers and musical troupes to cities and towns throughout America. The most famous of these performers was the Swedish singer Jenny Lind, promoted by the greatest of all entertainment entrepreneurs of the century, Phineas T. Barnum. In 1853, New Orleans composer Louis Gottschalk returned from studies in Paris to pursue a successful career as a touring concert pianist, which provided him opportunities to perform his own music.

Early American performers and composers lacked the main sources of patronage that supported the European tradition of art music, such as the aristocracy and the Catholic church, and depended on entrepreneurs willing to market classical music to the public. In spite of efforts by musicians such as Philadelphia composer William Henry Fry in the 1850s to champion the cause of American music, orchestras and other performing groups felt that the financial risk remained too high to allow performances of unknown American pieces in place of proven European masterworks. Fry further noted that only composers with independent means could afford to devote time and resources to writing music. Following the Civil War, however, the idea of supporting music as an artistic and educational endeavor became popular, and a stable, professional musical culture finally took root in America. Subsidies supported resident orchestras and opera companies, helping to pay for music halls and touring expenses. Orchestras were established in St. Louis (1880), Boston (1881), Chicago (1891), and Cincinnati (1895). The New York Metropolitan Opera House opened in 1883. In 1870 a landmark event occurred when Harvard College hired composer John Knowles Paine as assistant professor of music. Later, Horatio Parker joined the faculty at Yale (1894), Edward MacDowell came to Columbia (1896), and George Whitefield Chadwick became the director of the New England Conservatory (1897). Since then, such teaching positions have provided financial security for many composers and performers.

An important group of American composers active at the end of the nineteenth century—including Paine, Parker, and Chadwick, sometimes labeled the "New England School" or the "Boston Classicists"—were related by background, interest, and age: each had studied in Germany, lived in Boston where their works were frequently performed, interacted in the same social circles, and composed in a primarily German Romantic style. New York composer MacDowell also spent time in Boston but was more widely recognized and also advocated a kind of musical nationalism. He incorporated American landscapes and indigenous music into his style, as in the Woodland Sketches (1896) and his Indian Suite (1896), which includes several Native American melodies. At the end of the century the German influence began to fade. The works of two early twentieth-century composers, Charles Martin Loeffler and Charles Tomlinson Griffes, instead display primarily French impressionist and Russian influences.

Twentieth-Century American Music

American composers produced a wealth of music over the course of the twentieth century. Some sought to innovate; others enriched European tradition. Most taught at universities or such conservatories as Juilliard (established 1905), the Eastman School of Music (1921), and the New England Conservatory (1867). The most unique of American composers at the turn of the century was Charles Ives, who prospered as the founder of an insurance firm and made musical composition his avocation. His orchestral and chamber works, choral music, and songs often predate similar experiments by European composers, employing innovative techniques such as polytonal effects, multilayered structures, tone clusters, microtones, and free, unmetrical rhythms. Ives often quotes American hymn and song tunes, and his descriptive pieces for orchestra are closely related to the American scene, including his Three Places in New England and The Housatonic at Stockbridge (which quotes the hymn tune "Dorrnance").

In the period following World War I, a group of composers arose who, although largely trained in the European tradition, were distinctly American in outlook: Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, Virgil Thomson, Marc Blitz-stein, and Roger Sessions. Most studied with the French teacher Nadia Boulanger, who believed a non-European perspective would produce innovative musical ideas. Copland, in particular, was an advocate of American music and at times fused jazz and folk elements into his compositions to create an audibly American style. Some African American composers, such as William Grant Still in his Afro American Symphony (1930), also practiced greater compositional diversity in an effort to express their heritage. Important symphonists in the traditional vein include Howard Hanson, Samuel Barber, Walter Piston, and William Schumann.

The most notable aspect of music in the twentieth century was an unparalleled diversity of musical styles resulting from the breakdown of the traditional tonal system and the disintegration of the idea of a universal musical language. Some composers, such as Milton Babbit, extended the serial techniques of Arnold Schoenbergand Anton Webern's "Viennese School." But many (including Henry Cowell, Harry Partch, and Edgar Varèse), inspired by Ives, largely abandoned traditional formal or technical practices and experimented with sound and other musical materials. John Cage continued this exploration with a technique termed "indeterminacy" that intentionally included some degree of chance in composition or performance. Others made notational innovations and sought out new instrumental resources, such as percussion (George Crumb), introduced rhythmic and textural innovations (Elliott Carter), and investigated the sounds of language (Babbitt). In the 1960s a group of composers, including Philip Glass and Steve Reich, attempted to bring music back to its most basic elements by working with drastically reduced means—a practice known as "minimalism." Experimentation reached its climax in the 1960s, but in the 1970s musicians including David Del Tredici and George Rochberg began to reintroduce tonality into their music. Electronic and synthesizer music have also been explored by Varèse, Cage, Babbitt, Morton Subotnick, and others.

During earlier periods in America when concerts were rare, particularly for people outside of cosmopolitan areas, most classical music was heard in the home, primarily in the performance of songs and piano pieces. After the Civil War, classical music found larger audiences because of the growing numbers of American symphony orchestras—1,400 by the late twentieth century. New halls and cultural centers opened in New York, Washington, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, and other cities; older halls, including former movie theaters, were renovated and restored in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Oakland, and St. Louis. Enrollment in conservatories and music schools and attendance at a growing number of summer music festivals increased. Many orchestras expanded their seasons, encouraged new music through composer-in-residence programs, and showed a remarkable ability to innovate in programming and format. Radio and television further disseminated music, as illustrated by the Metropolitan Opera's Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts beginning in 1940 and such public television series as "Great Performances" and "Live from Lincoln Center." Recordings have allowed unprecedented variety in musical consumption, allowing classical works, both new and old, by Americans and others, to be heard by anyone. Even in competition with the many other pursuits possible today, classical music remains a vital part of the musical culture of the United States.


Chase, Gilbert. America's Music: From the Pilgrims to the Present. 3rd. rev. ed. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992.

Crawford, Richard. The American Musical Landscape: The Business of Musicianship from Billings to Gershwin. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2000.

———. America's Musical Life: A History. New York: W. W. Norton, 2001.

Levin, Monroe. Clues to American Music. Washington, D.C.: Starrhill Press, 1992.

Sadie, Stanley, and H. Wiley Hitchcock, eds. The New Grove Dictionary of American Music. 4 vols. New York: Grove's Dictionaries of Music, 1986.

Martina B.Bishopp

Charles A.Weeks

Country and Western

Country and western music often referred to just as country music, eludes precise definition because of its many sources and varieties. It can best be understood as a style of popular music that originated in the folk culture of the rural south, a culture of European and African origin. Fiddlers,

banjo players, string bands, balladeers, and gospel singers drew upon existing music to develop materials suitable for performance at family and community events. As southerners migrated to northern cities in the early twentieth century, their music went with them; and, beginning in the 1920s, radio and recordings did much to popularize and diversify this music. In 1934, when a radio hillbilly singer from Texas named Orvon Gene Autry went to Hollywood, the era of the great cowboy singer in the movies began. The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, beginning in the 1940s, made that city a mecca for country music fans, many of whom listened religiously to its performances on the radio. The popularity of rock and roll through the revolution in popular music begun by Elvis Presley in the mid-1950s posed a challenge to country music, but the development of a new style known as country pop or the Nashville Sound countered it in part. By the 1990s country and western music had an international following.


Ching, Barbara. Wrong's What I Do Best: Hard Country Music and Contemporary Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Malone, Bill C. Country Music, U.S.A. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985.

———. Don't Get Above Your Raisin': Country Music and the Southern Working Class. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002.

Peterson, Richard A. Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.

Charles A.Weeks/a. e.

See alsoBallads ; Cowboy Songs ; Music Festivals ; Music: Bluegrass, Popular ; Nashville .

Early American

By the early eighteenth century, the English colonies on the eastern seaboard stretched from Maine to Georgia. They were replicas of English culture in terms of language, religion, social institutions, and customs, including music. While the population at this time included many Native Americans and newly arrived Africans, the colonists seemed little influenced by their cultures. The middle colonies were the most ethnically diverse, attracting people from all over Europe, including Germany, Sweden, France, and Holland. Nevertheless, the New England Puritans had considerable influence in shaping both the American ethos and American music. While the Puritans considered secular music frivolous and attempted to limit its place in society, they considered the singing of psalms the highest form of spiritual expression.

The music of the colonists was based on British and other European genres, which included sacred music of the Protestant Church, classical music, and popular music, including ballads, madrigals, theater songs, dance music, and broadsides. While the musical life of each colonist depended on socio-economic factors, religious beliefs, and geographical location, there was much crossover of musical traditions. The same repertories passed through all strata of society, although performed differently according to context. The performance of religious music, especially in New England, gave rise to the first music schools in America and the first truly American composers.

Sacred Music in the Eighteenth Century

The a cappella singing of vernacular translations of the psalms by a whole congregation was common in Protestant England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Both Puritans and Anglicans continued this tradition in the American colonies. Some of the earliest books in the Colonies were Psalters, which include texts of the Psalms. The Puritans who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 brought with them the Book of Psalms, published in Holland by Henry Ainsworth in 1612.

By the beginning of the eighteenth century, New England church leaders were dissatisfied with the state of hymn singing among their congregations. Many of the colonists did not read music, which led them to rely on the practice of "lining out," a call and response form originating in England, whereby the music was taught orally. While Psalters were readily available, including the popular Bay Psalm Book first published in America in 1642, most included text without musical notation. Therefore, new versions of the musical settings began to emerge through the process of oral tradition. Leaders in the church deplored this lack of standardization and the low level of musical literacy.

By the mid-eighteenth century, singing schools were established in New England. Boston became the first center for singing schools in the 1720s, and the practice gradually spread. The teachers were mostly itinerant singing masters who were the first professional musicians in New England. They typically spent several weeks in a community teaching participants to read music and to learn psalm tunes. The classes were designed as both a religious and a secular activity, primarily for teenagers and young adults. Participants learned the art of singing within the church setting, but hymn singing also took place outside the church—in homes, in taverns, and at parties. It became a social pastime and a form of amateur entertainment. As the general level of singing improved, singing provided a new expression of community.

The singing schools helped to raise the level of music literacy, expanded the repertoire, increased the demand for new books, and encouraged American composers to create new music. One of the most influential New England composers of this period was the musician, song-writer, and singing master William Billings (1746–1800), who published numerous collections of religious music, including the New England Psalm Singer (1770) and The Singing Master's Assistant (1778).

In the South, singing schools were maintained well into the nineteenth century. The schools took two paths of development. One was the regular singing of hymns and psalms, which led to the formation of choirs and choral societies, while the other was a more rural, folk-oriented style. This form of communal singing became part of the outdoor, religious camp meetings of the early nineteenth century, a period known as the "Great Awakening."

Secular Music in the Eighteenth Century

Most secular music performed in the colonies also originated in England. Until after the Revolution, musicians, music, instruments, and music books were imported, and this had a tremendous impact on home entertainment and what was performed on concert stages. While theater performances were restricted for religious reasons, especially in the North, by the 1730s, almost all American cities held public concerts. Charleston, South Carolina, was one of the most musical cities in the colonies before the Revolution, and the oldest musical society in North America, the St. Cecilia Society, was founded there in 1762. As cities grew and became more prosperous, music making grew closer to its counterpart in England, where classical music, plays, ballad operas, and dancing were extremely popular. The music there became more like that in England, where the rage was classical music, plays, ballad operas, and dancing. By the 1750s and 1760s, there were theater performances in most major cities.

One of the most popular types of entertainment throughout the colonies was country-dancing, another import from England. Although thought to have originated with rural folk, by the sixteenth century country-dances had been appropriated by the upper classes and moved into a ballroom setting. Both men and women performed these figure dances in line, square, and circle formations. By the eighteenth century, lines of men and women faced each other in the most popular form, the "longways for as many as will" country-dance.

Country-dancing took place regularly at balls, assemblies, private parties, and taverns in the colonies and provided entertainment for all social classes, though urban dance events for the elite were usually held in elegant ballrooms. As in England, dancing was regarded as a necessary social skill for social advancement. Itinerant dancing masters taught both dancing and etiquette throughout the colonies. John Griffiths, a dancing master who traveled and taught between Boston and New York in the 1780s and 1790s, published the first collection of country-dances in America, A Collection of Figures of the Newest and Most Fashionable Country-Dances (1786).

The tunes associated with the country-dance came from a variety of sources. While some tunes were part of the common repertory handed down by oral tradition in England, Scotland, Ireland, and America, others were new. They were found not only in country-dance books, but also on broadsides, in collections of theater, instrumental, and vocal music, and in tutors for various instruments. Country-dances were often performed at the end of theater productions, and dancing masters borrowed popular tunes and songs from the stage to create and songs from the stage to create new dances. Some of the country-dance tunes from this period, such as "Fisher's Hornpipe," "Irish Wash Woman," and "St. Patrick's Day in the Morning" are still found in the repertories of traditional dance musicians today.

Music in America: 1780–1860

After the Revolution, there was an increase in musical activity, and a new demand for instruments, instruction tutors, and printed copies of pieces performed on stage and in concert halls. American printing also increased, especially in the form of sheet music. Movable type became more common in the 1780s and marked the rise of specialty publishing. While the printing of Psalm tune anthologies burgeoned in the 1760s and 1770s, major anthologies of secular instrumental music did not appear until the 1780s.

The first American publishers of secular music were established in Philadelphia, including Benjamin Carr (1768–1831), who arrived from England in 1791 and quickly became known as a singer in ballad operas, as well as a composer, arranger, and publisher. Carr and his son imported much of their music from Europe, but also published music by local musicians, including the first edition of the patriotic song, "Hail Columbia" (1798), with music by Philip Phile and lyrics by John Hopkinson.

New York and Boston also became important publishing centers. The publishing houses in these cities had close ties with the theaters, and their early catalogues consisted largely of theater songs. By 1840, publishing as a whole was concentrated in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. Major publishers, such as the Oliver Ditson Company of Boston, had near monopolies on the new music industry, including ownership of retail stores, publishing, distribution of music and musical supplies, and the manufacture of musical instruments.

The tremendous social and regional diversity of nineteenth-century America led to more clear-cut distinctions between traditional, popular, and classical music. For example, the Irish and Scottish immigrants who settled in the Appalachian Mountains during the late eighteenth century continued to pass down a distinct repertory of old ballads and tunes through oral tradition well into the twentieth century, partly because of their geographical isolation. Music on the western frontier was by necessity different from urban centers on the Eastern seaboard. The first Italian opera performances, such as the 1818 Philadelphia premier of Rossini's Barber of Seville, were restricted to the major cities, where new musical organizations and patrons made such productions possible.

The period before the Civil War saw both the growth of classical music performance and the creation of the first orchestras (The Philharmonic Society of New York was the first, in 1842) and the rise of popular entertainment genres. Military and civic bands proliferated throughout the country and played for all kinds of ceremonial events. With the introduction of keyed brass instruments in the 1830s, all-brass ensembles soon replaced the Revolutionary-era ensembles of clarinets, flutes, bassoons, trumpets, and drums. Band repertories included military, patriotic, and popular pieces of the day.

The nineteenth century also saw the rise of social dance ensembles called quadrille bands. The quadrille, a social dance performed in sets of four couples in square formation, was exported from France to England in 1815, and soon after to America. By the mid-nineteenth century, the quadrille and variant forms—such as the Lancers and the Polka Quadrille—were extremely popular in both urban and rural settings. A large body of music repertory was published for the typical ensemble of first violin, second violin, clarinet, two coronets, bass, flute, viola, cello, trombone, and piano.

Popular songs were also an important part of theater productions, concerts, and home entertainment. The first songs published in America in the 1780s were in the form of sheet music and arranged for solo voice and piano. Irish and Scottish songs were popular at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and the growing consumer market was flooded by arrangements of new songs set to traditional airs by Irishmen Thomas Moore (1779–1852) and Samuel Lover (1797–1868).

As the century progressed, the minstrel song emerged as one of the first distinctly American genres. Created by white Americans in blackface for the entertainment of other white people, minstrel songs caricatured slave life on the plantation, creating and maintaining grotesque stereotypes of African American customs and behavior. While the first performers in the 1820s were solo acts, by the 1840s, blackface performers toured in troupes. The most famous of these groups was Christy's Minstrels, who first performed in New York in 1846. Like other groups of the period, all of their music was from the Anglo-American tradition. By the 1850s, black performers formed minstrel troupes, and many groups were touring by the 1870s.

The most famous songwriter to emerge from this period was Stephen Foster (1826–1864), whose "Oh Susanna" (1848), "Old Folks at Home" (1851), "My Old Kentucky Home" (1853), and "Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair" (1854) are considered classics. Foster was influenced by both the lyrical Anglo-Irish song repertory and the minstrel song tradition. His songs range from nostalgic, sentimental songs about love and loss to typical minstrel songs in dialect. His songs in the early 1850s were more in the mold of earlier songwriters such as Thomas Moore, and it was these works that influenced a whole generation of songwriters after the Civil War.


Chase, Gilbert. America's Music: From the Pilgrims to the Present. 3d ed. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987.

Crawford, Richard. The American Musical Landscape. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

Davis, Ronald L. A History of Music in American Life: The Formative Years, 1620–1865. Huntington, N.Y.: Krieger, 1982.

Hamm, Charles. Music in the New World. New York: Norton, 1983.

Hast, Dorothea. Music, Dance, and Community: Contra Dance in New England. Doctoral dissertation, Wesleyan University, 1994.

Hitchcock, H. Wiley. Music in the United States: A Historical Introduction. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2000.

Krummel, D. W. "Publishing and Printing of Music." In The New Grove Dictionary of American Music. Edited by H. Wiley Hitchcock and Stanley Sadie. New York: Grove's Dictionaries of Music, 1986.

MacPherson, William A. The Music of the English Country Dance 1651–1728. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, 1984.

Van Cleef, Joy, and Kate Keller. "Selected American Country Dances and Their English Sources." In Music in Colonial Massachusetts 1630–1830: Music in Public Places. Boston: The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 1980.

Dorothea E.Hast

Seevol. 9:National Songs, Ballads, and Other Patriotic Poetry, Chiefly Relating to the War of 1846 .

Folk Revival

The American folk music revival began in the early twentieth century with collectors and folklorists who sought to preserve regional American music traditions, and composers and performers who wanted to bring these traditions into the concert hall. From the late 1920s until World War II, the work of folklorists and performers took two paths: the first was to promote and encourage rural musicians who were considered tradition bearers, such as Leadbelly and Molly Jackson, and the second was to use music to raise political consciousness, as in the performances of such artists as Woody Guthrie and the Almanac Singers. Between 1928 and 1934, four large folk festivals were organized in the rural South in an effort to bring performers out of isolation and to create new audiences. Interest in regional American music was also fueled by

the creation of numerous government-sponsored folklore projects of the Works Progress Administration. During this same period, folk music became ideologically associated with protest music, especially among left-wing urbanites. Drawing on both the music of earlier protest movements and newly composed repertory, performers such as Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Pete Seeger, Cisco Huston, Josh White, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGee, and Lee Hays performed at union rallies, hootenannies, and for a variety of social causes throughout the 1940s.

The movement gained momentum after World War II and adopted three routes for its development: the cultivation of a variety of world folk musics and dances, a rediscovery and appreciation of rural American music, and the growth of new urban styles devoted to political issues and social commentary. Publications and organizations such as The People's Song Book (1948 and 1956) and Lift Every Voice (1953) disseminated political music through print media, recordings, and performances. In the 1950s, the commercial success of the Weavers, Harry Belafonte, and the Kingston Trio ushered in a new relationship between folk music and the mass media. The Weavers' rendition of "Goodnight Irene" is estimated to have sold over four million records in 1952.

At the peak of the revival in the 1960s, civil rights activism, resistance to the Vietnam War, and a youth subculture gave rise to new and mixed folk genres that entered into the mainstream. The increased visibility of acoustic folk music among college youth and others created a boom in concerts, folk festivals, recordings, broadcasts, instrument sales, and informal music making. Many college-educated musicians were drawn into the serious study and recreation of folk styles, including old time, bluegrass, blues, New England contra dance, and Cape Breton fiddling. Although folk music was perceived as "people's music," in the 1960s it was in many ways no less a commercial genre than country music and rock and roll. The major figures associated with this period include Pete Seeger; Bob Dylan; Joan Baez; and Peter, Paul, and Mary.


Cantwell, Robert. When We Were Good: The Folk Revival. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996.

Denisoff, R. Serge. Great Day Coming: Folk Music and the American Left. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971.

Hast, Dorothea. Music, Dance, and Community: Contra Dance in New England. Ph.D. diss., Wesleyan University, 1994.

Slobin, Mark. "Fiddler Off the Roof: Klezmer Music as an Ethnic Musical Style." In The Jews of North America. Edited by Moses Rischin. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987.

Whisnant, David E. All That Is Native and Fine: The Politics of Culture in an American Religion. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983.

Dorothea E.Hast


Gospel hymns originated within the Protestant evangelical church in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, popularized through the revival meetings conducted by Dwight L. Moody and his musical partner Ira D. Sand-key. The popularity of expressing one's religious experience through song convinced Sandkey to create a publication designed to bring the gospel hymn to a wider audience. With business partner Phillip P. Bliss, in 1875 Sankey published Gospel Hymns and Sacred Songs. The hymns were especially successful in the South, where songs like "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" demonstrated both the religious and commercial appeal of gospel music. For the next four decades, the classic southern gospel quartet—four men and a piano—dominated revival and secular gospel singing. Thomas Dorsey, an African American from Chicago, challenged that traditional arrangement when he introduced the sounds of ragtime and the blues to accompany the religious text of the hymn. The founder and creative force behind the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, Dorsey composed some 500 hymns, including the hit "Move On Up a Little Higher," performed by Mahalia Jackson in 1947. Gospel music continued to attract a larger audience over the next two decades, including the popularity of James Cleveland's traditional-sounding Gospel Choir tour and Edwin Hawkins's rhythm and blues "Oh Happy Day," which reached number one on Billboard's Top Fifty Chart in 1969. Between 1970 and 2000, gospel music, sometimes referred to as "praise music" or simply "Christian music" had become a billion-dollar industry.


Blackwell, Lois S. The Wings of the Dove: The Story of Gospel Music in America. Norfolk, Va.: Donning Press, 1978.

Harris, Michael W. The Rise of Gospel Blues: The Music of Thomas Andrew Dorsey in the Urban Church. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

David O'DonaldCullen


Through the twentieth century and in earlier times, music has been a major marker of ethnicity and nationality and an indispensable component of the ceremonial, spiritual, and social life of Native American cultures. Ubiquitous in the daily cycle of tribal activity and in the year and life cycles of typical societies, music became in the twentieth century a significant part of the arsenal of cultural survival and revival, and has made a distinctive contribution to mainstream American popular and concert music. The importance of music is illustrated by its prominent appearance in virtually every event in which Native Americans mark or celebrate their cultural traditions.

Comparative study suggests that in distant, prehistoric times, virtually all ceremonies included music and dance; that music was thought to possess great spiritual and medicinal powers; that the creation of music was seen as the result of contact with the supernatural; that songs played a major role in recreational activities such as intra and inter-tribal games; and that distinctions were made between songs available to everyone and songs available only to particular groups of shamans or priests, or that were owned by clans, families, or individuals. Songs were transmitted through aural tradition and learned from hearing, but nevertheless maintained consistency. Depending on aesthetic and cultural values, some societies permitted individual singers to develop personal variants of songs, while others prohibited and punished mistakes and creative departures. With significant exceptions—and in contrast to South America—men played a quantitatively greater role in musical life than women. While varying enormously, the words of songs might consist of brief spiritual statements ("This grass, it is powerful"), accounts of visions ("Bird is here; it makes the sky yellow"), and the hopes of a team in a gambling game ("It is hidden in one of these"); they might also be extended complex poems narrating history and myth.

Each tribe had its own complement of instruments, but virtually all had various kinds of drums, rattles, and other percussion and many used flutes of various sorts and whistles. The vast preponderance of musical performance was, however, vocal.

Historical Native American music is stylistically unified and easily distinguished from other world traditions. In sound it is most like native South American music, and like that of tribal societies in northern and easternmost Asia, underscoring historical relationships. The early contact map of North American societies suggests a number of related but distinct musical areas that roughly parallel cultural areas. However, songs associated with children, children's games, adult gambling games, and love charms were stylistically identical throughout the continent.

The traditional songs of all tribes were typically short and repeated many times in performance, melodic without harmony, and accompanied by percussion. Music of different areas differed in structure (for example, aabbcc in some Great Basin tribes, aa bcd bcd in Plains music, call-and-response patterns in the Southeast, and so on); in preferred melodic contour (sharply descending in Plains music, undulating with an occasional ascent in Yuman cultures, very complex in Pueblo music); and most important, in the singing style and type of vocal sound preferred (high and harsh in the Northern Plains, nasal-sounding in some Apache and Navajo singing, deep and raspy in some Pueblo genres).

North American Indian musical culture has changed enormously since it was first recorded around 1890. Disappearance of tribes and cultures and their musics was balanced by the development of intertribal, continent-wide musical genres. Significant among these was the music of the Ghost Dance movement, derived from music of the Great Basin area, and from peyote songs, which are shared by many tribes that have members in the Native American Church.

The most vigorous musical development, dating from the mid-twentieth century and continuing into the twenty-first century, accompanies powwows and social events celebrating tribal or broadly Native identity and culture and consists largely of singing and dancing. Adopted (by 1970) by virtually all American Indian peoples, the dance costume and song styles of powwows are derived from historical Plains practices. Featuring singing groups of from six to eight men (and, since about 1980, also women) sitting around a drum (the groups therefore called Drums), powwows often permit participation by non-Natives and may have the function of introducing Native American culture to non-Indians.

Native American musicians made distinctive contributions to mainstream American forms of music in the late twentieth century. Popular singers of the 1960s and 1970s such as Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jim Pepper, and Peter LaFarge sang about oppression and other subjects of currency, with music referring to Indian styles and instruments. In the 1980s and 1990s, rock groups such as Xit and Ulali fashioned distinctive sounds combining European and Indian elements. A number of musicians, prominently the Navajo-Ute artist Carlos Nakai, have developed Native-oriented flute music. In the world of classical music, Louis Ballard is most prominent.


Frisbie, Charlotte J., ed. Southwestern Indian Ritual Drama. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1980.

Levine, Victoria. Writing American Indian Music: Historic Transcriptions, Notations, and Arrangements. Middleton, Wisc.: A-R Editions, 2002. An anthology, with detailed annotations, illustrating the way Indian songs were notated by scholars and musicians starting in the nineteenth century.

Merriam, Alan P. Ethnomusicology of the Flathead Indians. Chicago: Aldine, 1967. A landmark study providing information on music and its cultural context in one tribal society.

"Music of the American Indians/First Nations in the United States and Canada." In The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Volume 3: The United States and Canada, edited by Ellen Koskoff. New York: Garland, 2001. A reference book consisting of short essays by a number of authorities, for the nonspecialist.

Vander, Judith. Songprints: The Musical Experience of Five Shoshone Women. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988.


See alsoDance, Indian ; Music: Popular ; andvol. 9:Land of the Spotted Eagle .


Popular music is embraced by the populace and includes almost all forms except classical and jazz, which are considered to be more elite. In America, the early white settlers had a low regard for music because of their religious beliefs, in contrast with the Native population, which used music for communication and ceremony. Among Native Americans there was neither "high" nor "low" music—music was simply a part of community life. Thus, popular music did not take root in the United States until the eighteenth century, primarily in the form of theatrical entertainments, including ballad operas drawn from European influences, and minstrel shows that were racist parodies of black life. Minstrels were generally white artists who darkened their faces with burnt cork.

In the nineteenth century, the most popular American songwriter was Stephen Foster, whose nostalgic songs "Beautiful Dreamer" and "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair" were staples in white American homes. During the Civil War, minstrelsy continued to be popular along with a new form of entertainment, vaudeville. By the end of the nineteenth century, the music that came from the New York City sheet music publishers located in "Tin Pan Alley" captured much popular attention. Among the crazes at the beginning of the twentieth century was rag-time, whose premier composer was Scott Joplin. Ragtime took its name from the practice of "ragging" tunes, or improvising them into lively, syncopated dance music.

In the meantime, former slaves were streaming into cities and developing new forms of their indigenous music, spirituals and blues. Until the twentieth century, this music was not generally published or written down, but rather passed on from person to person. Early blues were based on a variety of musical sources ranging from African to Middle Eastern and Spanish. There were both country blues, including delta blues, and urban blues, named after various cities including Chicago. While ragtime and the blues were primarily the forerunners of jazz, they also inspired rock and roll.

In 1879, Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore opened in America and began a long love affair with the musical theater. Show tunes were hummed and sung in homes and in the movies. Among the greatest show tune composers were George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and later, Stephen Sondheim.

By about 1930, phonographs and radios became widely available and popular music—as performed by professional musicians—became accessible to the masses, not just those who lived in big cities or could afford to buy tickets for performances in theaters and nightclubs. It was common for families to gather around the radio and listen to the swing music performed by big bands such as those led by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and sometimes even black musicians such as Duke Ellington. While the bands were mostly segregated, some race mixing occurred in solo performances since, after all, no one could see the performers on the radio. Bing Crosby and Perry Como were among the best-known singers to work with big bands.

Radio also enabled white audiences to listen to stations intended for black audiences. The black music, then called "race" music, was especially exciting to young white people who were enthralled by the edgy rawness of blues and rhythm and blues. By 1945, many white teenagers had become enamored of "jumpin' jive," played by such artists as Louis Jordan. As teens started to buy the records, the recording industry went into a tailspin. The industry's response to white interest in black music was twofold. In some instances, white artists made covers of black songs. For example, in 1956, singer Pat Boone recorded a sanitized version of Little Richard's 1955 rhythm-and-blues classic "Tutti Frutti," and Boone's version vastly outsold the original. In other instances, the white recording establishment decided to go head-to-head with the sexually open lyrics and staccato beat of black musicians. Thus, the hip-gyrating, southern-roots sound of Elvis Presley was born.

Before long, radio stations were playing racially mixed music, which caused outrage in some white circles, and was vehemently denounced in white newspapers and from the pulpits. Nevertheless, Elvis Presley became an enormous star, British musicians including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones immersed themselves in rhythm and blues, and rock and roll became an unstoppable phenomenon.

Over the years, rock has become a catchall term for a wide range of popular music styles such as pop, country rock, doo-wop, surf music, folk rock, bubblegum music, jazz rock, psychedelic rock, funk, disco, glitter and glam rock, hard rock, heavy metal, punk rock, new wave, and alternative and underground rock. Popular music styles played mostly by black musicians, such as soul, Motown, ska, reggae, hip hop, and rap music, are also considered rock.


Charlton, Katherine. Rock Music Styles: A History. Boston: Mc Graw Hill, 1998.

Ward, Geoffrey C. Jazz: A History of America's Music. New York: Knopf, 2000.

Londré, Felicia Hardison, and Daniel J. Watermeier. The History of North American Theater: The United States, Canada, and Mexico from Pre-Columbian Times to the Present. New York: Continuum, 1999.

Luther, Frank. Americans and Their Songs. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1942.

Rebekah PressonMosby

See alsoTin Pan Alley ; andvol. 9:Lyrics of Over There .

Theater and Film

Some of the richest strains of American music have emerged from stage and screen. Puritan culture and foreign influences retarded the development of a native stage musical tradition, but the late nineteenth century saw the emergence of genuinely American music theater from Reginald De Koven (Robin Hood, 1890), John Philip Sousa (El Capitan, 1896), George M. Cohan (Little Johnny Jones, 1904), and Victor Herbert (Naughty Marietta, 1910). In the niche between European operetta and theatrical burlesque emerged composers like Jerome Kern (Show Boat, 1927) and George Gershwin, both of whom drew upon black musical traditions, as in Kern's "Ol' Man River" and the whole of Gershwin's operatic Porgy and Bess (1935). Vincent Youmans (No, No, Nanette, 1923), Sigmund Romberg (The Desert Song, 1926), and Cole Porter (Anything Goes, 1934) furthered the popularity of original musical theater.

The "Broadway musical," integrating story, dance, and song, achieved supreme popularity and influence in the mid-twentieth-century collaborations of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, including Oklahoma! (1943), Carousel (1945), and South Pacific (1949). These works helped to inspire a golden age of musicals by the likes of Irving Berlin (Annie Get Your Gun, 1946), Frank Loesser (Guys and Dolls, 1950), Frederick Loewe (My Fair Lady, 1956), Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story, 1957), and Jule Style (Gypsy, 1959). Stephen Sondheim, lyricist for the last two shows, went on to a successful composing career of his own in increasingly ambitious works like A Little Night Music (1973) and Sweeney Todd (1979). By the end of the century, rising production costs, demand for theatrical spectacle, and the narrowing of the popular musical mainstream led to renewed foreign domination of Broadway (e.g., Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables), although native composers enjoyed striking successes with A Chorus Line (Marvin Hamlisch, 1975), Dreamgirls (Henry Krieger, 1981), and Rent (Jonathan Larson, 1996).

Many Broadway classics, including all of Rodgers and Hammerstein's key works, were adapted as Hollywood films to great domestic success, although film musicals did not export as well as other Hollywood product. There was also a thriving tradition of original screen musicals from the beginning of the sound era (42nd Street, Dames, Meet Me in St. Louis, Singin' in the Rain), although most of these films drew heavily upon the existing body of popular song. The Wizard of Oz (Harold Arlen, 1939) has become one of the best-loved of all American movies.

Moviemakers have always used music to heighten drama and set the scene. The "silent era" was never without sound. Sometimes a pianist would play along; at other times an orchestra played classical selections. Studios hired libraries of "mood" music for theaters. Occasionally, a major production such as D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915) used specially composed music, played by teams of musicians traveling with the film.

The innovation of "talkies" in the late 1920s sealed the marriage of film and music. Studios employed full orchestras and hired eminent composers to create original scores. By 1940, film music had become a highly specialized compositional form. In the golden age of film music (c. 1935–1960), such composers as the immigrants Max Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Franz Waxman, Dimitri Tiomkin, and Miklós Rózsa and the native-born Alfred Newman, Roy Webb, Bernard Herrmann, and later Alex North, Henry Mancini, Elmer Bernstein, and Jerry Goldsmith created compelling symphonic and jazz-based film scores.

The advent of rock and roll inspired a trend of incorporating pop songs into films, beginning with Richard Brooks's use of Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" in Blackboard Jungle (1955). Elvis Presley's strong screen presence made hits of a mostly mediocre string of movie musicals from 1956 to 1972. The integration of popular songs by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel was central to the huge success of The Graduate (1967). The disco movement of the late 1970s spawned such film scores as the Bee Gees songs for Saturday Night Fever (1977). Director Spike Lee gave African American music greater prominence in Do the Right Thing (1989), which employed a radical rap and blues soundtrack.

America's characteristic musical eclecticism continued in the early 2000s. The symphonic tradition revived mightily in the hands of the enormously popular John Williams (Star Wars [1977], Schindler's List [1993]), who became a sort of unofficial American composer laureate. And the movie musical was revitalized by the influence of Music Television's video style in Moulin Rouge (2001).


Gänzl, Kurt. The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre. 2d ed. New York: Schirmer Books, 2001.

Gänzl, Kurt, and Andrew Lamb. Gänzl's Book of the Musical Theatre. New York: Schirmer Books, 1989.

Palmer, Christopher. The Composer in Hollywood. London: Marion Boyars, 1990.

Prendergast, Roy M. Film Music, A Neglected Art. 2d ed. New York: Norton, 1992.

Romney, Jonathan, and Adrian Wooten, eds. Celluloid Jukebox: Popular Music and the Movies since the Fifties. London: BFI Press, 1995.


Graham RussellHodges

See alsoFilm ; Theater .


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The beginnings of ethnomusicology are usually traced back to the 1880s and 1890s, when studies were initiated primarily in Germany and in the United States. Early in this development there appeared a dual division of emphasis that has remained throughout the history of the field.


Two polar positions on a definition of “ethnomusicology” are most frequently enunciated: the first is embodied in such statements as “ethnomusicology is the total study of non-Western music,” and the second in “ethnomusicology is the study of music in culture.” The first derives from a supposition that ethnomusicology should concern itself with certain geographical areas of the world; those who hold this point of view tend to treat the music structurally. The second stresses music in its cultural context, no matter in what geographical area of the world and is concerned with music as human behavior and the functions of music in human society and culture. Consequently, its emphasis on musical structure is not as great, although it does use objective techniques of detailing a musical style to effectuate comparison between song bodies and to attack problems of diffusion, acculturation, and culture history.

Thus one emphasis in ethnomusicology concerns the description and analysis of technical aspects of musical structure. In early writings this aim tended to be coupled with attempts to use the concept of social evolution to establish basic laws of the development of music structure through time. Particular attention was also directed toward the problem of the ultimate origin of music; and later, with the rise of Kulturkreis theories and particularly in connection with the study of musical instruments, detailed reconstructions of music diffusion from supposed basic geographical centers were attempted.

The second emphasis in ethnomusicology was directed toward the study of music in its ethnologic context, and research in this area was influenced by American anthropology. As a result, extreme theories of evolution and diffusion were strongly discounted.

Ethnomusicology has thus developed in two directions. On the one hand, music is treated as a structure that operates, it is presumed, according to certain principles inherent in its own construction. On the other hand, since music is produced by and for people, it must also be regarded as a product of human behavior operating within a cultural context and in conjunction with all the other facets of human behavior. The duality of music as a human phenomenon is thus emphasized in ethnomusicological studies; while musical sound has structure, that structure is produced by human behavior and operates in a total cultural context.

Ethnomusicology has also been shaped by various historical processes. Arising at a time when virtually nothing was known outside Western and, to a certain extent, Oriental cultures, ethnomusicology placed heavy emphasis on the unknown areas of the world—Africa, aboriginal North and South America, Oceania, inner Asia, Indonesia. Thus the development of ethnomusicology to a considerable extent paralleled that of anthropology: both disciplines were forced to deal with all these areas at once—the anthropologist with the total cultures of the so-called “primitive” peoples and the ethnomusicologist with the total study of their music. Thus there arose in ethnomusicology a body of techniques and a system of analysis, which, while drawing upon studies of Western music, have taken some unique turns.

Music structure

Ethnomusicologists are engaged in a search for the proper balance between the basic parts of their discipline, and this search tends to be made within the framework of three major responsibilities felt by scholars in the field.

The first of these areas is the technical study of music structure itself and of how it can best be learned, described, generalized, and compared in specific instances. Even here there is divergence of opinion, as one group of ethnomusicologists argues that the best way to learn a music system is by learning to perform in its style. Performance, most notably in Indonesian and Far Eastern orchestras and styles, is stressed by some scholars, and in many cases with notable results. On the other hand, this approach is criticized by those who hold that performance cannot be the ultimate goal of ethnomusicology and that the value of performance tends to be overstressed.

Ethnomusicologists are agreed, however, that musical sound must ultimately be reduced to notation. Notation by ear in the field is considered unreliable because of the many nuances that are lost, and the usual procedure is to work by ear from tape or disc recordings. In recent years the possibilities of constructing electronic equipment that will give a far more accurately detailed transcription have been explored, and preliminary results indicate that such equipment may, indeed, be both feasible and useful.

The precise transcription of scale systems tuned in intervals different from the Western scale remains somewhat difficult, although such measuring devices as the monochord, electronic equipment, and the cents system can, and do, bring a high degree of precision. Most ethnomusicologists, however, use the Western staff system for notation, employing various special signs to indicate pitch differences and discussing the precise tunings in the body of their report. Analysis is almost always couched in objective, arithmetical, and sometimes statistical terms, with frequencies of appearance of specific characteristics related to the total possibility of the sample. Those characteristics of the music usually considered include melodic range, level, direction, and contour; melodic intervals and interval patterns; ornamentation and melodic de-vices; melodic meter and rhythm; durational values; formal structure; scale, mode, duration tone, and (subjective) tonic; meter and rhythm; tempo; and vocal style. Other characteristics may be added by the individual student, and almost every body of song demands unique attention in some respects.

There remain, however, a number of difficulties in the technical analysis of music. The first of these concerns transcription itself and the accuracy that can be achieved through the use of the human ear. Closely connected with this is the unresolved question of how accurate a transcription must be; that is, can one generalize, or must the accuracy be as high as that presaged by the advent of electronic equipment? A third problem concerns sampling. Theoretically, at least, the musical universe of any given people is infinite, and the questions are thus how large a sample yields reliable results and whether a larger sample will yield significantly different results from a smaller one. It must also be decided whether one type of song in a given culture is significantly different from another and, if so, whether these types must be treated separately or lumped together into a general set of results for the entire body of music. Finally, there is the major problem of which elements of a musical style are significant, and whether those that are significant are also characteristic. Despite these questions, the technical analysis of musical style has reached a point at which a high degree of precision is possible, and the directions in which analysis has thus far moved seem clearly to be those that will be refined and more fully exploited in the future.

Musical instruments. Associated with the study of musical structure is the study of musical instruments, taken from both the technical and the distributional points of view. Ethnomusicology has supplied detailed studies of the construction and tuning of instruments, as well as a precise classification of instruments according to the mechanism of sound production (aerophones, chordophones, idiophones, and membranophones). Distributional and diffusion studies of instruments are found for many parts of the world.

Music as human behavior

Musical sound does not and cannot constitute a system that operates outside the control of human beings. It is thus a product of the behavior that produces it. Behavior includes a wide variety of phenomena, but within the rubric four particularly important facets can be segregated. The first of these refers to the physical behavior of the musician and his audience. In order to produce vocal sounds, the musician must control the vocal organs and the muscles of throat and diaphragm in certain ways; likewise, in producing instrumental music his breath control and manipulation of fingers or lips upon the instrument can only be achieved through training, whether the musician trains himself or is trained by others. It has further been noted that in performing, musicians take on characteristic bodily postures, tensions, and attitudes, and attempts are being made to correlate these with types of music styles. Similarly, the audience responds to music in physical and physiological ways, but little is known of this phenomenon cross-culturally.

A second form of behavior in this context is the social behavior that accompanies music. In response to his social role, the individual musician behaves in specific ways according to his own concept of what that role entails, as well as in response to the pressures placed upon him by society at large. Being a musician means behaving according to culturally defined values; for him, the attitudes and expectations of society, as well as his own attitudes toward himself, define what is considered to be “musicianly.” But society is shaped also by the musician and his music, for it is often the latter that gives the cues for proper behavior in a given social situation.

The third important aspect of music behavior concerns learning both on the part of the specialist and the layman. The musician needs training, whether it is achieved through imitation, apprenticeship, formal schooling, or some other device. Similarly, the nonspecialist learns his music system sufficiently to participate to some extent and certainly well enough to differentiate it from other systems.

Finally, verbal behavior is involved in music to the extent to which analytic comment is made by members of a culture on their music system.

Theory of music. Beneath the level of behavior as such, however, lies a deeper level, that of the conceptualization of music. The ethnomusicologist deals with why music sounds the way it does, as well as with the “musts” and “shoulds” of music. Although little material of this kind is available as yet, the problems lie in the nature of the distinctions made between music and nonmusic, the sources from which music is drawn, techniques of composition, the inheritance of musical ability, and other questions of a similar nature. In other words, before music behavior can be acted out, there must be underlying concepts in terms of which the behavior is shaped.

There exists, then, a continuum of levels of analysis in the study of musical behavior: music must begin with basic concepts and values, which in turn are translated into actual behavior; this in turn is directed toward the achievement of a specific musical product, or structural sound.

There remains one further aspect of the continuum, however, and this appears in the acceptance or rejection of the final product both by the musician and by the members of the society at large. If the product is acceptable to both, then the concepts out of which it has arisen are reinforced and the behavior perfected insofar as possible; if, on the other hand, the product is not adjudged acceptable, then concepts must be changed and translated into different behavior in order to adjust the structured sound to what is considered proper. The product thus inevitably feeds back upon the concept, which in turn shapes behavior so that the product, again, will be successful. Both here and on the behavioral level, ideas and techniques of musical training are of the utmost importance.

Under the stimulation of anthropological problems, methods, and theory, the behavioral aspects of ethnomusicology have begun to take on added interest; and by 1950 “ethnomusicology” was replacing the older term “comparative musicology” (vergleichende Musikwissenschaft ).

Ethnomusicology and related fields

Growing out of the studies of those interested primarily in music as human behavior has been a third area of responsibility for ethnomusicologists, and this concerns the relationship of the field to other kinds of studies. Two major avenues of research have opened here, the first in the relationship of ethnomusicology to the study of the other arts, and the second in its relationship to the social sciences.

Relations with the arts. In respect to the arts as a whole, ethnomusicologists have begun to turn to problems of general aesthetics as these are illuminated by the cross-cultural perspective of comparative music studies. One such problem is the nature of what is called the aesthetic in Western culture, for those few ethnomusicologists who have considered the subject have in general agreed that the term does not translate well to other cultures, particularly those of nonliterate peoples where the underlying assumptions about music tend to run along different lines. There is a strong suggestion that for most peoples outside Western and Eastern civilization music may be a functional rather than an aesthetic complex in which major emphasis is placed upon what music does rather than philosophic speculation on what it is. This in turn has considerable bearing upon the Western assumption of the interrelatedness of the various arts. What empirical evidence is available seems to indicate that most other peoples do not conceive ideationally of the arts as structurally interrelated, and therefore this concept may well be applicable in the Western context alone. Similar problems that tend to bring evidence to these two major questions include synesthesia, intersense modalities, and so forth. The cross-cultural contribution of ethno-musicology in such problems is potentially considerable, and questions of this nature are being more and more widely considered.

Relations with the social sciences. The relationship of ethnomusicology to the social sciences has already been indicated in that an ethnologic component is inherent in the basic organization of the field. As ethnomusicology continues to expand its orientation, it becomes more and more apparent that both ethnomusicologists and social scientists have overlooked a number of possibilities for fruitful cooperation between the two broad areas. The entire study of music as human behavior, of course, lies well within the sphere of social science, as does the application even of technical music analysis to problems such as acculturation, but there are other applications as well.

Among these is the study of music as symbolic behavior, both in itself and as it relates to broader areas of the culture under study. Political, social, legal, economic, and religious concepts can all be symbolized in musical sound and behavior, and it is frequently to be noted that in the arts in general, among them music, symbolic expression tends to cut to the deepest levels of value and belief. The functions of music in any given culture tell much of the organization and processes of the culture at large, and reference is made here not only to “use” but to integrative function as well. Music operates for specific purposes in all cultures, and analysis of these processes reveals much about both specific and general behavior. Song texts are a badly neglected area of study, both in connection with music itself and with the wider culture. Studies have shown that language behavior in song may differ sharply from that in everyday discourse, with the stress in song often being placed upon the expression of otherwise unutterable feelings, thoughts, attitudes, and ideas; texts are thus very often an extremely important index to basic values. Texts, too, reveal psychological processes in the life of any given culture, such as when they indicate mechanisms of repression or compensation. It is well known that songs can serve functions of social control, as well as educational and historiographical functions. The relevance of music studies to social science is indeed great, and both disciplines might derive considerable benefit from recognizing this fact.

Ethnomusicology, then, is currently in a phase of expansion and development wherein it is engaged in sorting out the kinds of studies of greatest importance to its development. By its very nature it is interdisciplinary, using the techniques, methods, and theories of both musicology and ethnology; from the fusion of the two it gains new and unique strengths.

Alan P. Merriam

[Directly related are the entriesCrafts; Folklore; Primitive art.]


The works cited below have been chosen to give a broad rather than a selective coverage of widely divergent points of view and methods of approach.

Ellis, Alexander J. 1885 On the Musical Scales of Various Nations. Journal of the Royal Society of Arts 33:485–527.

Herzog, George 1936 A Comparison of Pueblo and Pima Musical Styles. Journal of American Folklore 49:283–417.

Hood, Mantle 1963 Music, the Unknown. Pages 215–326 in Frank L. Harrison, Mantle Hood, and Claude V. Palisca, Musicology. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

Hornbostel, Erich M. VON 1905 Die Probleme der vergleichenden Musikwissenschaft.Zeitschrift der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft 7:85–97.

Kunst, Jaap (1950) 1959 Ethnomusicology. 3d enl. ed. The Hague: Nijhoff. → First published under the title Musicologica. A supplement was published in 1960.

Lomax,, Alan 1962 Song Structure and Social Structure. Ethnology 1:425–451.

McAllester, David P. 1955 Enemy Way Music: A Study of Social and Esthetic Values as Seen in Navaho Music. Harvard University, Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Papers, Vol. 41, No. 3. Cambridge, Mass.: The Museum.

Malm, William P. 1959 Japanese Music and Musical Instruments. Rutland, Vt: Tuttle.

Merriam, Alan P. 1964 The Anthropology of Music. Evanston, 111.: Northwestern Univ. Press.

Nettl, Bruno 1964 Theory and Method in Ethnomusicology. New York: Free Press.

Nketia, J. H. Kwabena (1963) 1965 Drumming in Akan Communities of Ghana. New York: Humanities Press.

Sachs, Curt 1940 The History of Musical Instruments. New York: Norton.

Schaeffner, AndrÉ 1936 Origine des instruments de musique: Introduction ethnologique a I'histoire de la musique instrumental. Paris: Payot.

Seeger, Charles 1953 Preface to the Description of a Music. Pages 360-370 in International Society for Musical Research, Fifth Congress, Utrecht, 1952, Report. Amsterdam: Alsbach.

Wallaschek, Richard 1893 Primitive Music: An Inquiry Into the Origin and Development of Music, Songs, Instruments, Dances, and Pantomimes of Savage Races. London: Longmans.


Music is an expression of inner life, an expression of feelings through the technique of composition, according to the rules of a certain musical style. As expression, music affects the listener as well as the player. It liberates feelings, but it also demands, on the part of the listener, receptiveness and an acquaintance with the style in question.

Music as communication

That music has affectual aspects was stressed in antiquity (in the Greek doctrine of the ethos), in the Middle Ages (musica movet affectum), and in the Baroque era (in the theory of emotions). Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach stated in 1753 that since a musician cannot move unless he himself is moved, he must be able to experience all the emotions that he wishes to awaken in his audience. He lets them know his feelings and, thus, arouses them to sympathy. This expressive character has been disputed by H. G. Nageli (1826), who spoke of “arabesques,” or an interplay of lines, in music, and by E. Hanslick (1854), who wrote that forms that are “moved tones” are the content of music and that the beautiful generates no emotions. This formal aesthetic is in contrast to the expressive aesthetic (Hausegger 1885). But, it seems that forms that are merely moved tones, such as arabesques, possess an expressive character, as do all forms (Wellek 1963). All music, even “empty [not aiming at expression] play music,” such as Oriental music, is movement and, as such, the expression of demonstrable, nervous, physical sensations. The rhythm of this movement stimulates the listener elementally, causing him to move with it. This is especially evident in dancing. Groups or masses of people can be brought to uniform movement, extending to ecstasy, by endlessly repeated rhythms. A child spontaneously follows a musical movement he hears by making expressive motions, like those cultivated in the modern expressive dance. The educated concertgoer, to be sure, is trained from an early age to suppress these spontaneous sympathetic movements.

It follows, therefore, that music has the character of communication. Sound spontaneously uttered by an individual serves as a contact sound, as a first step toward a call or a shout, or as a decoy, wooing, or warning call. Both speech and music develop symbols. Speech evolves ideas, which lead to thinking and logic. Music begins with emotional sounds, which are followed by signals and calls that serve different social purposes. Yet, even in the animal world we find a play of sounds that is unrelated to social purpose, as in the songbirds. Here we have an instinctual root of purposeless, aesthetic enjoyment. But, much music is quite purposeful, integrated into a superordinate social process; it is so-called Gebrauchsmusik. March music enables a group to keep in step and in proper order (and also promotes turgor vitalis), as does dance music. The folk song even today reveals its social purposes in multifarious variety: cradle songs, war songs, courtship and love songs, serenades, religious songs, incantation and curing songs, and work songs. The last type has almost disappeared in our industrialized countries. Nor is it the oldest type of song, as K. Biicher believed (1896), for it presupposes the existence of rhythmic cooperative work. In present-day industry, music is employed as background music, not to speed up the working rhythm but to stimulate the autonomic nervous system and willingness to work. Schoolchildren doing their homework, and even scientists, employ allegedly soft background music, below the threshold of consciousness or aesthetic effect, as a stimulus to do their work.

Musical texts

In every musical performance the composer, the players, the singers, and the listeners interact with one another, often as semiparticipants in popular and exotic music, as in rhythmic clapping. Even when the performer him-self does not invent, or improvise (as was the case in the past and in most present-day performances of music by preliterate peoples), but more or less freely reproduces the music invented by others (learned by ear in folk music and in Oriental music), or accurately performs music written by others (res facia, in the Middle Ages), an inter-personal process takes place. The folk song is in-vented by an individual, but it is much modified (“taken apart”) by the singer. The motets of the fourteenth century were also modified by the singers. A composition was not regarded as the individual property of a single composer. Everyone changed it ad lib, adding new voices with new texts, etc. Thus, the musical composition was regarded as common property, a notion that persisted into the seventeenth century and even the eighteenth, when George Frederick Handel took over the compositions of others. The concept of “plagiarism,” applied to parts of a work as well as the whole work, is a modern concept.

The contemporary practice of copyright is the end product of a long development. To be sure, there were privileges of printing granted by a sovereign, but they were respected only in part. Today even a motif is protected by copyright, although protection is limited to a term of 50 years. Even primitive peoples have a law of musical property. Among the Andaman Islanders an invented song remains the intellectual property of the inventor, for which he is recompensed during festivals, and no one is permitted to sing the song after his death. The same was true among the Iroquois. The present-day law of property covers not only the right to reprint but also the right of performance and, in particular, mechanical reproduction.

The musical professions

Today the musical professions are highly specialized. The primeval musician was creator, singer, and performer in one, as shown in such mythological figures as Jubal and Orpheus. Composers were always performing musicians as well: singers (Josquin) in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; singers and conductors (Monteverdi) in the seventeenth century; and pianists (Mozart, Beethoven) and other instrumentalists (Viotti, Spohr) or professional conductors (Wagner, Mahler, Richard Strauss) in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and down into the twentieth century. Today, however, specialization characterizes the musical professions, even within a single profession, dividing them into entire categories, such as “serious” and “entertainment” music. There is a great diversity of musical roles, running from the highly paid star conductor down to the street musician and the beggar playing music, e.g., with a barrel organ. Moreover, each musical profession has a social scale of its own. The status of a musician is based upon one of two factors: (1) the professional role, which in turn derives from education, cultural level, and the prestige of his audience, and (2) income. There is no correlation between these two factors.

In addition to talent and endowment, career and success depend upon circumstances, which are often fortuitous, as well as upon reviews in the press. The occupational category of conductor covers all degrees of education, depending upon the kind of music; there are conductors of opera, church, military, jazz, and entertainment orchestras, each group being subdivided along an artistic scale. As the status of the church musician diminished during the nineteenth century, that of the conductor rose extraordinarily. In Verdi’s time the conductor was unnamed, ranking behind the singers of the opera. After World War i his name might be printed on posters in conspicuous letters, above that of the composer. Singers, too, are categorized: opera singers, concert singers, jazz singers, and singers of popular tunes. Outstanding singers have always enjoyed substantial popularity and financial success. This was true in classical antiquity but has especially been the case since the eighteenth century, when prima donnas and castrati dominated the musical scene. The earnings of Caruso (who died in 1921), which were regarded as enormous in his day, have been overshadowed by the sensational success of more recent hit-tune singers who become millionaires overnight. This is due to mass responsiveness and particularly to the mechanical reproduction and distribution of hit tunes. Artistic reputation and prestige are greatly differentiated, for example, in the profession of the female singer. Female musicians and singers of the lower categories often led dubious lives, sometimes becoming prostitutes (the Syrian ambubaiae in Rome, the mistresses of princes during the Baroque, chansonnieres). Instrumentalists also occupy many different positions on the social scale, ranging from the violinist in the orchestra, who is further differentiated according to his position in the orchestra and the quality of the orchestra, up to the eminent soloist, who can count on income from concerts of his own. The same holds true for pianists and other instrumentalists. The independent instrumentalist is often a teacher of his instrument—either privately or in schools, conservatories, etc.—thus, improving his financial status and his prestige (gaining the title of “professor”). It was common practice for masters of the past (Handel, Mozart, Beethoven) to make a living at times by giving lessons.

A musician’s prestige, apart from the special prestige of his profession, has varied through the centuries and even today differs according to country and people. We know of whole hierarchies of musician castes in antiquity: in Babylon, in Egypt, in Judea. Music was often performed by slaves. What is strange is the frequently severe restrictions placed on the civic dignity of a musician in many countries and times, such as ancient Rome, in contrast with the high esteem in which musicians were held among the Germanic peoples. The skald of the Nordic peoples and the shop of the western Germans were the close confidants of princes. As the Nordic tribes became Westernized, the musician inherited the low status of the Roman mimus, becoming a vagrant minstrel, a tramp, or a street singer. In all of these cases, the individual musician was often able to secure high esteem, wealth, and status at the courts of secular and even ecclesiastical princes. Only with the establishment of cities did the domiciled musician obtain a civil occupation. Celebrated musicians gained high honors. Some of them were raised to the ranks of the nobility (Hofhaimer, Hassler); others were awarded papal decorations (Lasso and Mozart becoming knights; Dittersdorf, Gluck, and Spontini becoming equites aurati). The fact that universities awarded honorary doctorates to celebrated composers contributed to increasing the prestige of musicians. The title of professor gave the top level of musicians the right of presentation at court. A pianist, Ignace Paderewski, even became prime minister of Poland in 1919.

The status of the musician was just as indefinite in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as his prestige. Fame and riches did not always entail equal rights for many celebrated musicians. For example, Franz Liszt, a rich grand seigneur, who was raised to the ranks of the hereditary nobility, nevertheless encountered resistance at the court when he proposed to marry a princess. This discrepancy between fame as an artist and status in society prevails in parts of the Orient up to the present day. As recently as 1932, at a congress in Cairo, high government officials refused to sit at the same table with eminent musicians of their own country. The prejudice against the artist was reinforced when the “bohemian” type arose in the nineteenth century. Even today the artist is not highly respected among the bourgeois middle class. In a certain sense he is outside society.

Secondary musical professions

Alongside creating, performing, and directing there are many important professionals who serve the institutional structure of musical life, such as publishers, printers, music engravers, impresarios, and critics. The invention of the printing of music from movable type, in about 1500, made possible the spread of new musical styles and of music of high artistic merit. Nevertheless, in the eighteenth century the sale of handwritten music—music noted down by the copyist—still predominated over engraved notes. It was only toward the end of the eighteenth century that music publishing developed as a commercial enterprise and influenced the style, distribution, and acceptance of compositions.

Impresarios and agents. The impresario, or entrepreneur of public performances, played an important role in the history of opera, but his importance has lessened ever since the high cost of opera made it an unprofitable commercial undertaking, so that it now has to be managed as a subsidized public institution. On the other hand, the entrepreneur, manager, and agent are important elsewhere in the musical world, providing the talent employed in concerts and other musical performances.

Critics. Another related profession is that of the music critic, who works for newspapers, magazines, the radio, etc., either as his principal occupation or as a sideline. Critical evaluation of performed music is found as far back as antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Age of Enlightenment. Yet, as late as the eighteenth century, critics dealt primarily with musical texts; good examples are Mattheson (1722-1725) in the Critica musica and the French Encyclopedists. Most representative critics of the second half of the nineteenth century, for example, in their battle against Wagner followed the same line. Contemporary criticism, on the other hand, emphasizes reproduction and performance. The critic is uncontradicted in the pages of his own newspaper, but public opinion, even when it goes against the opinions of the critic, usually triumphs in the end. No special study, no examinations are required for the profession of critic. His certificate of competence is the quality of his style, not special knowledge of the subject, which is often sadly lacking even in prominent critics. The history of criticism proves how greatly critics have erred.

Musicologists. Another musical profession is that of the musicologist who does his work in the quiet of the university. Musicology has made a significant contribution to the revival of music composed to order or on commission (Handel, Bach, and today Vivaldi and the music of the Baroque). Musical research in universities explores historical and aesthetic problems, as well as those dealing with instruments and performance.

Public musical life

The term “musical life” is generally taken to mean the total of all public and semipublic performances of music, rather than the private, intimate cultivation of music in the home. It involves, for the most part, the large musical institutions— that is, operas, orchestras, choruses. These events are sponsored by the government, the municipality, societies, associations, and commercial entrepreneurs.


Today the opera is the biggest and most costly musical institution. As an art form, it is a stylized, special case of the theatrical play with music, which is to be found among all peoples and in all periods of history. Opera was begun in the West, by humanist circles in Florence, in 1594, as an aesthetic experiment in recreating the drama of antiquity, which used music to support the text. It developed in the sacred opera of the cardinals’ palaces in Rome, in the impresario opera of Venice, including carnival farces and pantomimes, and in the royal opera of European sovereigns.

These last two types continue to exist. Opera managed by an impresario was started in Venice by Ferrarri in 1637, as a profit-sharing venture among the members of his company; later, in London, between 1720 and 1728, Handel’s opera companies took the legal form of joint stock companies. Court opera—presented before members of the court seated hierarchically in the traditional tiered theater—was wholly subsidized by the crown.

The musical theater of the people took several forms: the bagatelliste drama, the commedia delL’arte, and the Singspiel. Starting with the caricature of Handel’s opera seria in The Beggar’s Opera, the Singspiel catered increasingly to the taste of the middle and petty bourgeois, especially in Germany. Singspiel troupes at first often played under the most wretched circumstances, but eventually this theater became a dangerous competitor to the court theater. The Singspiel disseminated the mood of the French Revolution in the theaters of the suburbs, but the political element was often secondary to pantomime and myth (e.g., E. Schikaneder’s 1791 Singspiel, Die Zauberflote, with music by Mozart). A combination of the two types of opera were the numerous traveling opera troupes of the impresarios, which were often engaged by princes to play in their court theaters.

The era of the Baroque court opera came to an end about 1760. Eight years earlier Empress Maria Theresa had turned her court theater over to the city of Vienna to be operated by the municipality. The French Revolution turned the opera into political propaganda, glorifying revolutionary ideas and heroes, a counterpart to the earlier glorification of princes during the Baroque era.

Most of the European monarchies established state opera houses in their principal cities. Many of these have remained active. Because of its many small principalities, Germany became the country with the largest number of opera houses and orchestras. In 1963 the German Federal Republic, including West Berlin, had 132 theaters with a total attendance of 6.3 million (including 2.4 million at operetta performances), 36 theater orchestras, and 41 independent orchestras, including 9 radio orchestras. East Germany had 86 theaters in 1962, with a total attendance of 3.4 million at the opera and 2.8 million at operettas. Russia had opera performances for the imperial court under Peter the Great, and a public state opera house was founded in Moscow in 1806. Alongside the state opera houses there were princely opera houses and, as late as 1900, private opera houses of princes. Bulgaria, Rumania, and Czechoslovakia have state opera houses. State opera houses were established in Scandinavia fairly late: in 1936, in Sweden, and in 1958, in Norway. Italy, the classic land of opera enterprise, established a royal opera house only in 1929.

The opera companies are subsidized on a very lavish scale from the receipts of the amusement tax, for the high cost of operas makes the running of an opera company financially unprofitable. La Scala, Milan, for example, has annual box-office receipts of 1,900 million lire and since 1936 has received an annual subsidy of some 880 million lire. In 1958 the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, received an inadequate subsidy of £63,000, although £500,000 had been requested. The last big private opera company in Germany was Angelo Neumann’s Wagnerian company in the 1880s. In France the major arts have always been centered in Paris, where the grand opera received a subsidy of 20 million francs in 1958.

The oldest established opera company in the United States is the Metropolitan Opera in New York, founded in 1884. Like the opera in Chicago, it was initially financed by wealthy businessmen. American opera houses are still dependent upon patrons and foundations. In the 1950s there were about 600 opera organizations in 47 states, 25 per cent being professional organizations and the others affiliated with clubs, churches, studios, and colleges. Operas have been performed in colleges, in high schools, in conservatories, and even in elementary schools.

The support of large-scale artistic enterprises, whether by princes, institutions, wealthy patrons, or the state, means that these enterprises must conform, within varying limits, to the values of their patrons and publics. There are substantial differences between institutions in the type of financial support, the artistic achievement, and the intellectual level, depending upon the class of society that supports or attends them.

Operettas and musicals. The Singspiel troupes in the eighteenth century called their plays operettas. However, the modern operetta, which achieved popular success in the second half of the nineteenth century in the Viennese operettas of Johann Strausjs and the Parisian ones of Jacques Offenbach and was performed in independent operetta theaters run by impresarios, tried to advance from a provincial style to a quasi-operatic style (e.g., Franz Lehar). In America there developed the musical comedy, designed as light entertainment in a popular musical idiom. The Archers, performed in 1796 in the John Street Theater, New York, may be regarded as the first of this type. Musical comedies have run for years with enormous success in the Broadway theater of the twentieth century, reaping millions for their investors (for example, My Fair Lady, book by A. J. Lerner after Shaw’s Pygmalion and music by F. Loewe, ran for six years, from 1956 to 1962).


Orchestras are among the major public musical institutions; some of them are the most important components of the opera houses mentioned above. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries large orchestras (a hundred men or more) acquired a mass audience in the concert halls of major cities. They are the outgrowth of the chamber orchestras of the seventeenth century, which often consisted of no more than twelve to sixteen men. Enlargement of the orchestras was promoted in Germany by the staging of patriotic celebrations of the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna. In England large orchestras had played at the Handel festivals since 1784, and in France gigantic orchestras were assembled by Berlioz in connection with the political demonstrations and events of 1830, 1837 (an orchestra of 146 plus 4 auxiliary orchestras), 1841, 1848, and 1851. Speculative enterprises, such as the enormous orchestra used for an American performance of Johann Strauss, with 20,000 singers and players and 100 assistant conductors before an audience of 100,000, represented an extreme form of musical entertainment.

In 1965 the United States had 1,385 symphony orchestras of various sizes. Of the top 100 orchestras, 10 were in existence before 1900; 15 were founded between 1900 and 1920; 54 between 1920 and 1940; and 21 after 1940.

Of the 77 orchestras in the German Federal Republic today, 40 (not including the radio orchestras) have 60 to 100 players. The other European countries do not have as many large orchestras. In France there are five large orchestras, four in Paris and one in Strasbourg. In England, London has three orchestras, and there are orchestras in Liverpool, Birmingham, Bournemouth, and Glasgow; London also has one opera orchestra and three large radio symphony orchestras. Milan, Italy, has the orchestra of La Scala and a symphony orchestra; Rome has one symphony orchestra. There are two radio orchestras, one in Rome and the other in Turin.

Groups—in fact, masses—of performers have traditionally served as demonstrations of the power of kings, princes, and feudal lords, and more recently of governments. Musicians, usually trumpeters and drummers, announced the appearance of rulers in preliterate Africa and in advanced cultures on ceremonial occasions.

Alongside the highly trained orchestras we find orchestras of all musical and social ranks: opera, concert, operetta, vaudeville, circus, coffeehouse, and parade orchestras, as well as those playing at dances and in parks. The social status of orchestra members varies, ranging from those employed by the state or big private enterprises down to those employed by municipalities, to musicians in private employ either in institutions that receive government subsidies or guarantees or in unsubsidized theater orchestras, and finally to the less highly trained musicians, who have to depend on occasional employment. Military musicians often represent competition for independent orchestra players. Changes in the technology of public entertainment may have serious consequences for independent musicians; one instance was the catastrophe that hit musicians employed in movie theaters when the sound film was introduced in 1930.

Choral music

The evolution of the modern chorus parallels that of large-scale organizations in general in Western societies. The choruses of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries cannot be compared in size with the choruses of today. They consisted of a few professional singers (as in the Sistine Chapel in Rome), with no more than two to four singers in each choir, except on special royal occasions.

The modern chorus received a mighty organizational impetus from the French Revolution, in which choruses played a political role. In 1795 it was proposed to the National Convention that national holidays be celebrated by choeurs universels. Mass choruses, with 2,400 men and women, were organized in Paris, in 1784. They set the example for mass choruses in subsequent revolu tions. In Germany and France, between the Napoleonic Wars and the revolutions of 1830 and 1848, national enthusiasm and socialist trends led to the establishment of choruses, male choruses, and choral organizations, which performed at choral festivals. In choral activity of this period, the democratic ideal of a fusion of the various walks of life, from the commoner to the nobleman, seems to have been achieved in Germany. In the decades that followed, choruses were again divided according to class and occupation (e.g., teachers’ choral societies, printers’ choruses, etc.). The choral movement was furthered in France after the revolution, especially by G. Wilhem, and totaled 60,000 members in 1,500 orpheons by 1893. In the same period there were monster performances in England with over 4,000 participants, half of whom were singers.

Most contemporary choruses are organized as societies, which in turn are organized into associations. Germany has 15,000 choruses, with a total membership of 1.3 million, their social and civic significance outstripping their aesthetic achievements. The Scandinavian countries, Finland in particular, are also rich in choruses. In Italy large mixed choruses have evolved slowly because the association of adult men and women, which is so prominent a feature of choral life elsewhere, conflicted with the prevailing Italian pattern of the relations of the sexes. Only since the end of the nineteenth century have women been admitted to the church choirs in Roman Catholic countries. Choral singing has always been popular in England. The major choruses include the Royal Chorus Society, founded in 1873; the Bach Choir, founded in 1876; and the Goldsmith’s Choir Union, founded in 1932. An international choral festival, the Eisteddfod, was founded in 1947 in Wales.

In addition to the choral societies, in which the artistic aim often is secondary to the desire for conviviality, there are the professional choruses. These include the little master choirs of the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, the opera choruses of modern times, and outstanding national choirs, such as the Association Chorale Professionelle in France and the Soviet State Chorus in Russia, which continues the tradition of the liturgical choirs and of the pre-1919 Moscow Synodal Choir. In Russia, there also are the first-class and highly paid choruses of the radio networks, newly established everywhere.

Ecclesiastical music

Churches are important in musical culture as public institutions, although here music is not an end in itself. They maintain choirmasters, organists, and musicians. They publish hymn books, and besides their significant influence upon broad, popular musical culture, they stage major events themselves, including services with orchestral and choral accompaniment and church concerts that are outside the liturgical framework (or else they make the churches available for such performances). Music has always been an element of religious worship. In ancient times the performance of music was reserved to persons of cultic importance: priests and magicians. Advanced theocratic civilizations—such as those of the Babylonians, the Sumerians, the Egyptians, and the Jews—had an extensive hierarchical system of religious musical culture. The recital of sacred texts by singing them is found throughout the world, not only because the singing voice enhances the texts but also because of music’s magical effect.

From the days of the church fathers down to the present, there has been conflict between the concerns of the church musician, who wishes to elevate the faithful with his music, and the preachers, who regard music that is too copious as a distraction from religious meditation. That is why Calvin and Zwingli, for example, forbade all music with the exception of the chorale. Even today the playing of instruments is restricted in the Roman Catholic church, and their use has been governed by numerous edicts for centuries. In the Roman Catholic church, singing, except for the little permitted the congregation, was until recently reserved to the choir of priests, who, from the theological standpoint, are representatives of the angelic choir. Luther introduced singing by the whole congregation (again theologically based on the evangelical approach ). Today, the significance of church music is confined to the church itself; yet, its influence is still great. Choirmasters (called church music directors in many churches) and organists train lay church choirs. In the missions (as well as in the Negro churches of the United States), the church makes considerable use of the performance of ethnic music. The basic conservatism of the churches in general entails greater cultivation of traditional music, discouraging the development of any generally effective new musical styles.

The training of musical taste and skill

Musical education is indispensable to the general cultivation of music. There is no doubt that here it fulfills an important function: bringing up children to be members of society. Musical education is conducted mostly in the schools, where a certain training of children to enjoy music made by singing together, as well as a modest degree of musical instruction, is an important factor in the development of the musical culture of any society. Little time, however, is scheduled for instruction in music in most countries, and only the wealthier classes of society can afford private teachers of music for their children.

Music schools serve primarily to train performing musicians. (The word “conservatory” is derived from the word for the orphan asylums in Venice and Naples during the eighteenth century, in which music gradually became the focus of activity.) In most countries there are “institutes of music” for training the musical elite.

Musicians’ associations

Associations of musicians existed even in antiquity (e.g., the association of “Dionysian artists”). The first medieval organizations of musicians, founded in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, were religious in nature (St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, St. Nicolaibriiderschaft in Vienna). In 1657 the guilds and corporations of musicians in 43 localities of central Germany united in an “Instrumental-Musikalisches Collegium,” sanctioned by Emperor Ferdinand in. Trumpeters and drummers constituted a separate caste, a “noble guild,” in the royal courts and armies; this was so even in ancient Rome. Down to the nineteenth century, organized musicians tried to defend their privileges against the unorganized (for example, by playing at weddings, etc., with a restricted number of instruments).

Starting in 1808, the Prussian state contributed to the security of musicians and their families, and voluntary welfare agencies for widows, orphans, and pensioners were promoted by Spontini in Berlin in 1842 (and in Vienna by the Tonkiinstlersociete of Gassmann as early as 1770). Like all social insurance, these programs signified a strengthening of the musical professions in their struggle for social recognition and, thus, strengthened the self-confidence of musicians in general.

Musicians’ unions, as distinct from artistic organizations, are a comparatively recent phenomenon. In Germany, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musiker verb and was founded in 1872. Since 1952, the main organization is the Deutsche Orchester-Vereinigung in der Deutschen Angestellten-Gewerkschaft; it had a membership of 5,676 in 1960 out of a total of about 6,000 orchestra musicians. In England the Incorporated Society of Musicians was established in 1882; in France there is the Syndicat National des Artistes Musiciens, and in the United States, the American Federation of Musicians.

Alongside the professional organizations there are also associations of amateurs and patrons of music. At first, these societies did not intend to give public concerts, but only “practice concerts.” Later on, they were succeeded by organizations that gave public concerts (for example, the Concerts of Ancient Music between 1776 and 1848, in England; Le Concert Spirituel between 1725 and 1791, in France; and the Big Concerts in Leipzig, dating from 1743, which were continued in 1781 as the Gewandhaus Concerts). The Allgemeine Deutsche Musikverein, 1861-1937, had as its purpose the “cultivation of music and the advancement of musicians.” The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde was founded in 1771 in Vienna. In England, the New Philharmonic Society was active from 1852 to 1897, and the National Federation of Music Societies was started in 1935. In the United States, there were the Handel and Haydn Society (founded in 1915), the Musical Alliance of America (founded in 1917), and, for orchestral music, the Philharmonic Society of New York (founded in 1842).

There is hardly any aspect of musical life that has no organization; school musicians and teachers of music (the Music Teachers’ Association, founded in 1876, in the United States), composers, music dealers, instrument makers, etc., all have their own organizations. There are even international bodies such as the International Music Council, established in 1949, which holds national and international congresses; 39 national committees are affiliated with this international organization. Other international organizations include: the Federation Internationale des Jeunesses Musicales (founded in 1947), the International Folk Music Council (founded in 1947), the Confederation Internationale des Societes des Auteurs et Compositeurs (founded in 1926), and the Federation Internationale des Musiciens (founded in 1948).

Audience and performance

There are various forms of music-playing for larger audiences. The playing of folk music unites the performers, singers, and players. Either there is no distinct audience at all or some of the listeners become participants, for instance, by clapping in rhythm or by joining in a song or its refrains. On a higher artistic plane, music is performed for an audience that does nothing but listen. At big dances, however, the listeners are also the dancers who express the music rhythmically.

This distinction among singers, players, and mere listeners is further subdivided into two categories : “familiar music-playing,” represented in the past by the regular performance of music by town musicians, performances at church festivals, court music, music played at table, etc., and the modern “performance,” which presupposes thorough study of the music to be played, by orchestras and en sembles. Mozart played his own piano concertos without any rehearsal, and Beethoven’s symphonies were played (by amateurs) in big concerts without rehearsal. In these amateur concerts, practice concerts, and glee clubs of the eighteenth century, the relatives of the performers did not come only to hear the music but to play cards and smoke as well.

Concerts and publics

As early as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, musicians played private concerts and advertised them in the newspapers. Like the opera, which was sometimes open to the public upon payment of an admission fee, in the eighteenth century there were public concerts that were open to anyone upon payment of an admission fee. These concerts were held at the same time as the concerts for invited guests of the aristocracy and the wealthy of Paris and were often staged on a splendid scale. Ever since the middle of the eighteenth century, however, the concert open to the wide public has been the standard form for the performance of music. The admission ticket is a contract of sale. (The German youth music movement has criticized this form of concert since 1914, believing that it entails the danger that the listener, excluded from active participation, might become inwardly inactive as well. The youth movement advocated “open singing,” with the active participation of all the listeners, in opposition to the concert form. It wanted to experience music in a community, with the participation of all those present.)

The musician presenting his art tries to gain a “public.” This may be a homogeneous audience that is linked to the performers. Such is the case, for example, in a concert of active or passive members of a society, in a school concert, in a concert for a public united in support of a particular artistic goal, etc. However, the persuasiveness of music is required to establish a community of musical experience in a concert for a metropolitan public, which is brought together by interests not all of which are artistic and which is not at all uniform in taste. In this case, the purely creative social force, the “sociability” of music, is probably only transitory and hard to estimate. It is a hyperbole to speak of the creative social force of Beethoven’s symphonies. Rather, like all works of art, these symphonies are the work of an individual genius, but they also express the general feelings of mankind (or at least those of a national group during a certain epoch).

The stratification of musical activity

Musical performances differ in the socially different strata of audiences according to the quality of the performance, the artistic and social strivings of the musicians, the magnitude of the performance (number of performers and type of music), and content of the repertoire, and the style and age of the works performed. They are further divided into two categories: serious and entertainment music. Serious-music performances include symphony concerts, choral concerts, oratorios, recitals, evenings of lieder, and programs of church music. Entertainment-music performances include folk-music and military-band concerts, concerts in public squares, and beer-garden concerts featuring light programs, dances, marches, jazz, and popular singing.

Public performances requiring tickets of admission constitute a classification of the listeners according to the price of admission, fixed by the listeners’ means. The performances themselves differ, and the ticket effects a spatial stratification within the concert hall itself. The motive for operagoing or concertgoing often is the desire for social contacts and, in the case of expensive concerts and the higher-priced seats, the desire to be seen and to gain or maintain prestige, alongside the interest in the music and often ahead of it (in the case of the “snob”). The optional or frequently prescribed dress for the audience (black tie, evening gown) results in social gradations of the performance, as does the spatial allocation within the hall (orchestra seats versus balcony). Not only does the cost of admission act as a hindrance to lower-income groups, but the social level of the audience (education, dress) may hinder outsiders from attending the concert.

The statistics available on the stratification of the radio audience, however, indicate that the inexpensive opportunity of listening to music and the elimination of social shyness does not prevent a quite general stratification of the listeners. “Serious” or “heavy” music (usually called classical music for the sake of simplicity) is generally preferred by those of higher education. According to these statistics, the desire to hear serious music and the understanding thereof grow with the level of general education and, correspondingly, with musical training.

Audience organizations in all countries are endeavoring to lift the financial barriers for the bulk of the population. Yet, serious music cannot easily be made “accessible to the people.” The problem of making “true folk music” widely accessible must also be regarded with skepticism in industrialized countries with a predominantly urban population. Folk music lives on in isolated regions and loses its character when it becomes a school song or is arranged for choral singing.

Mass communication, with some 300 million radios in the world and about four times that many listeners, represents a totally new factor in bringing the masses into contact with different types of music. Programs are classified according to content and are broadcast at times that make allowance for the listeners’ social status and working hours. (The phonograph record and the jukebox are related forms of mass communication.) Music is disseminated far more widely than at any previous time. This is paralleled by lower intensity; listening to music grows duller and shallower.

Mass communication is disseminating Euro-American music among non-Western peoples. Regrettably enough, exogenous entertainment music often displaces these peoples’ indigenous music. A mixed style that approaches European music is already developing in the non-Western countries that have traditional musical styles of their own.

Hans Engel


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views updated May 23 2018


By 1870 practices transplanted by European colonists had taken root across the spectrum of American culture—whether it be the concert music of the elite and the aspiring middle class or the entertainment music of both urban and rural citizens. By that time, moreover, traditions identified as distinctively American in origin—ones typically percolating up from the least prestigious sectors of society—were already well seasoned. The fruits of the Industrial Revolution—notably cheap paper, mass production of instruments, and ultimately the preservation and dissemination of performances via sound recording and radio—transformed musical life in all spheres. Between 1870 and 1920 the United States experienced watershed developments in music making and music sociology that consolidated its past, gave expression to currents and crosscurrents of the time, and provided the foundation for the near future when American musicians and American musical institutions would exert great influence beyond national borders.


With continued imitation of Continental models for composition, performance, and education, the entrenched East Coast establishment upheld European ideals—especially those of the German Romantics. The many immigrant teachers at work throughout the nation, the custom of sending young talents abroad for formal study, and a firmly held belief in the superiority of German art conditioned these practices. Symbolic of this orientation are John Knowles Paine (1839–1906), George Whitefield Chadwick (1854–1941), and Edward MacDowell (1860–1908). Each was hailed for achievements in Germany before returning home to preach the transatlantic gospel in compositions and to take leading positions as educators—Paine at Harvard University, Chadwick at the New England Conservatory, and MacDowell at Columbia University. Paine, the first full professor of music at an American university in 1875, was particularly influential as a teacher. Less than a generation later, in the 1890s, MacDowell was revered according to European standards as the most accomplished composer the country had yet produced. Chadwick displayed the highest degree of originality of the three.

Associated with this loose confederation of like-minded professionals, often identified as the Second New England School or the Boston Classicists, was Mrs. H. H. A. [Amy Marcy Cheney] Beach. Although denied the desired European pedigree because of her gender and largely self-taught, she achieved genuine fame as a composer and pianist at home and abroad. Because of success in large forms especially, Beach's pioneering example as a woman composer is historic.

Such figures, the majority holding academic positions and turning out well-crafted works in preordained forms and genres, benefited from an ingrained national inferiority complex with respect to European culture and by the propagation of professional institutions.


1871: First tour of the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University (Nashville, Tenn.)

First reported written use of the term "vaudeville" in the context of American variety entertainment (Louisville, Ky.)

1873: Publication of Sacred Songs and Solos, first collection of gospel songs by the partners Ira David Sankey (singer/composer) and Dwight C. Moody (evangelist)

1875: Appointment of John Knowles Paine to first full professorship in music (Harvard University)

1876: First publication in Germany of a symphony written by an American composer: Symphony No. 1 in C Minor by John Knowles Paine

1877: Development by Thomas A. Edison of first commercially viable sound recording mechanism

1879: Performance in America of as many as one hundred productions of Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore (including one all-black, one all-children, and one Yiddish)

Affiliation of James A. Bland, composer of "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" (1878), with Haverly's Genuine Colored Minstrels, an early all-black troupe

1881: Founding of the Boston Symphony Orchestra

The demise of the influential, Boston-based Dwight's Journal of Music after espousing "good music" based on German principles for twenty-nine years

Opening in New York City of the first vaudeville house conceived for men and women by Tony Pastor

Establishment in New York City of T. B. Harms, the publishing firm that revolutionized the popular song industry

1883: Opening of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City

Most geographically extensive tour of the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, led by Theodore Thomas—from Baltimore to San Francisco and then back across the Upper Midwest

1884: First issue of the Etude, monthly periodical directed to piano teachers and their students (Theodore Presser, Lynchburg, Va.)

1886: Founding of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City by Jeanette Thurber

1891: Founding of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

1892: Arrival in New York City of Antonín Dvořák to direct the National Conservatory of Music

First public concert of the Sousa Band (in Plainfield, N.J.)

1896: Composition of Symphony No. 1 in E Minor ("Gaelic") by Mrs. H. H. A. Beach, the first symphony written by an American woman and the first symphony by an American to quote folk tunes as thematic material

Composition by Edward MacDowell of the suite of character pieces for piano Woodland Sketches, containing "To a Wild Rose"

Formation of the American Federation of Musicians, trade union for professional musicians

1897: Publication of "On the Banks of the Wabash," best-known song of Paul Dresser

Premiere of "Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Philip Sousa (Philadelphia, Pa.)

1898: Founding of the National Federation of Musical Clubs, a network of women societies advocating the performance and study of fine-art music

1899: Publication of Scott Joplin's "Original Rags" and "Maple Leaf Rag" (John Stark, Sedalia, Mo.)

1900: Founding of the Philadelphia Orchestra

1901: Founding of the Wa-Wan Press by Arthur Farwell (Newton Center, Mass.)

1903: American debut of Italian tenor Enrico Caruso in Verdi's Rigoletto with the Metropolitan Opera Company

1904: Opening of Little Johnny Jones (with "The Yankee Doodle Boy" and "Give My Regards to Broadway") written, composed, staged, and choreographed by its star George M. Cohan

1905: Founding of the Institute of Musical Art in New York City by Walter Damrosch (after 1924 the Juilliard School of Music)

1906: First American radio broadcast of both live and recorded music—both fine-art selections (Brant Rock, Mass.)

1907: First season of the Ziegfeld Follies produced by Florenz Ziegfeld (annual productions until 1925, with four more ending in 1931)

Publication in Germany of Early Concert-Life in America, 1731–1800 (Breitkopf and Härtel, Leipzig) by Oscar Sonneck, early landmark scholarship on the history of American music

1909: First printing of Songs of the Workers to Fan the Flames of Discontent: The Industrial Workers of the World Songbook ("The Little Red Songbook")

1910: Premiere of The Pipe of Desire (1906) by Frederick Shepherd Converse, first opera by an American composer to be mounted by the Metropolitan Opera Company

1911: Publication of the song "Alexander's Ragtime Band," which made Irving Berlin a household name

1912: First reported appearance of the blues in European notation: W. C. Handy's "The Memphis Blues"

1913: Opening of the Palace Theatre at Broadway and Forty-second Street in New York City, in its time the most prestigious booking for vaudeville performers (two shows a day until 1932)

First appearance of the word "jaz" in print (in the San Francisco Bulletin)

Release of the first recordings by black musicians: ragtime arrangements by James Reese Europe and His Society Orchestra (New York City)

1914: Formation of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP)

1915: Completion by Charles Ives of Sonata No. 2 ("Concord, Mass., 1840–60") for piano with its tributes to Emerson, Hawthorne, the Alcotts, and Thoreau

Opening of Nobody's Home, first of a series of so-called "Princess Theatre musicals" created by Jerome Kern and Guy Bolton, later with P. G. Wodehouse

First issue of the Musical Quarterly (edited by Oscar Sonneck), a periodical devoted to musicological scholarship (G. Schirmer, New York City)

Distribution of silent film The Birth of a Nation by D. W. Griffith with a "live" orchestral soundtrack of original music by Joseph Carl Breil and quotations of music by Grieg and Wagner and of patriotic tunes

Premiere performance of John Alden Carpenter's orchestral suite Adventures in a Perambulator by the Chicago Symphony

1916: Publication of Jubilee Songs of the United States of America, collection of folk song and spiritual arrangements by Harry T. Burleigh

1917: First recording of jazz, "The Dixie Jazz Band One-Step"/"Livery Stable Blues" by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band

Publication of English Folk-Songs from the Southern Appalachians by Olive Campbell and Cecil Sharp (G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York City)

Beginning of the diaspora of jazz musicians from New Orleans because of the closing of the notorious Storyville district

1918: Ballet performance to the symphonic poem Dance in the Place Congo (1908) by Henry F. B. Gilbert at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City

Premiere of Charles Wakefield Cadman's Shanewis, or the Robin Woman, the first opera with a contemporary American setting presented by the Metropolitan Opera Company (partly based on the life of a Creek Indian woman and including an onstage jazz band)

Composition of Poem for Flute and Orchestra by Charles Tomlinson Griffes

1919: Formation of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) by General Electric

Widely heralded assessment of jazz musician Sidney Bechet as a "genius" by Swiss conductor Ernest Ansermet (published in Revue Romande)

First "million-selling" recording: "Japanese Sandman"/"Whispering" by Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra

1920: Emergence of earliest commercial radio stations (WWJ in Detroit, Mich., and KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pa.)

New orchestras in major cities such as Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco (and many smaller cities as well) and the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York City concentrated on European masterworks; the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, founded in 1866 by the German-born conductor whose name it bore, crisscrossed the nation by rail between 1869 and 1888, showcasing a disciplined ensemble in the grand style and introducing exalted fare to neophyte concertgoers. Visiting European artists, such as the Polish pianist Ignace Paderewski and the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, drew appreciative audiences. Unprecedented were the acceptance of the high value and serious meaning assigned to music making of this kind and its cultivation beyond East Coast centers, often with the patronage of affluent, civic-minded men and women.

The presence of Antonín Dvořák in New York City during the mid-1890s as director of the newly founded National Conservatory of Music kindled a nationalistic impulse, a powerful manifestation of the Romantic attitude in Europe and yet one that had remained largely dormant among Americans. With his example and encouragement, a number of composers attempted to create an identifiably American concert music based on indigenous idioms that the Czech master himself had identified: the music of socially marginalized Native Americans and African Americans. This gave rise to the Indianist movement, the borrowing of exotic elements from Amerindian peoples. Operas with Indian subjects and harmonized native melodies enjoyed a vogue. Taking leadership was the midwesterner Arthur Farwell, who founded the Wa-Wan Press in 1891 to promote "American" compositions by Americans and whose own appreciation of his materials enabled him to move beyond Romantic conventions. Others, like Henry Franklin Belknap Gilbert, introduced plantation melodies and slave songs into pieces in many genres and for various media. These self-conscious endeavors represent the foundation for later, better-known efforts to synthesize Old World constructs and New World details. In retrospect, these works—while many deserve to be heard—suffer from the same burden as those whose creators adopted German practices: imitation is rarely as powerful as authentic expression. The absence of Native Americans and African Americans from the ranks of educated composers reflected the greater society. The arrangements of spirituals by Harry T. Burleigh, an African American disciple of Dvořák, stand as elegant exceptions.

Ironically, the composer whose music continues to grow in critical appreciation crafted a body of work between 1898 and 1920 that remained largely unpublished and unheard and, thus, of no immediate influence. Charles Ives (1874–1954) divided his energies between an impressive career in the insurance business and his own self-indulgent need to create with little accountability to the powers of the day or their audience. With a Yale music education (from Horatio Parker and Dudley Buck), he embraced the broadest possible range of resources—European and American, popular and fine art, sacred and secular—and conceived a challenging, pluralistic style, one that not only took advantage of his heritage but simultaneously demonstrated a progressive rethinking of its fundamental conventions. A true Yankee eccentric, Ives experimented in the same spirit as those Europeans who were rejecting the tenets of Romanticism and creating a modern musical language. Philosophically he endorsed the ideals of New England transcendentalism and paid tribute to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and the Alcotts. Only after World War II did Ives's music reach a larger audience and begin to inspire successors. Another businessman-composer with an eclectic style, albeit less drastic, the Chicago-born John Alden Carpenter, achieved recognition during the first two decades of the century. His music, acclaimed in its own time, has failed to hold a place in the repertoire despite merits. By the time of his death in 1920 Charles Tomlinson Griffes had also fashioned an imaginative personal style.

Women participated in greater numbers in public music making during the decades surrounding 1900. The social construction of gender and ingrained attitudes regarding the education of girls had restricted professional opportunities beyond those sanctioned by the church and Victorian notions of gentility. A debate unfolded in the press concerning women's ability to create high art and to compose in privileged forms, for example. Dedicated women persevered: the works of Margaret Ruthven Lang, Carrie Jacobs-Bond, Clara Kathleen Rogers, and Amy Marcy Cheney Beach disproved such sexist politics. Julie Rivé-King became the first American-born woman to command the stage as a concert pianist; Maud Powell joined the ranks of virtuoso violinists; sopranos such as Clara Louise Kellogg, Lillian Nordica, and Emma Eames were celebrated as divas in the opera house. Enthusiastic reception of American females abroad only added luster to hardwon reputations as musicians of the first order. Frances Densmore and Alice C. Fletcher conducted trailblazing ethnomusicological fieldwork to document the Native Indian repertoire. The women's music club movement, reportedly begun in 1871 in Portland, Maine, had dramatically improved the nature of patronage by 1900, and Isabella Stewart Gardner in Boston stands as a memorable example of the good works of an individual patron.


Thanks largely to urbanization, prosperity, and waves of immigration and internal migration, the popular musical theater captured the imaginations of other artists, businesspeople, and far larger audiences. Building on the immense popularity of the minstrel show, four distinct but related theatrical genres challenged the primacy of such racist fare: vaudeville, the revue, the operetta, and the musical. As the old century waned, variety entertainment of a populist nature—nonbook shows featuring music, dance, humor, novelty acts, and star personalities—came into fashion. Perversely perhaps, the last significant contributor to the fading minstrel tradition was the African American musician James A. Bland. On far-reaching vaudeville circuits, entertainers cultivated forms of broad humor based on ethnic stereotypes (lampooning the Irish, Yiddish, Germans, and Italians alongside African Americans) but at the same time made the musical idioms of these targets familiar. The revue, featuring glamorous "chorus girls" and ultimately flourishing in yearlong productions with large casts and extravagant sets, reflected the more liberal mores of the new century. Representative and, perhaps, most celebrated were the spectacular Follies produced almost annually by impresario Florenz Ziegfeld, the first in 1906 and the last in 1931. The operetta, a modification of Continental opera, offered a lighthearted, sentimental narrative with the interpolation of songs and lush orchestrations of loftier pretensions. Not surprisingly, the champions of operetta—Victor Herbert, Sigmund Romberg, and Rudolf Friml—were European-born and trained. The format that proved enduring was the musical play, a drama with comic elements realized by a cast of singers and dancers. Milestones before 1920 were George M. Cohan's "modern" shows, which capitalized on an energetic pacing, a man-on-the-street approach to character and language, and an unapologetic jingoism, and the so-called Princess Theatre musicals of Jerome Kern, Guy Bolton, and P. G. Wodehouse, in which the integration of plot, dialogue, and music was purposefully sought. These achievements laid the foundation for a golden age of American musical theater in subsequent decades. Their American provenance notwithstanding, these theatrical ventures shared common European influences: the British music hall, Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, Viennese operetta, the Parisian revue (such as the Folies Bergère), and song traditions from Germany, Italy, and the British Isles. Such a flurry of activity not only presented creative opportunity to aspiring native and immigrant musicians but also proved enormously lucrative. New York City—its now-legendary Broadway—flourished as the unrivaled center of the American theatrical universe, with companies fanning out across the country.

These developments would have been unthinkable without the coming of age during these same years of the popular song industry. Once dominated by regional publishers, the creation, publication, and merchandising of popular songs became centralized in New York City in the 1880s, giving birth to "Tin Pan Alley" (although the nickname itself only became common after 1903). The novelties and showstoppers applauded on the Broadway stage were quickly transmitted to sheet music for amateurs at home (and for ubiquitous vaudeville houses) and were ultimately distributed via phonograph recordings and radio airwaves. Composers and performers who gave life to the multifaceted musical theater were naturally intertwined with the creative and commercial world of what became known as Tin Pan Alley. Songs conceived for the fantasy realm beneath the proscenium were welcomed as general entertainment. The flowering of Tin Pan Alley witnessed a variety of song types demonstrating the richness of the culture and the enterprise: those reflecting contemporary social dances (principally the waltz), those invoking African American customs (so-called coon songs in dialect, lingering in the wake of the minstrel tradition, and eventually ragtime-inspired songs), and the sentimental ballad (a mainstay from earlier decades). Prominent as composers were Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, Jerome Kern, Harry von Tilzer, and Paul Dresser. The four-part, straight-toned, close-harmony approach to singing popular songs known as barbershop quartet—originally associated with midwestern traveling salesmen—is particularly evocative of this period.

Mirroring the vitality of secular song was widespread interest in sacred song, notably hymn tunes and revival songs for Protestant congregations. Still experiencing aftershocks of the Great Awakening, churches embraced song imbued with exhilarating emotion and Victorian sentimentality; numerous denominations published hymnals. Closely related are many anthologies of such songs and their imitations directed to activists in the temperance, labor, and suffragist movements and the custom of modifying or parodying texts to advocate a particular social crusade and inculcate its values in the newly converted.


Another legacy enjoying a "golden age" around the turn of the century concerns the wind band. Americans had inherited the military trappings of the band from the Old World; responses to the Civil War had elevated its prominence to an unprecedented level. In addition to delivering martial music, the ensemble's suitability for disseminating music in an out-of-door setting gained broad appreciation. Most communities constituted ensembles, primarily of amateurs, as sources of local pride; all manner of compositions were rescored for the medium; and attending regular concerts alfresco became common pastimes. The centrality of professional bands to the circus experience added another dynamic dimension to its social prominence.

The respected pioneer was the Irish-born band-master Patrick Gilmore, who established a national reputation during the Civil War and whose "monster concerts" with thousands of instrumentalists and choristers at three World Peace Jubilees in Boston (1869, 1872, and 1873) achieved considerable notice. The Gilmore Band toured extensively and offered a model much imitated, both in terms of instrumentation and in matters of programming. Concentration on arrangements and transcriptions of well-known music, works by European masters as well as by local tune-smiths, set the standard. Riding the crest of Gilmore's triumphs was the onetime military musician John Philip Sousa, whose own band of professionals (after 1892) achieved international celebrity for virtuoso musicianship and whose compositions earned him the title "the March King." Along with marches of unquestionable quality, Sousa wrote operettas, abstract instrumental works, and genteel songs and dances. (The march is a genre of dance music, and Sousa's served that utilitarian role at public balls in the United States and Europe.) Interestingly, Sousa embraced ragtime (and is credited with its introduction to Europe) and radio broadcasts but actively resisted the rise of recorded music; he rarely led recording sessions of his own ensemble. The entertainment function of the turn-of-the-century wind ensemble and the quest for mass appeal, indicated by emphasis on accessible pieces and styles, discouraged the creation of original works of a progressive nature.

The saturation of society by wind band music spawned the most dramatic movement in music education the country has experienced. Teaching wind instruments in public schools and forming school bands resulted from the music's popularity, the aspirations of military musicians returning to civilian life, and the business acumen of instrument manufacturers who recognized an almost limitless market. Although this initiative was still in its infancy in 1920, the government documented the existence of eighty-eight high school bands in that year.


Since earliest times, those whites living in rural regions—notably the Appalachians, the South, and the Midwest—had enjoyed entertainment music of their own making, music woven into the daily lives of hardworking families and small struggling communities. At the core of their practices were folk songs (many now identified as "Anglo-American ballads") and folk dance accompaniments, both initially imported from the British Isles, transmitted orally, and later subjected to personal and local preferences. By 1920 this repertoire could boast of a hodgepodge of influences—from fiddling and Alpine yodeling to revival hymn tunes and rural blues. An unaffected, nasal sound ideal for both voices and instruments (reflecting speech), elemental formulas that served as departures in performance, a realism in terms of lyrics and subjects, and its propagation by amateurs distanced this music from its urban counterpart. By 1900 the power culture dismissed such homespun performances with the intentionally pejorative designation "hillbilly music." The honesty, ingenuity, artistry, and popularity (encompassing numerous citizens across a wide geographical area) made its commercialism after 1920 inevitable. Numerous songs in this category carried religious sentiments as well as themes of social purpose.


Just as white settlers and their descendants had cultivated and modified the musical traditions of Europe, Africans and their descendants savored musical memories of their homelands under the burden of slavery. In hopeless servitude they synthesized a performance practice from African and European elements and created repertoires of unusual energy and emotional power passed in an oral tradition. Thus, from its beginnings the authentic music of the African American minority was generated to communicate two dynamic modes of expression: the misery of enslavement and institutionalized racism and the ecstasy of personal freedom and eternal salvation.

Because of the role of the black Protestant Church as a haven beyond the specter of mainstream dictates, sacred performances known as spirituals made up the first enduring repertoire of African American music. After emancipation, this characteristic body of song, marked by call and response patterns of African origin, qualified improvisation, encoded text, and religious fervor, was introduced into vocational schools for former slaves and was preserved in compromised European notation. Choral ensembles disseminated spirituals beyond their original matrix; the most celebrated of these, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, began touring throughout the United States and Europe in 1871.

Between the end of the Civil War and 1900, a parallel genre of secular song known as the blues was codified in the South. Evolving from work songs and field hollers and related to spirituals, the earliest blues—now designated as "rural" or "country"—were the province of a male vocalist who created the lyrics and his own accompaniment on homemade, portable stringed instruments (banjo, guitar, etc.). Melancholy lyrics addressing real experience—personal tribulations—were delivered in a realistic manner and, like spirituals, in distinctive metaphorical language. Because the performer was the creator, the early blues is a music of considerable individuality and, because of its oral context, subject to constant variation. This earthy folk expression, now recognized as the fundamental stream of African American music, has conditioned many later developments on the American landscape and ultimately music making around the world.

During the 1890s yet another music of African American derivation achieved the status of a craze. An improvised dance music for piano, originally played in black nightspots by itinerant "professors," evolved in the Midwest and the South from the cakewalk, mainstream dance music, and Romantic keyboard pieces. Its transference to European notation, with the attending compromises of melodic and rhythmic nuances, and its availability as sheet music and as player piano rolls sparked a fascination for the still exotic idiom beyond its original precincts despite social connotations. The "classic rag"—the definitive, fully notated genre emphasizing syncopated melody, reflecting march structure, and conceived for the solo pianist—became a staple of public entertainment and mainstream parlor diversion. Details of these miniatures were easily adapted for other media, the nominal ragtime band as well as the traditional wind bands, dance orchestras, and theater orchestras. Composers of popular songs followed suit. The figure who towered over his many peers, both black and white, in popularity and originality and earned accolades from historians is Scott Joplin. In rags and extended compositions (e.g., his "ragtime opera" Treemonisha of 1911), Joplin aspired to transcend the banality of entertainment music with artistic substance.

Even more epoch making was the emergence around the year 1900 in New Orleans of a "hot" instrumental music later called jazz. Drawing on diverse practices flourishing in the Crescent City and with the advantage of its unique political, social, and geographical legacies, a wind band music steeped in the blues and assigned a dance function found a home in the freewheeling pleasure district of the southern seaport. Momentous for its development was the passing of Jim Crow laws that forced the mingling of black musicians and those belonging to the Free People of Color, the local community of black Creoles who for generations embraced the European culture of the city's educated white society, including its music. The first significant jazz musician was Buddy Bolden, a figure of mythical stature and the founder of a dynasty of trumpet players before the recorded era. From Bolden issued Joe "King" Oliver and the incomparable Louis Armstrong; among their illustrious colleagues were the clarinetist-saxophonist Sidney Bechet, the trombonist Edward "Kid" Ory, and the former onetime ragtime "professor" Jelly Roll Morton. The first jazz recording, by a quintet of white musicians from New Orleans, was released in 1917 and was followed by recordings of all-black ensembles that more faithfully communicated the original performance practice. With the availability of recordings and the diaspora of musicians caused by closing the notorious Storyville district in 1917, jazz attracted a far greater audience at home and abroad despite the lamentations of arbiters of the status quo.


Numerous intersections between musical traditions and American literature of this period can be cited. Significant authors invoked details surrounding music making of various kinds as subject, symbol, or social context, the novel revealing a rich treatment in this regard. Mark Twain took obvious pleasure in burlesquing appreciation of German opera in A Tramp Abroad (1880), describing the Wagnerian approach as an "insurrection": he confessed to preferring a toothache to six hours spent at Wagner's temple at Bayreuth. In Kate Chopin's once-controversial novel The Awakening (1899), the protagonist's emotional journey is deeply sensitized by music, specifically by the pianists in her world; Chopin herself was an accomplished pianist. Piano playing by female characters serves as a telling metaphor for society's construction of gender and contemporary attitudes vis-à-vis women and music. Willa Cather's novel The Song of the Lark (1915), inspired in part by the Swedish American Wagnerian soprano Olive Fremstad, testifies eloquently to the transfiguring power of art music on individual American lives; her short story "The Diamond Mine" (1916) is likewise patterned after the life of the American soprano Lillian Nordica. Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence (1920) begins at the opera house, with a performance of Faust by the Swedish diva Christine Nilsson at New York City's Academy of Music, an apt cultural setting for the upper-class characters whose social sphere she exposed.

Popular music figures prominently in Stephen Crane's Maggie, A Girl of the Streets (1893), Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie (1900), and Paul Laurence Dunbar's The Sport of the Gods (1902), in part because of the diverse social milieu of dance halls. References to the folk tradition are found in both Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) and Life on the Mississippi (1883) by Twain.

Nor is it gratuitous that W. E. B. Du Bois prefaced each chapter of Souls of Black Folk (1903) with a passage from the repertoire of Negro spirituals, so-called Sorrow Songs. In the final chapter of that plea for the rights of his people, he proclaimed, "And so by fateful chance, the Negro folk-song—the rhythmic cry of the slave—stands to-day not simply as the sole American music, but as the most beautiful expression of human experience born this side the seas" (p. 186). The unnamed narrator of James Weldon Johnson's novel The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man (1912) eventually "passes" from the black world into the white and, in doing so, sacrifices his cultural inheritance. At one time known as the most compelling ragtime professor in New York, this character—recalling Scott Joplin—seeks to transcribe his music into a purer form of notation. These fictionalized aspirations might not have been too far removed from Johnson's own; he was an accomplished songwriter and among the charter members of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, a group that included Victor Herbert, Jerome Kern, John Philip Sousa, and Irving Berlin. It seems clear that the examples of Du Bois and Johnson represent a foundation for figures of the postwar Harlem Renaissance, who self-consciously explored relationships between literary expression and African American music in both subject and manner.

American poetry found favor with composers of solo and choral song as well as cantata. Of the Americans from this era, composers have shown the greatest interest in the poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. Ironically perhaps, appreciation for Longfellow and Whitman was initially strongest abroad, notably in Great Britain. After 1920 an affinity for the works of Whitman and Dickinson by American "modernists" resulted in a remarkable number of compositions. In Musical Settings of American Literature: A Bibliography (1986), Michael Hovland documents the existence of as many as fifty-eight hundred compositions based on ninety-nine American authors by twenty-one hundred composers; this reference provides a wealth of detail for the period between 1870 and 1920.

Longfellow, a musician himself and probably the nineteenth-century American poet most frequently set to music, is represented by many songs for voice and piano; the majority of those that predate 1890 were published in London. Discussing late Victorian cantata and oratorio in The Oxford History of British Music (1999), John Caldwell identifies a "cult of Longfellow that seduced [Joseph] Barnett, [Arthur] Sullivan, the young [Charles Villiers] Stanford, and [Edward] Elgar" (p. 260). The frequency of performances by British singing societies of Sullivan's Longfellow cantata The Golden Legend (1887) was, for a time, second only to Handel's Messiah. Countryman Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's (1875–1912) Hiawatha's Wedding Feast (1898), the first of a four-part cantata cycle titled Scenes from the Song of Hiawatha and adapted from the enduring poem Hiawatha (1855), achieved distinction as the most popular secular choral work of its time in both Great Britain and the United States; the same text inspired several orchestral works, notably a symphonic poem (1888) by Frederick Delius. American choral works from the period featuring Longfellow texts—rarely performed in the early twenty-first century—include secular cantatas by Dudley Buck: Scenes from the Golden Legend (1880), King Olaf's Christmas (1881), and Paul Revere's Ride (1898), the last two for male choirs.

The later works of Whitman began to draw attention in the years immediately following his death. Again prominent British composers, embracing his approach as liberating, led the way. Gustav Holst is thought to have established his mature voice in The Mystic Trumpeter (1904, rev. 1912) for solo voice and orchestra. Delius created Whitman settings of true originality in Sea Drift (1904) for baritone, chorus, and orchestra and Songs of Farewell (1920; rev. 1930) for chorus and orchestra; and Ralph Vaughan Williams turned to Whitman texts for three early works for choral or orchestral forces: Toward the Unknown Region (1907), considered his first major success by both audiences and critics; Three Nocturnes (1908); and the innovative A Sea Symphony (1909). Whitman's pacifist works recalling the Civil War engaged a variety of composers during both world wars; Holst's Dirge for Two Veterans (1914) for male chorus, brass, and percussion and his Ode to Death (1919) for chorus and orchestra are representative.

The earliest songs based on Dickinson's poetry are the creations of lesser American figures, "Have you got a brook in your little heart?" (1896) by Etta Parker and Six Songs Addressed to Mrs. Proctor Smith (1897) by Clarence Dickinson. Well schooled in Protestant hymn tunes and sentimental songs of the day, the poet herself reportedly possessed a gift for improvisation at the keyboard. Metric patterns derived from hymnody, idiosyncratic rhyme, lyrical passion, and references to music and its terminology, nevertheless, made her a favorite of illustrious American composers for much of the twentieth century. Arthur Farwell, for example, set to music forty of her poems later in his career and considered this "collaboration" central to his mission as a composer.

Among the texts appropriated for songs by Charles Ives, a seminal figure in modern American art song and an unapologetic champion of the New England transcendentalists, are writings by a handful of mid- and late-nineteenth-century luminaries: Longfellow, James Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Vachel Lindsay, Henry David Thoreau, and a young Louis Untermeyer. Ives's "General William Booth Enters Heaven" (1914) for voice and piano, a treatment of the Lindsay poem, is a landmark. Edward MacDowell set for solo voice three poems by his contemporary associate William Dean Howells.

In the first two decades of the century a number of poems by James Weldon Johnson were set in popular idioms invoking the waning minstrel show, vaudeville, and early Tin Pan Alley musicals by his brother J. Rosamond Johnson, Harry T. Burleigh, and Will Marion Cook. Still remembered is "Under the Bamboo Tree" (1902), a collaboration of the two brothers. During this same period, a notable body of texts and melodies sustained over time through an oral tradition—both African American and rural white—were notated, arranged, and disseminated in sheet music; arrangements of "plantation melodies," for example, became commonplace.

see alsoArt and Architecture; Dance; Realism


Primary Work

Du Bois, W. E. B. The Souls of Black Folk. 1903. Edited by David W. Blight and Robert Gooding-Williams. Boston: Bedford Books, 1997.

Secondary Works

Archer, Gleason L. The History of Radio to 1926. New York: American Historical Society, 1938.

Arnell, Richard A. S., and Robert L. Volz. "Longfellow and Music." Emerson Society Quarterly: A Journal of the American Renaissance 58, no. 2 (1970): 32–38.

Berlin, Edward A. Ragtime: A Musical and CulturalHistory. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.

Browner, Tara. "'Breathing the Indian Spirit': Thoughts on Musical Borrowing and the 'Indianist' Movement in American Music." American Music 5, no. 2 (1997): 265–284.

Burkholder, J. Peter. Charles Ives: The Ideas behind the Music. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1985.

Caldwell, John. The Oxford History of English Music: c. 1715 to the Present Day. Vol. 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Chase, Gilbert. America's Music: From the Pilgrims to thePresent. 3rd ed. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987.

Cooke, Mervyn. The Chronicle of Jazz. London: Thames and Hudson, 1997.

Flinn, Denny Martin. Musical! A Grand Tour: The Rise,Glory, and Fall of an American Institution. New York: Schirmer, 1997.

Friedberg, Ruth C. American Art Song and AmericanPoetry: America Comes of Age. Vol. 1. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1981.

Garofalo, Reebee. "From Music Publishing to MP3: Music and Industry in the Twentieth Century." American Music 17 (fall 1999): 318–353.

Hamm, Charles. Yesterdays: Popular Song in America. New York: Norton, 1979.

Hazen, Margaret, and Robert Hazen. The Music Men: AnIllustrated History of the Brass Band in America, 1800–1920. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1987.

Hitchcock, H. Wiley. Music in the United States: AHistorical Introduction. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 2000.

Hovland, Michael, ed. Musical Settings of American Poetry:A Bibliography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1986.

Johnson, H. Earle. "Longfellow and Music." Special issue. American Music Research Center Journal 7 (1997): 1–98.

Lowenberg, Carlton. "Musicians Wrestle Everywhere": EmilyDickinson and Music. Berkeley, Calif.: Fallen Leaf Press, 1992.

Nicholls, David, ed. The Cambridge History of AmericanMusic. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Mark, Michael L., and Charles L. Gary. A History ofAmerican Music Education. 2nd ed. Reston, Va.: MENC—National Association for Music Education, 1999.

Pendle, Karen, ed. Women and Music: A History. 2nd ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991.

Sanjek, Russell. American Popular Music and Its Business:The First Four Hundred Years. 3 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Schuller, Gunther. Early Jazz: Its Roots and MusicalDevelopment. New York: Oxford University Press, 1968.

Slide, Anthony. The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994.

Southern, Eileen. The Music of Black Americans. 3rd ed. New York: Norton, 1997.

Tawa, Nicholas E. The Coming of Age of American ArtMusic: New England's Classical Romanticists. New York: Greenwood, 1991.

Tawa, Nicholas E. The Way to Tin Pan Alley: AmericanPopular Song, 1866–1910. New York: Schirmer, 1990.

Michael J. Budds


views updated May 17 2018



Kerry L. Pimblott


Stephen Rockenbach


Jeanne M. Lesinski


Carol J. Gibson

Music: An Overview

The social upheaval of the Civil War disrupted musical traditions and gave rise to forms that were more readily applicable to wartime realities. In the military Confederate and Union armies employed field and band musicians entrusted with the task of promoting soldier morale, regimenting camp life, and delivering commands on the battlefield. On the home front popular music and civic bands served many of the same functions, with patriotic tunes serving to solidify support for the war and aiding in the recruitment of troops. African American music traditions were also transformed as the power of the southern planter elite eroded. Spirituals, as well as folk and abolitionist songs served as expressions of racial pride and newly acquired freedoms. Moreover, contacts between Northern white soldiers and former slaves facilitated the dissemination of African American music traditions to a broader audience in the postwar era.

In 1864 Robert E. Lee (1807–1870) emphasized the centrality of music to successful military operations, stating: "I don't believe we can have an army without music." Indeed, musicians were involved in all aspects of soldierly life from the camp to the battlefield and performed a variety of musical and non-musical duties.

Military music fell into two main categories: field music and band music. Field musicians included fifers, drummers, and buglers who were responsible for memorizing and transmitting orders essential to the day-to-day functioning of the regiment. Often only twelve or thirteen years old, many field musicians were too young to enlist as troops and were thus classified as noncombatants. Fourteen-year-old Charles W. Bardeen, for example, joined the 1st Massachusetts Infantry drum corps after learning he was too young to enlist as an army regular. Bardeen, like many other field musicians, lacked formal musical training and was relatively unprepared for the realities of war. Celebrated in popular songs like Will S. Hays's 1863 "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh," young field musicians were forced to grow up quickly if they were to survive the perils of conflict and camp life.

The primary responsibility of field musicians was to deliver the regulatory calls that served to structure daily life in the army. From "Drummers Call" in the morning to "Taps" at the end of the day, field musicians provided army camps with a rigid and familiar routine. Describing a typical morning with 17th Maine Regiment, Edwin B. Houghton recalled in Francis A. Lord's and Arthur Wise's 1966 edited work Bands and Drummer Boys of the Civil War "the clear notes of the bugle" piercing his ears as "the first beams of the rising sun [began] to tinge the eastern skies." The sound of the bugle was quickly followed by the "noisy rataplan" of the drum corps thundering about the camp. "At the last tap of the drum," Houghton wrote, "every man is supposed to be "up and dressed" the companies formed, the roll called by the first sergeants, and woe to the absentees!" (pp. 82–84). Throughout the day, field musicians performed a variety of familiar ensembles to alert soldiers to events and important camp duties, and their tunes established the rhythm of military life.

On the battlefield, field musicians were charged with the essential duty of relaying important tactical signals, such as instructions to march slower or faster, load and fire, rally to the flag, charge, halt, or retreat. These calls were memorized and performed primarily by the drum corps and buglers, who could relay them from a significant distance. In addition to their musical responsibilities, field musicians also performed a miscellany of non-musical duties. George T. Ulmer of the 8th Maine Infantry described his experiences in Lord's and Wise's Bands and Drummer Boys of the Civil War working as an anesthetist in a camp hospital at the age of sixteen as an "ordeal I never wish to go through again" (1966 p. iii). Working as stretcher-bearers and hospital assistants was a common duty of field musicians throughout the Civil War.

In addition to an extensive array of field musicians, many regiments also featured a military band. During the initial stages of the war civilian bands from across the country offered their services to individual regiments by enlisting as a group. The renowned American Brass Band from Providence, for example, enlisted with the 1st Regiment Rhode Island Militia in April 1861, whereupon it performed for dress parades and served with the medical corps. Maintaining a military band, however, was costly and as the war continued unabated, the federal government opted to cut music expenditure significantly. On July 29, 1862, the war department passed General Order 91 restricting bands to the brigade level and limiting their size to no more than sixteen musicians. In contrast, the Confederate army continued to permit sixteen-member ensembles to operate within regiments as well as brigades. Despite these cutbacks, it is estimated that more than 400 bands were represented in the ranks of the Union army and 125 in the Confederate army during the course of the war.

Military bands were largely brass-and-percussion ensembles. Although considerable variation existed, bands usually consisted of two E-flat cornets, two B-flat cornets two alto horns, two tenor horns, one baritone horn, one bass horn, and a percussion section of one snare drum, a bass drum, and cymbals. Woodwind instruments were relatively rare, though some piccolos and clarinets were represented.

Band repertoires were equally diverse, consisting of marches, patriotic melodies, popular songs, traditional dances, and hymns. Though considerable crossover existed in the repertoires of Confederate and Union forces, both sides developed their own patriotic songs with which to rally the troops and overawe the enemy. Northern favorites included "Yankee Doodle" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic" while Southerners preferred "Dixie" and "La Marseillaise." In some cases, opposing military bands dueled as a prelude to battle. Colonel George A. Bruce of the 20th Massachusetts Volunteers recalled in Lord's and Wise's Bands and Drummer Boys of the Civil War his band playing the "Star-Spangled Banner" only to be countered by a Confederate band playing "Bonnie Blue Flag" and "My Maryland." The musical duel climaxed when Confederate forces fired on Northern troops after hearing the introductory bars of "Old John Brown" (p. 396).

On the battlefield military bands were used to inspire and motivate soldiers. According to Francis H. Buffum of the 14th Regiment of the New Hampshire Volunteers, in Bands and Drummer Boys of the Civil War, the presence of a band during military operations "tends to promote morale, strengthening the discipline and elevating the sentiment" of the soldiers (pp. 130–132). The use of patriotic songs was an obvious strategy for raising troop's morale, but certainly not the only one. In her study of sixty popular Civil War songs, historian Lenora Cuccia contends in the 2004 edited work Bugle Resounding: Music and Musicians of the Civil War Era that lyrical representations of women as wives and mothers also served as powerful inspiration for soldiers going into battle. Popular songs such as "The Yellow Rose of Texas" invoked a sense of patriotism infused with dominant understandings of manliness.

Back at camp, military bands entertained soldiers and provided music for special occasions. It was at these special camp performances that accomplished bands often experimented with newer and more challenging operatic or classical pieces. In April 1862, a solider with the 24th Massachusetts Regiment wrote a letter home in which he testified to the importance of these special camp performances to soldiers morale. "I don't know what we should have done without our band," he wrote, as Bell I. Wiley recounted in The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union. "Every night about sun down [Patrick] Gilmore gives us a splendid concert, playing selections from the operas and some very pretty marches, quicksteps, waltzes and the like, most of which are composed by himself or by Zohler, a member of his band" (p. 158). In this way military bands brought excitement to the often dull and monotonous days of camp life and offered soldiers an important reprieve from the horrors of war.

Military bands were also tremendously popular on the home front. In cities and towns across the country the performances of military or civic bands served many of the same functions as they did for soldiers: fostering patriotism and offering vital relief from the tragedies of war. Bands in cities across the nation led parades and performed concerts. In New York's Central Park, celebrated bandmaster Henry Dodsworth held military band concerts that regularly attracted audiences of more than 20,000 people. In Washington, DC, military bands serenaded the president with patriotic favorites from the lawn of the executive mansion. Moreover, contemporary composers set about immortalizing significant battles and war heroes in the popular sheet music of the era. Songs such as P. Rivinac's "General Bragg's Grand March" (1861) emphasized the heroism of military leaders while others, such as Walter Kittredge's "Tenting on the Old Camp Ground" (1864) focused on the daily lives of soldiers.

As European Americans on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line utilized music to express nationalist fervor and provide solace for wartime horrors, African Americans in the southern states continued to engage in their own distinctive music traditions. In the context of enslavement, music had functioned as an important vehicle for African American community building and the preservation of folk culture. Musical festivities provided people of African descent with a rare opportunity to join together and participate in an activity devoid of white supervision. Through the singing of spirituals and work songs, African Americans asserted their humanity and collective desire for freedom.

In the social upheaval of the Civil War Northern whites came into direct contact with African American music traditions, often for the first time. While African American music and dance styles had long been the subject of parody by minstrel show performers, it was not until the Civil War and the concomitant movement of Northern soldiers and teachers into Southern states that a large percentage of Northern whites experienced music produced and performed by people of African descent. Through the performance of spirituals, abolitionist songs, and folk songs, African Americans challenged the authenticity of the minstrel show and the dehumanizing racial stereotypes it perpetuated.

Wartime accounts of African American music and dance revealed the ongoing influence of West African cultural traditions. In her diary, Charlotte Forten, an African American schoolteacher from Salem, Massachusetts working in the Sea Islands, described how local children would "form a ring, and move around in a kind of shuffling dance, singing all the time" According to Forten's account, reproduced as "Life on the Sea Islands" in the 1997 compilation Work of Teachers in America: A Social History through Stories, several of the children would "stand apart, and sing very energetically, clapping their hands, stamping their feet, and rocking their bodies to and fro" while others shouted in time (p. 129). Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a white colonel of an African American regiment in South Carolina, also provided accounts of a ring dance being performed. In Army Life in a Black Regiment [1962], Higginson described how "a circle forms, winding monotonously round some one in the center; some 'heel and toe' tumultuously, others merely tremble and stagger on, others stoop and rise, others whirl, others caper sideways, all keep steadily circling like dervishes" while the "spectators applaud special strokes of skill" (pp. 17–18). Historian Sterling Stuckey has contended that this practice, widely recognized as "the ring shout", has roots in West Africa and that its continuation represents the ongoing importance of West African retentions in African American culture.

As the power of the southern planter class eroded African Americans also composed and performed songs that addressed the material realities of a seemingly new world. Spirituals and abolitionist songs were particularly popular genres with which former slaves expressed their newly acquired freedoms. While traveling with troops in 1864, Boston journalist and historian Charles Carlton Coffin observed that African Americans who had fled local plantations celebrated their emancipation with songs of praise. A middle-aged woman asked Coffin: "Will it disturb you if we have a little singing? You see we feel so happy to-day that we would like to praise the Lord" (pp. 110–112). On Helena Island, South Carolina, Charlotte Forten recalled how former slaves sang the abolitionist song "John Brown" passionately as they "drove through the pines and palmettos." "Oh, it was good to sing that song in the very heart of Rebeldom!" Forten declared (p. 128). Singing spirituals and abolitionist songs was a dangerous, yet empowering act for African Americans in the southern states during the war.

While abolitionist songs were liberating for many former slaves, Northern white military leaders used the same genre as a tool for policing African American regiments. Historian Keith P. Wilson contends that white officers used music to impress their own social values on their men. Many of the abolitionist songs played for African American regiments were written by white composers and contained lyrics that emphasized the moral and economic responsibilities of emancipation. In this sense abolitionist songs were often reflective of the deeper concerns of Northern whites about a postwar interracial democracy. Despite these efforts African American soldiers also brought their own musical and expressive traditions to bear on army life. Spirituals played a particularly important role in providing solace and inspiration for African American soldiers. In contrast to the patriotic songs of their white counterparts, spirituals drew on the history of enslavement and the prophetic call for freedom that was central to African American life and culture.


Bardeen, Charles William. A Little Fifer's War Diary. Syracuse, NY: C.W. Bardeen, 1910.

Buffum, Francis Henry. A Memorial of the Great Rebellion: Being a History of the Fourteenth Regiment New-Hampshire Volunteers. Boston: Franklin Press: Rand, Avery, and Company, 1882.

Bruce, George Anson. The Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 1861–1865 Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1906.

Catton, Bruce. A Stillness at Appomattox. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1953.

Corneluis, Steven H. Music of the Civil War Era. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004.

Cuccia, Lenora. "They Weren't All Like Lorena: Musical Portraits of Women in the Civil War Era." In Bugle Resounding: Music and Musicians of the Civil War Era, ed. Bruce C. Kelley and Mark A. Snell. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004.

Epstein, Dena J. Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the Civil War. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977.

Forton, Charlotte L. "Life on the Sea Islands." In Work of Teachers in America: A Social History through Stories, ed. Rosetta Marantz Cohen and Samuel Scheer. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997.

Hays, Will S. "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh," 1863. Musica International. Available from

Higginson, Thomas Wentworth. Army Life in a Black Regiment [1900]. Boston: Beacon Press, 1962.

Lord, Francis A., and Arthur Wise. Bands and Drummer Boys of the Civil War. New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1966.

Olson, Kenneth E., Music and Musket: Bands and Bandsmen of the American Civil War. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981.

Wiley, Bell I. The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union [c. 1952]. New York: Doubleday, 1971.

Wilson, Keith P., Campfires of Freedom: The Camp Life of Black Soldiers during the Civil War. Kent, OH: Kent State University, 2002.

Kerry L. Pimblott

War Music

During the American Civil War, soldiers and civilians alike wrote and sang songs that captured the experience of war. The lyrics of these songs ranged from accounts of famous battles to sentimental thoughts of family and home. The Union and Confederacy each had specific songs that celebrated their cause and praised their troops. Particularly in the North, some songs were political in nature, either supporting or criticizing President Abraham Lincoln. Many of the same melodies were popular in both the North and the South, resulting in numerous variants with different lyrics. These words and melodies helped to build morale, fight the doldrums of military life, and unite people. In the end, this music formed a lasting record of what people considered the most pressing aspects of life during the war.

Soldiers and the Army

Music was a common form of entertainment during the Civil War era, and musicians were in abundance in both civilian and military life. A corporal in the 44th Massachusetts Volunteer Militia commented that "each company has its excellent choir of singers, but Company F affords instrumental as well as vocal music." He added that "the Cobb brothers, who are excellent violinists, delight a numerous auditory nightly assembled about their bunks" (Haines 1863, p. 11). Eventually the men of the 44th organized a regimental choir and obtained some instruments so that they could start a band. Besides offering comforting diversion, military bands could have tactical importance as well. For example, Confederate bands played during the evacuation of Richmond, Virginia, at the end of the war, in order to mask the sounds of troops and equipment being moved out of the Confederate capital.

Wartime songs could inspire soldiers, and help them deal with the perils and hardships of military life. In his 1866 regimental history of the 3rd Louisiana Infantry, W. H. Tunnard recalled how during a rainstorm, "the Louisianians marched cheerfully forward, shouting forth with stentorian voices the chorus of the 'Bonny Blue Flag' and other patriotic songs" (p. 124). A wartime rallying song gave one Union soldier a similar, yet more crucial, burst of stamina. The soldier lost an arm to a Rebel cannon ball, yet he sang the chorus of "Battle Cry of Freedom" as the surgeon tended to his ghastly wound. Soon, other patients joined in the chorus: "We will rally round the flag, boys, rally once again, shouting the battle cry of freedom" (Denison 1864, p. 319).

Published Music

Public demand for music was so high during the war that publishers in the North printed lyrics and music in many different forms, including songbooks (also called songsters) written specifically for the war effort. George F. Root, an author of numerous Union songs, published a songbook titled The Bugle Call in 1863. Root explained that his book was "designed for loyal people, whether around the campfire or the hearth-stone," in order to "arouse every true heart to a greater love of the Union, and a sterner determination to protect it to the last" (p. 1). Another book, Songs and Ballads of Freedom, was available from a New York publisher in 1863 for fifteen cents and included both sentimental tunes and patriotic songs. Several of the songs conjured up visions of the home front and loved ones, including "Who Will Care for Mother Now," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," and "When This Cruel War is Over." Soldiers enjoyed writing their own lyrics to existing songs, such as Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More," which some Fed-rals reworked as "Hard Crackers Come Again No More" in honor of the almost inedible rations the Union Army issued its troops.


To keep the public and the troops entertained and inspired, publishers in both the Union and the Confederacy brought out what they called songsters—that is, booklets of song lyrics. Musical notation was rarely included, however, as the songs were sung to familiar tunes. Examples of songsters include War Songs of the South (1862), The Beauregard Songster (1864), and Songs & Ballads of Freedom: A Choice Collection, Inspired by the Incidents and Scenes of the Present War (1864) (Schultz 2004, p. 136).

Soldiers of both camps also wrote their own lyrics to existing songs, and if they were lucky could make some money for their talent. The Boston Daily Advertiser ran this advertisement in 1864: "George F. Root of Chicago offers $10 each for five Union campaign songs to these tunes, 'Old Shady,' 'Uncle Ned,' 'Out of the Wilderness,' 'John Brown,' and 'America,' or 'God Save the Queen'" (September 14, 1864, col. C). Writing about war songs of the South in the Charleston Courier, Tri-weekly, an unnamed critic called the songs "the spontaneous outburst of popular feeling. They show the sentiments of the people, and give the lie to the assertion of our enemy, that this revolution is the work of politicians and party leaders alone" (May 31, 1862).

jeanne m. lesinski


Schultz, Kirsten M. "The Production and Consumption of Confederate Songsters." In Bugle Resounding: Music and Musicians of the Civil War Era, ed. Bruce C Kelley and Mark A. Snell. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004.

"War Songs of the South." Charleston Courier, Tri-Weekly, May 31, 1862, col. C

Southerners appreciated songs that praised secession and the Confederacy, but music had the added challenge of creating a feeling of Confederate nationalism. It is no small irony that the best-known Southern anthem, "Dixie," was written before the war by a Northerner, Daniel Decatur Emmett. Before the war, most of the South's sheet music came from Northern publishers, but there was an increase in Southern-produced sheet music and songbooks until paper shortages at the end of the war limited publishing. Confederate songsters were generally marketed to soldiers, but there is evidence that publishers intended to sell these books and sheet music to the public as well. One example of a Southern songbook is The Jack Morgan Songster (1864), which a captain in the Confederate army compiled. The book's title and first song paid homage to General John Hunt Morgan, a Confederate cavalry raider from Kentucky. Not all of the selections were so militant; the songster also included a Confederate version of "When This Cruel War is Over" that was similar to the Northern favorite, but mentioned "Southern boys" and the "Southern banner" in the final verse.

Northern Political Music

In the North, popular songs addressed the political nature of the conflict, particularly the debates concerning Lincoln's leadership, the war, and emancipation. The Republican Party produced such songbooks as The President Lincoln Campaign Songster and The Republican Songster for the 1864 election. Besides songs extolling Lincoln's presidency, these songsters included lyrics that criticized "Copperheads," as Northern Democrats who opposed emancipation and demanded an immediate end to the war were called. Lincoln's detractors had their own tunes, including the ones published in Copperhead Minstrel, an 1863 songbook compiled by Andrew Dickson White, the future co-founder of Cornell University. These antiwar Democrats blamed Lincoln for the war's hardships and loss of life. A Copperhead version of "We are Coming, Father Abraham," addressed to Lincoln, declared, "Your dark and wicked doings a god of mercy sees, and the wail of homeless children is heard on every breeze" (White 1863, p. 14). A songbook bearing the nickname ("Little Mac") of the 1864 Democratic candidate, former General George McClellan, used music to criticize Lincoln's leadership and policies, including the president's emancipation policy (The Little Mac Campaign Songster, 1864).

Songs of Freedom

Some songs supported emancipation, such as the compositions of songwriter Henry C. Work, whose songs "Kingdom Coming" and "Babylon Is Falling" championed freeing and enlisting Southern slaves as a suitable retaliation for Southern disloyalty. African Americans wrote and sang songs to express their feelings about the war and emancipation. Versions of "John Brown's Body" were very popular, including the song of the 1st Arkansas Colored Regiment, which stated, "We are fightin' for de Union, We are fightin' for de law" (Cornelius 2004, p. 29). Further, hymns and spirituals used religious imagery to celebrate and promote the cause of emancipation. Even the Union rallying song, "Battle Cry of Freedom," included a reference to emancipation in the line "although he may be poor, not a man shall be a slave" (Cornelius 2004, p. 47).

Regardless of what their sentiments were, soldiers and civilians alike relied on music to help them shoulder the burdens of war.


Abel, E. Lawrence. Singing the New Nation: How Music Shaped the Confederacy, 1861–1865. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1999.

Cornelius, Steven H. Music of the Civil War Era. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004.

Denison, Charles Wheeler. The Tanner-Boy and How He Became Lieutenant-General. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1864.

Haines, Zenas T. Letters from the Forty-Fourth Regiment M.V.M.: A Record of the Experience of a Nine Months' Regiment in the Department of North Carolina in 1862–3. Boston: Herald Job Office, 1863.

The Little Mac Campaign Songster. New York: T.R. Dawley, 1864.

Olson, Kenneth E. Music and Musket: Bands and Bandsmen of the American Civil War. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981.

Root, George F., ed. The Bugle Call. Chicago: Root & Cady, 1863.

Schultz, Kirsten M. "The Production and Consumption of Confederate Songsters." In Bugle Resounding: Music and Musician of the Civil War Era, ed. BruceC. Kelley and Mark A. Snell. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004.

Tunnard, W. H. A Southern Record: The History of the Third Regiment Louisiana Infantry. Baton Rouge, LA: Author, 1866.

White, Andrew Dickson. Copperhead Minstrel: A Choice Collection of Democratic Poems and Songs, for the Use of Political Clubs and the Social Circle. New York: Feeks & Bancker, 1863.

Stephen Rockenbach

Slave, Abolitionist, and Civil Rights Songs

In an era when literacy was not universal—indeed, slaves were forbidden to learn to read—song took on many roles: entertainment, worship, and propaganda. Many colonists, including the enslaved Africans, came to America from cultures in which music played an important role; thus the creation of new forms of music was a natural development.

Slave Songs

In the African homeland of American slaves, music was thoroughly integrated into the activities of everyday life. Thus it is understandable—even if surprising to nineteenth-century white Americans—that the slaves expressed their emotions through music and entertained themselves with songs while doing such repetitive tasks as spinning, weaving, hoeing, picking crops, plowing, or washing clothes. In fact, the repetitive rhythms of the task often entered into the music, while conversely, the music helped maintain the momentum of the task. On the eve of the outbreak of the Civil War, Daniel Robinson Hundley noted in his Social Relations in Our Southern States (1860) that:

No matter where they may be or what they may be doing, indeed, whether alone or in crowds, at work or at play, ploughing through the steaming maize in the sultry heat of June, or bared to the waist and with deft hand mowing down the yellow grain, or trudging homeward in the dusky twilight after the day's work is done—always and everywhere they [the Negroes] are singing (Hundley 1860, pp. 344–345).

In addition to the activities Hundley enumerates, such events as corn shucking, threshing parties, slave "frolics," and religious services also lent themselves to singing. The slaves sang a variety of songs, ranging from hymns to folksongs and improvised pieces. Though songs could be created individually, most often they were created through communal improvisation. Slave singing used African rhythms, tonalities, and vocal embellishments. Rhythms were often syncopated and set against each other in complicated patterns. The scale on which the music was based might be pentatonic (that is, it used only five notes) or employ microtones (intervals between the standard Western pitches). The vocal embellishments might include yodeling, pitch-bending, and melismata (singing several notes to one syllable of text). In addition, grunts, yells, cries, and moans were common. Writing in the June 13, 1874, edition of Inter Ocean, an anonymous commentator remarked, "[f]or forty years or more plantation songs have been extraordinarily popular in all quarters….They are valuable as an expression of the character and life of the race which has played such a conspicuous part in the history of our nation" (p. 6).

Abolitionist Songs

In the early 1840s abolitionist songs joined temperance tunes as staples of American repertoires. The November 16, 1843, issue of the Emancipator and Free American, for example, advertised a Liberty and Anti-Slavery Song Book, and contained an anonymous letter to the editor telling of an abolitionist meeting in New Bedford, Massachusetts, that ended "after singing an antislavery song" (p. 67). The most popular songwriter of the antebellum period, Stephen Foster, portrayed African Americans in a positive light in his works. This treatment contrasted with the racist caricatures of slaves found in minstrel shows, which were popular entertainments performed by whites who darkened their faces with burnt cork. For example, although the lyrics to Foster's "Oh! Susanna" seem nonsensical at first, they in fact subtly criticize slavery:

I come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee

I'se gwine to Lou'siana My true lub for to see

It rain'd all night de day I left, De wedder it was dry;

The sun so hot I froze to def—Susanna don't you cry.

Oh! Susanna, do not cry for me;

I come from Alabama, Wid my Banjo on my knee.

The banjo and dialect indicate that the singer is an African American—but slaves would not have been allowed to travel freely and certainly not simply to see a loved one. Foster thus encouraged listeners to think differently about slaves—to consider them human beings—and thus elicited sympathy for the abolitionist cause (Kelley and Snell 2004, pp. 42, 44).

Commenting on several Foster tunes, the former slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass wrote, "'Old Kentucky Home' and 'Uncle Ned' can make the heart sad as well as merry, and can call forth a tear as well as a smile. They awaken the sympathies for the slave, in which antislavery principles take root and flourish" (Douglass 1950 [1855], pp. 356–357).

The campaign song for the first antislavery party, the Liberty Party, was written in 1844 by a white vocal group, the Hutchinson Family Singers. Their combination of harmonized folk music and personal convictions was potent. They performed often and widely throughout the Northern states, though sometimes they were forced to cancel performances because of the likelihood of violence. Recalling a time when "the twin offenses of singing antislavery songs and admitting colored people to hear them" had caused the Hutchinsons to be driven from a hall, an article in the April 22, 1877, St. Louis Globe-Democrat described the family's career: "[They] had drawn enormous houses wherever they appeared, but being of pronounced antislavery sentiment, and having always introduced this sentiment into their songs, they had frequently met, even in the very heart of New England, with disapprobation" (p. 11). In 1864 the Hutchinson Family Singers put their talents to work for Lincoln, publishing "Lincoln and Liberty" in Hutchinson's Republican Songster. After the Civil War, however, the group largely lost its following and fell apart due to personal conflicts.

Political Songs

Songs became an important part of the political landscape beginning with the 1840 presidential race between the challenger, William Henry Harrison, and the incumbent, President Martin Van Buren. In addition to individual songs, writers composed entire songsters—booklets of songs written to popular tunes (some by Stephen Foster). During the 1864 presidential election, songsters were published for both President Lincoln and his challenger, George B. McClellan: Lincoln's was the Republican Songster for the Campaign of 1864; McClellan's The Little Mac Campaign Songster. The former included such titles as "Abe Lincoln Knows the Ropes," "Forward for Lincoln and the Union," "Lincoln, Freedom, Victory," and "Rally Boys for Uncle Abe." On the other hand, McClellan's songster contained more anti-Lincoln songs than it did pro-McClellan ones. The anti-Lincoln songs included such titles as "Do I Love Abe or Not?" "Abraham Lover of My—Smell," "Lincoln Written Down an Ass," and "Abe's Brother of Negro Descent." Pro-McClellan songs, which drew on the challenger's storied career as a Civil War general, included the wrapped-in-the-flag number "Hurrah for McClellan":

Come, brothers, and unite with us,

Come, join us one and all.

United we must conquer,

But divided we shall fall;

Our Union flag we're raising

For McClellan—tried and true,

Who'll uphold it—and revere it—

'Tis the Red, White and Blue.

Then hurrah, for McClellan

Hurrah for McClellan,

Hurrah for McClellan,

And the Red, White and Blue.

(The Little Mac Campaign Songster, 1864, p. 9)

In contrast, "Uncle Abe," from the Lincoln songster, is more down to earth in its patriotism:

Uncle Abe, Uncle Abe! Here we are again!

We've got a platform now, we think that will not bend or strain.

Beat the drum, unfurl the flag, Freedom is for all.

And so we fling it to the breeze as in the ranks we fall.

Ho Uncle Abe! Listen, Uncle Abe, and see!

We sing for you, work for you, Hurrah for Liberty!

(Republican Songster, 1864, p. 41)

Whatever their style or political leaning, campaign songs were here to stay.

Slave, abolitionist, and political songs were, of course, only a part of the body of music that enriched American culture during the Civil War era. Operas and orchestral works by classical European composers as well as American music composed for brass bands or piano, and the ethnic tunes and songs of immigrants, all blended to create a rich musical landscape.


Douglass, Frederick. "The Anti-Slavery Movement: Lecture Delivered before the Rochester [New York] Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society, January 1855." In The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, ed. Philip S. Foner. New York: International Publishers, 1950.

Emancipator and Free American, November 16, 1843, p. 116.

Epstein, Dena J. Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the Civil War. Music in American Life Series. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1977.

Foster, Stephen. Susanna. Louisville, KY: W. C. Peters, 1848.

Gac, Scott. Singing for Freedom: The Hutchinson Family Singers and the Nineteenth-Century Culture of Reform. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007.

Hundley, Daniel Robinson. Social Relations in Our Southern States. New York: Henry B. Price, 1860.

Keck, George Russell, and Sherrill V. Martin. Feel the Spirit: Studies in Nineteenth-Century Afro-American Music. Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies 119. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1988.

Kelley, Bruce C., and Mark A. Snell, eds. Bugle Resounding: Music and Musicians of the Civil War Era. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004.

The Little Mac Campaign Songster. New York: T. R. Dawley, 1864.

McNeil, Keith, and Rusty McNeil, eds. Civil War Songbook: With Historical Commentary. Riverside, CA: WEM Records, 1999.

"Plantation Melodies." Inter Ocean (Chicago), June 13, 1874, p. 6.

Republican Songster for the Campaign of 1864. Cincinnati, OH: T. R. Hawley, 1864.

St. Louis (MO) Globe-Democrat, April 22, 1877, p. 11.

Silverman, Jerry. Songs and Stories of the Civil War. Brookfield, CT: Twenty-First Century Books, 2002.

"Songs of the Blacks." The Boston Liberator, September 9, 1859, n.p.

Southern, Eileen. The Music of Black Americans: A History, 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 1983.

White, Shane, and Graham White. The Sounds of Slavery: Discovering African American History through Songs, Sermons, and Speech. Boston: Beacon Press, 2005.

Jeanne M. Lesinski

Army Bands

From the regimental field bands (fife and drum corps) of colonial America to the U.S. army bands of the early twenty-first century, music has always been a vital part of American military tradition (Cornelius 2004, p. xiii). The Civil War, often called the "singing war," epitomized the centrality of music to military life. In America's Musical Life: A History (2001), the music historian Richard Crawford stated that "music was used for "morale building (or esprit de corps), camp duties (which included signaling), public ceremonies, and recreation" (pp. 83–84). It was the duty of military musicians to facilitate these tasks.

Functions of Army Musicians

There were two types of army musicians: field musicians and bandsmen. Field musicians were often young boys who served as drummers, fifers, and buglers. They sounded camp calls and, in battle, relayed commands through musical signals, allowing officers to communicate quickly with their soldiers over great distances. After 1863 the U.S. Army permitted boys twelve years and older to enlist as field musicians, even though most could not read music. The recollections of Augustus Meyer, who joined the army in 1854 when he was twelve, describe the life of a young field musician in training at the School of Practice for U.S.A. Field Musicians at Governor's Island, New York. Meyer, who enlisted as a fifer, described the living quarters of field musicians, or "music boys," as sparse, and the meals as "meager" (Meyer 1914, pp. 1–4). He also recounted learning the various signals that controlled the lives of every soldier. For example, he wrote, "I was awakened… at daylight by a drummer beating the first call for 'Reveille,"' followed by a corporal shouting to "Get up! You lazy fellows." Soon after dressing, a drummer sounded the beat for "Assembly," calling for the soldiers to gather outside for roll call. Drums also signaled soldiers to report for sick call, guard duty, and at night, "Taps" signaled when soldiers should go to sleep (Meyer 1914, pp. 4–5).

The duties of military musicians detailed to bands were different from those of the "music boys." Army bands played at parades, funerals, and executions, and also gave concerts for high-ranking civilian and military officials. Often during the war, both the U.S. president Abraham Lincoln and the Confederate president Jefferson Davis were serenaded by army brass bands. The bands' most important function was performing for the troops, and in diaries and letters to their families and friends, Union and Confederate soldiers expressed gratitude and pride in the army service bands. On one occasion, a Union soldier from the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment remarked in 1862 that "I don't know what we should have done without our band. It is acknowledged by everyone to be the best in the division" (U.S. Army, "The Civil War").

It was customary at the time for army commanders to recruit accomplished musicians and bandleaders to serve in volunteer civilian bands or the regular army. The renowned bandleader Patrick Gilmore (1829–1892), who is credited with writing the popular Civil War—era song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," enlisted with his band of formally trained musicians (Patrick Gilmore's Band); they were attached to the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Infantry in September 1861. The trooper from the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts related: "Every night about sundown Gilmore gives us a splendid concert, playing selections from the operas and some very pretty marches, quicksteps, waltzes and the like" (U.S. Army, "The Civil War"). Many other musicians joined the war effort as well, and by the end of 1861 the U.S. Army had more than 28,000 musicians and 618 bands (U.S. Army, "The Civil War"). The Army of the Confederate States of America also had bands, but the scarcity of brass instruments and musicians in the South kept their numbers small.

Bands in Battle

Military bands accompanied troops to battle. The First Regiment of Artillery Band (also known as Chandler's Band of Portland, Maine) was present at the first engagement of the Civil War in April 1861 to witness Major Robert Anderson (1805–1871) surrendering the Fort Sumter garrison to Brigadier General P.G.T Beauregard (1818–1893), commander of the provisional Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina.

Army bands sometimes played at forward positions in the midst of battles. Union and Confederate officers knew the power of music to inspire troops encamped in the field and in combat. To encourage his men to fight on, Union general Philip H. Sheridan (1831–1888) ordered the band to play during the Battle of Dinwiddie Court House, part of the Appomattox Campaign that led to the surrender of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia to Union general Ulysses S. Grant in 1865. General Sheridan commanded the bandsmen to "play the gayest tunes in their books… play them loud and keep on playing them, and never mind if a bullet goes through a trombone, or even a trombonist, now and then" (U.S. Army, "The Civil War"). In another story, Confederate soldiers stationed near Union forces in Fredericksburg, Virginia, during the winter of 1862 to 1863 could hear the Union band playing. A Confederate soldier called from across the Rappahannock River, "Now give us some of ours," and the Union band broke into a lively rendition of "Dixie," which was written in 1859 by a Northerner, Daniel Decatur Emmett from Ohio, but was adopted widely as "a rallying cry for the patriots of the Confederacy" and "a battle song for her soldiers" (Harwell 1950, p. 41).

Army bandsmen and field musicians also experienced the terror of battle. John A. Cockerill, a sixteen-year-old regimental musician, wrote: "I passed… the corpse of a beautiful boy in gray who lay with his blond curls scattered about his face and his hand folded peacefully across his breast….His neat little hat lying beside him bore the number of a Georgia regiment….At the sight of the poor boy's corpse, I burst into a regular boo-hoo" (Mintz). The dead Confederate soldier probably had been a drummer or bugler; many of the young boys who enlisted in the Union and Confederate armies were.

Death was a constant in the war, and casualties among army field musicians and bandsmen were high. Only ten bandsmen of the original thirty-six members of the One Hundred Twenty-fith Ohio Regimental Band (known as the Tiger Band) survived the war (U.S. Army, "The Civil War"). Nevertheless, bravery was high among the field musicians and bandsmen. Thirty-two army musicians have received the Medal of Honor, which is awarded by the U.S. Congress for distinguished action in battle; twenty of them served in the Civil War. According to the award citation for William J. Carson, a Civil War recipient:

At a critical stage in the battle [at Chickamauga, Georgia on September 19, 1863] when the 14th Corps lines were wavering and in disorder he on his own initiative bugled "to the colors" amid the 18th U.S. Infantry who formed by him, and held the enemy. Within a few minutes he repeated his action amid the wavering 2d Ohio Infantry. This bugling deceived the enemy who believed reinforcements had arrived. Thus, they delayed their attack. (U.S. Army Center of Military History)

When not engaged in musical functions on the field, army field musicians and bandsmen performed noncombatant duties such as assisting the medical staff. They served as stretcher bearers for the wounded, collected wood for splints, helped set up field hospitals, and assisted surgeons with amputations. Whether performing music in noncombatant areas or in the midst of combat, or assisting injured soldiers at the rear of the battle lines, army musicians served the Union and the Confederacy with distinction. Unfortunately, the expense of maintaining army bands after the Civil War seemed unwarranted as Congress faced the enormous cost of reconstructing the South. The Army Act of 1869 abolished regimental bands. By the early 1900s, however, military officials lobbied successfully to reestablish bands in the regular army, citing the positive impact on the troops (U.S. Army, "The Civil War").


Cornelius, Steven H. Music of the Civil War Era. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004.

Crawford, Richard. America's Musical Life: A History. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001.

Harwell, Richard Barksdale. Confederate Music. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1950.

Library of Congress, Music Division. Presents Music, Theater and Dance. "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again." Patriotic Melodies. Available from

Meyer, Augustus. Ten Years in the Ranks: U.S. Army. New York: Stirling Press, 1914.

Mintz, Steven. "Children and the American Civil War. Digital History Web site. Available from

U.S. Army. "Bands from 1830–1860: Rise of the Brass Band." U.S. Army Bands Web site. Available from

U.S. Army. "The Civil War." U.S. Army Bands Web site. Available from

U.S. Army Center of Military History. "Medal of Honor." Available from

Carol J. Gibson


views updated May 11 2018



The study of music from a modern social scientific perspective has a distinguished history, reaching back to Jean-Jacques Rousseaus 1781 Essay on the Origin of Language (1998). Major advances include the development of comparative musicology by nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century scholars such as Erich von Hornbostel, Alexander Ellis, Carl Stumpf, and Curt Sachs; Max Webers path-breaking work on musical rationalization during the emergence of European capitalism in The Rational and Social Foundations of Music (1921); the close attention paid to music (both classical and popular) and to the mass mediation of music by Theodor Adorno and other associates of the Frankfurt School of critical theory; and the development of ethnographic musical anthropology (often wrongly subsumed under the history of ethnomusicology in contemporary intellectual histories) by George Herzog, Melville Herskovits, David McAllester, John Blacking, Alan Merriam, and Steven Feld from the mid-twentieth century onward. Sociological approaches to music have proliferated in many national traditions in the twentieth century, and include such distinctive disciplines as ethnomusicology, ethnographic musical anthropology, the sociology of music, folkloristics, the psychology of music, popular cultural studies, and so-called new (historical) musicology; even the discipline of music theory has begun to grapple with cultural and social perspectives on sound structure and musical meaning. And music has become an important focus for cultural analysis in disciplines such as comparative literature, working-class studies, sociology, media studies, performance studies, gender and sexuality studies, race and ethnic studies, and many area studies traditions.

Given the heterogeneity of these approaches and disciplines, it is challenging to summarize a paradigmatic contemporary view of music as suchthat is, as an object of specifically sociological inquiry. Even limiting consideration to the approaches prevalent in the Euro-American academy in the early twenty-first century would require separate considerations of approaches from anthropology (see Feld and Fox 1994), ethnomusicology (see Ellingson 1992), popular cultural studies, historical musicology, and psychology. A survey of the broad claims and premises of these approaches, however, suggests important points of consensus.

Chief among these is that music is not only, or even primarily, a sonic phenomenon that can be considered apart from human social action. Most modern approaches to music as an object of social inquiry begin with the premise that the object of such inquiry must be what musicologist Christopher Small (1998) calls musicking that is, the active making of musical sound and interpretation by socially situated agents. Whether this active process is viewed as a behavioral or mental phenomenon, or as primarily mediated by language, the sociological study of music broadly rejects a central principle of elite Western musical aesthetics that long dominated the humanistic study of music. This principle asserts the autonomy of (specifically, art or classical) music from social life, and typically entails the hypostatization of the work of musical art, often represented by a written text (score) that describes a phenomenologically specific sonic musical structure, unrelated to the social organization of its creators lifeworlds, or the musics social context, and distinctive from any actual instantiation of the musical work in performance. In the traditionally humanistic music disciplines, as in the traditionally natural scientific ones, musical structure has been primarily explained in terms of principles of human neurobiology and cognition, or abstract mathematical models of formal systems, or histories of stylistic influence that are described as largely independent of social or cultural determinations, or in terms of particular individualistic (or conversely, aculturally universal) psychological characterizations of composers, performers, and listeners.

In contrast, the core premise of almost all sociomusical approaches is the claim that there must be determinate relationships between music as sound structure and the social structure of musical activity in particular, or more generally the social structure of the human communities in which particular idioms and genres of musicking take place. The anthropologist John Blacking famously and influentially described this relationship as one between humanly organized sound and soundly organized humanity ([1974] 1995), while anthropologist Alan Merriam offered a succinct and widely cited model for the sociological study of music as the mediation of concept, behavior, and sound, with all three abstractions rooted in a cultural context of community-specific functional values (1964). Merriam described the aims of musical anthropology as the study of music in its cultural context, which he later revised to become the study of music as cultural context (1964, 1977). Alan Lomax developed a systematic approach to the study of formal patterns of relationship between folk music song structure (broken down into codified descriptions of performance techniques and aesthetic ideals) and social structure (defined as a bundle of functional traits characteristic of particular forms of social organization, such as egalitarian or hierarchical political structures) (1962).

Interpretive and phenomenological traditions of theorizing culture reshaped Euro-American sociomusical scholarship in the 1970s and 1980s, influenced by developments in cultural Marxism and popular cultural studies, interpretive anthropology, semiotics, folkloristics, and linguistic anthropology. Most contemporary sociomusical scholars tend to describe principled relationships between abstracted sonic and social structures in terms of mediation rather than in terms of correspondence, homology, or determination. Steven Feld (1984a, 1984b, 1988) and Thomas Turino (2001), among others, have stressed the complexity of this mediation, applying semiotic and communication theory to characterize the principled relationships that might obtain between sonic and social structures.

But despite this diversity of approaches, the key problem in sociomusical scholarship has been, and remains, the question of musics social essence: How does musical practice, understood as comprising sonic, conceptual, and behavioral dimensions, either reflect, determine, or mediate social life? What kind of analytic purchase does music provide on sociality or culture that is not provided by analyzing language or other modalities of human practice and communication? And how might the social functions, meanings, and values enacted in specific forms of musical practice be understood as providing the basis for a general social theory that would explain why it is a fact that all humans make music? These are ultimately comparative questions that presume a universal basis for a diverse range of human practices, the boundaries of which remain poorly understood or even described, especially when compared with the massive advances in addressing these same questions for language in linguistic theory.

Several major empirical and methodological foci have been central to the efforts of ethnomusicologists, musical anthropologists, and other sociomusical scholars to address such questions systematically. Among these foci, the most important have been the mutual embeddedness of music and language in song (see Feld and Fox 1994); the inextricable association between music and emotional or affective dimensions of culture; and the nexus of music and ritual (also generally understood to include dance, poetic language, and other forms of the patterned communicative embodiment of social experience and ideology). A final major focus that has emerged as central in recent years is a questioning of the adequacy of conceptual distinctions between folk, art, and popular musics, with the last category grounding an increasingly forceful critique of the investment of Western musical disciplines in an ideologically narrow conception of musical meaning and value. Beyond that, the turn to popular music as not only a legitimate object of sociomusical inquiry, but as perhaps the most important musical expression of modern societies has reshaped contemporary sociomusical thought profoundly.

Many contemporary sociomusical scholars challenge the longstanding ideological and analytic delimitation of folk musics as functional and communal and fundamentally face-to-face and oral forms of expression detached from the political and economic logics of capitalist modernity, a delimitation bound up in the nationalist projects of nineteenth-century folkloristics (an important ancestor of contemporary ethnomusicology, which remains very much concerned with questions of culture as a symbol of political identity, rather than culture in the anthropological sense of a way of life or system of values). Increasingly, many sociomusical scholars also challenge the delimitation of art musicsand their partial exemption from sociomusical studyas autonomous and individualistic idioms unrelated to the functions of folk and popular musics. Many contemporary sociomusical scholars, including an increasing number of musicologists concerned primarily with interpreting the Western art musical canon, as well as ethnomusicologists and anthropologists who write about non-Western art musical traditions such as Hindustani music (Neuman 1990), increasingly describe art musics not in terms of their transcendence of mere social function or cultural symbolism, but in terms of specific systems of elite patronage and labor organization that arise when wealthy and cosmopolitan classes and societies are able to support music as a specialized form of economic activity and leisure practice, and thus to support the making of music as a profession. Such a characterization, which eschews the idea that art musics are distinguished from other musics by their degree of autonomy from social life, makes the distinction between art musics and popular musics largely one of degree, because popular musics are generally understood primarily as products of a commercial process of mass mediation and economic exchange in the service of such non-aesthetic social functions as symbolizing ethnic, generational, and nationalistic political identities, earning a profit (the industrial apparatus of popular music production has been extensively studied since by sociologists in recent years), and providing a pleasurable leisure experience.

Conversely, many sociomusical scholars have been concerned to show the high levels of artistry and individual expressive genius characteristic of folk and popular musics, increasingly with the aid of music theorists now attempting to describe the particular dimensions of complexity and aesthetic significance in popular musics, which are often refractory to theoretical models designed to elucidate the structural complexity of (especially Western) art musics. But the overwhelming thrust of contemporary sociomusical scholarship has been to breach the wall separating the study of music as an elite art and the study of music as a fundamental human activity, which in modern societies has come to mean an activity imbricated with commerce and modern social functions.

Recent developments in sociomusical scholarship, heavily influenced by popular music studies, have advanced the enormous significance of modern musical and communications technologies for a vast range of contemporary musical practices, focusing on the diverse ways technological mediation shapes and is shaped by commercial, aesthetic, political, and cultural imperatives. Ethnomusicology in particular has focused on the emergent category of world music and, in turn, the central modern social scientific subject of cultural, economic, and political globalization, a focus that brings together perspectives on art, folk, and popular musics under the umbrella of a broader theory of cultural modernity and the global circulation of musical commodities and styles (see Stokes 2004). This turn has engendered a strong critique of the ideological history of established sociomusical concepts (as much as musicological ones), such as the premise of a universal human musicality or the premise of an authentic or unmediated mode of human musical experience that is not determined by particular social histories and cultural systems.

Inarguably, the sociological study of music, despite a long history of systematic work, is still in its theoretical infancy, and remains a less widely institutionalized tradition of thought than parallel humanistic and natural scientific traditions. However, the influence of sociomusical theory on those traditions has grown substantially since the mid-twentieth century, and increasingly it has become fundamental to contemporary interdisciplinary musical thought, in the process sharply revising many deeply entrenched ideologies of musical value and assumptions about musics essential sociality.

SEE ALSO Bluegrass; Blues; Calypso; Classical Music; Distinctions, Social and Cultural; Ethnology and Folklore; Ethnomusicology; Hip Hop; Jazz; Music, Psychology of; Popular Culture; Popular Music; Reggae; Rock n Roll; Rousseau, Jean-Jacques; World Music


Blacking, John. [1974] 1995. How Musical Is Man? Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Ellingson, Ter. 1992. Transcription. In Ethnomusicology: An Introduction, ed. Helen Myers, 110152. New York: W. W. Norton.

Feld, Steven. 1984a. Sound Structure as Social Structure. Ethnomusicology 28 (3): 383409.

Feld, Steven. 1984b. Communication, Music, and Speech about Music. Yearbook for Traditional Music 16: 118.

Feld, Steven. 1988. Aesthetics as Iconicity of Style, or Lift-up-over Sounding: Getting into the Kaluli Groove. Yearbook for Traditional Music 20: 74113.

Feld, Steven, and Aaron Fox. 1994. Music and Language. Annual Review of Anthropology 23: 2553.

Lomax, Alan. 1962. Song Structure and Social Structure. Ethnology 1 (4): 425451.

Merriam, Alan P. 1964. The Anthropology of Music. Evanston: University of Illinois Press.

Merriam, Alan P. 1977. Definitions of Comparative Musicology and Ethnomusicology: An Historical-Theoretical Perspective. Ethnomusicology 21 (2): 189204.

Neuman, Daniel M. [1980] 1990. The Life of Music in North India: The Organization of an Artistic Tradition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. [1781] 1998. Essay on the Origin of Languages and Writings Related to Music, ed. and trans. John T. Scott. Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College and University Press of New England.

Small, Christopher. 1998. Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.

Stokes, Martin. 2004. Music and the Global Order. Annual Review of Anthropology 33: 4772.

Turino, Thomas. 2001. Signs of Imagination, Identity, and Experience: A Peircian Semiotic Theory for Music. Ethnomusicology 43 (2): 221255.

Weber, Max. [1921] 1958. The Rational and Social Foundations of Music, ed. and trans. Don Martindale, Johannes Riedel, and Gertrude Neuwirth. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

Aaron A. Fox


views updated May 14 2018


music and society
musical genres of the nineteenth century
composers of the nineteenth century

European music in the nineteenth century underwent changes in its institutions, its place in cultural life, and its compositional genres and styles, all of which retain their relevance into the present. The key institutions of musical life, so familiar today as to be taken for granted, established themselves in the course of the nineteenth century. Subscription concerts, symphony orchestras, music conservatories, and music journalism began the century in their infancy and grew to be defining features of musical production. Opera houses, already widespread in the eighteenth century, expanded their audiences and public visibility. At the same time, writing about music attested to the emergence and spread of the Romantic music aesthetic. People increasingly attributed to music the capacity to allow them to feel things more deeply and experience states of being beyond everyday hustle and bustle. Finally, shaping all these developments was the accumulation in the course of the nineteenth century of a body of musical compositions that still occupies a central place in formal musical performance and, to a lesser extent, in informal musical experience. No music of the past so dominates Western and even non-Western musical culture as does nineteenth-century European art music. The century of Beethoven, Rossini, Schubert, Bellini, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, Bruckner, and Debussy, to name but a few people in a compositional landscape of great richness and variety, was the century in which Western tonal music explored its furthest reaches and enduringly shaped the modern listening public, whether of so-called classical or of popular music (a distinction itself a product of the nineteenth century).

music and society

The growing cultural confidence of the middle classes in Europe expressed itself in all aspects of the development of European music in the nineteenth century. Dramatic changes in the intellectual and political life of Europe at the end of the eighteenth century fundamentally changed the environment in which the arts, including music, flourished in the nineteenth. Except for town musicians, who had guilds like other craftsmen, musicians had for centuries composed and performed under the aegis of some kind of patronage, whether of church or court. But by 1800 the capacity of such patronage to sustain musical culture in Europe had all but collapsed, and it had become clear to forward-looking musicians that the future of European music lay with the educated, middle-class public. Aristocratic patronage still played a role, especially in maintaining expensive opera houses and a number of court orchestras, but even in such cases, patronage evolved into state support, as governments at the local and state level took over the task of maintaining musical institutions and founding new ones, especially music conservatories. The French government founded the most celebrated and ironically the most conservative of these, Paris's Conservatoire National de Musique et de Déclamation, in the middle of the revolutionary decade of the 1790s. But state support for the arts increasingly reflected the interest of expanding middle classes, not aristocrats nostalgic for court life. Educated, nonnoble elites also created new forms of musical consumption of their own. Some of these innovations remained to the side of a developing musical marketplace. Local notables organized nonprofit associations for music-lovers, like Vienna's Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Society of the Friends of Music), founded in 1812 to sponsor subscription concert series. If the community proved receptive enough, such associations could sustain a permanent orchestra, as did the London Philharmonic Society (1813), and even finance the construction of new buildings. Musical amateurs, the majority of them middle class in social position, also founded voluntary organizations for their own musical activities, the most widespread of which were amateur choral societies.

As paying customers, the European middle classes also sustained the growth of the musical marketplace, a web of commercial relations among musicians, music publishers, concert organizers, opera impresarios, and the purchasers of tickets and musical scores. This marketplace had begun to operate already in the seventeenth century: in 1637 the first public opera house opened in Venice to anyone who could buy a ticket, and in 1672 the English coal merchant Thomas Britton began to offer regular subscription concerts in his house. But the nineteenth century marked the point when commercial relations became more important than patronage in sustaining musical life. Entrepreneurs, often themselves musicians, created the business of modern concert promotion and management, renting halls and sponsoring traveling artists. The tumultuous success of the pianist Franz Liszt (1811–1886) and the violinist Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840) as traveling virtuosos in the 1820s established one type of commercial concert; the soprano Jenny Lind's American tour, organized in 1850 by P. T. Barnum, was the natural extension of this model. Also, after 1850, as the orchestra became the center of concert life and grew in size, so too did audiences become larger and commercial possibilities greater. Kings and princes had long built opera houses as imposing physical evidence of their cultural patronage. In the nineteenth century urban elites built their own cultural edifices, often not for opera but for instrumental and choral concerts. Manchester's Free Trade Hall, originally a wooden building to hold the Anti–Corn Law League's protest meeting, was rebuilt as a substantial neoclassical stone edifice in 1856, decorated with allegorical figures of free trade and filled with concerts that attested to the commercial elite's cultural aspirations.

Other aspects of musical commerce fed off concerts and contributed to their ticket sales. Music journalism grew in order to review concerts and to teach middle-class consumers how to listen to and pass judgment on music. Music critics became key figures in the development of national musical cultures, and writers like Friedrich Rochlitz (1769–1842) and Robert Schumann (1810–1856) helped to create a musically attentive public and paved the way for a later generation of concert critics, such as Eduard Hanslick in Vienna, to become cultural arbiters of the highest order. Paris, one of the busiest musical capitals of Europe, soon had fourteen music magazines with as many as two dozen music critics able to make a living writing for them. In turn, music lovers paid legions of private instructors to teach them how to sing and play the piano: Paris in 1840 had an estimated fifty thousand amateur pianists. And as increasing numbers of people had the money and the time to pursue amateur musical interests, the manufacture of musical instruments increased, especially of the piano, versatile enough to serve as solo instrument or as accompaniment to song and dance.

The nineteenth century was the century of the piano, with technological developments following one another rapidly from the 1770s on, ultimately producing by about 1860 the modern concert grand piano. More suited to the home, the upright piano, in which the strings and their casing were turned up on end, was first developed in the 1830s. The proud owners of all these pianos also bought sheet music, so publishing houses were able to underwrite a composer's livelihood, especially if the composer was willing to create two- or four-hand piano reductions of his symphonies (as was, for instance, Johannes Brahms, though anonymously). Music publishing houses also produced many dubiously helpful manuals for learning how to play an instrument or sing, and instructional charlatans proliferated, alongside sellers of cure-all tonics.

musical genres of the nineteenth century

If musical culture in the nineteenth century reflected the workings of new institutions as well as the lingering influence of older ones, so too did it take place along a spectrum of musical experiences from the grandly public to the intimately private. The works of nineteenth-century composers reflect this spectrum, just as do the practices of musical life. The most prestigious of nineteenth-century musical genres was the opera. Opera had established itself as the most elaborate of princely ornaments in the course of the eighteenth century in every European country, from Russia to Portugal, and where princes lost their power at the end of the century, states and cities carried on their role. In the course of the nineteenth century, the distinction between serious and comic opera, which was already blurred in the operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791), disappeared. Instead, operas fell into national categories, albeit everywhere saturated with international influences. So, for instance, French opera from 1790 on saw the rise in popularity of the relatively small-scale opéra comique, which now took on more lyrical musical expression and more sober themes. The same period saw the invention, out of the declining genre of opera seria, of grand opera, marked by extravagant, often deliberately shocking scenic effects, enormous orchestral sound, and vast choruses of singers. Throughout the nineteenth century, Paris remained at the apogee of operatic production, with Italy providing much of the musical material. The latter half of the nineteenth century was marked in both Germany and Italy by the domination in each of a single, towering figure, Richard Wagner (1813–1883) and Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901), each of whom transformed opera, albeit differently. As opera became increasingly large in scale, whether in the hands of French grand opera's Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791–1864) or Verdi or Wagner, the numerous eighteenth-century opera houses proved inadequate in size. The century's many new opera houses also provided a visual embodiment appropriate to the prestige and popularity of the musical spectacle inside. The Semper Opernhaus in Dresden (1841), the Royal Opera House at Convent Garden in London (1858), Wagner's Bayreuth Festspielhaus (1876), the Palais Garnier in Paris (1875), and the Teatro Costanzi (1880) in Rome were some of the most famous.

Just as important to public musical life in the nineteenth century was the enormous expansion in numbers of public concerts. The institutionalization of the concert involved the creation of a new ritual around the musical performance, which could actually take place in a wide range of settings, not all of them large or grand. The formal public concert had its beginnings in the urban sociability of the eighteenth century, and in the nineteenth century became the centerpiece of musical culture in Europe's many smaller cities, as well as a nearly equal partner to opera in the large and capital cities. The concert took on its now-familiar aspects in the nineteenth century: some kind of hall with seating usually arranged facing a stage; the rejection of overt theatricality in the dress of the performers or the decoration of the stage (in pointed contrast to grand opera); the applause for the arrival of the principal musicians; the conductor directing the orchestra with his back to the audience; silence during the performance, and applause afterward and only after an entire work had ended. The concert ideal was not egalitarian. It reflected a strong concept of art, which demanded of the listener high levels of training and attention and an emphasis

on the musical score and its complexities as much as on the musical performance. Concert performances came to be judged as more-or-less perfect realizations of the intentions of the composer, as he had set them down on paper for posterity, and concert programs evolved from the eighteenth-century model of potpourris of musical bits and pieces, not always by identifiable composers, to major works performed in their entirety.

Central to the growth of concert life was the rise in prestige of purely instrumental music, perhaps the single most important foundation for the serious musical cultures of the nineteenth century. Complex intellectual and musical developments account for this remarkable change in the cultural value granted to instrumental music, but by the first decades of the nineteenth century, the musical public, first in Germany and England and soon across Europe, proved willing to grant an equal aesthetic value to instrumental works and operas; some, indeed, considered purely instrumental works aesthetically superior. The most important genre of instrumental music was unquestionably the symphony, with concerti, overtures, and eventually the so-called symphonic or tone poems playing a secondary role. The term symphony first appeared in the late sixteenth century, meaning simply "music for ensemble," and for the next two centuries it implied little more than an overture or interlude in the larger context of an opera or cantata. But with the symphonies of Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) and Mozart, the symphony became a major synthetic and cosmopolitan musical genre, marked by richness of harmony and orchestration, a strong sense of form, considerable length (typically four separate movements), and great emotional expressivity.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) further transformed the symphony, extending its length but most importantly giving it an expressive power that led contemporaries to crown the symphony the highest of artistic creations. Writing symphonies after Beethoven became at once the most difficult and the most important of compositional tasks, and performing them proved equally challenging. The modern symphony orchestra was another direct result of the Viennese (Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven) achievement. It was larger than its predecessors and more standard in its instrumental make-up, consisting of greater numbers of string instruments than before; a woodwind section of flutes, oboes, clarinets, and bassoons; a brass section of horns, trumpets, and trombones; numerous percussionists; and often a harp as well. As the size of symphonies grew larger and orchestras grew to perform them, conducting too took on its modern guise, both in order to control the greater numbers of musicians and to guide them through a demanding musical repertoire. Among the most admired orchestras of the nineteenth century was the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, which under the direction of Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) became the progenitor of the modern concert with its repertoire firmly rooted in past so-called masterworks yet still open, albeit cautiously, to new talent.

But not all musical genres or musical experiences of the nineteenth century demanded the resources needed for opera and symphony concert. The daily fare of the musical life of Paris and London, for instance, was the piano-based musicale, in which a typical program included the featured pianist and one or two other instrumentalists (violinists being the most common). Salons of the nineteenth century became important sites for concertizing and had their own quasi-formal rituals of performance and appreciation. Composers of the nineteenth century produced a great deal of music in the smaller forms appropriate to salon and recital hall. Chamber music and piano music of the nineteenth century traversed a huge range of difficulty and complexity and included forms from the solo piano etude to the octet for double string quartet. In sheer numbers, much of this music consisted of simple concoctions for the amateur, now mostly forgotten, but at the same time, the nineteenth century saw the maturation of a number of eighteenth-century genres, with Beethoven's thirty-two piano sonatas and fifteen string quartets representing for those who came after him something so great as to virtually close down the form. For whatever reason, nineteenth-century chamber and piano music is marked by immense variety, experimentation, and inventiveness, a tribute in part to the reliable audience for its composers and performers.

For women, the salon and recital hall setting could be the only available venue for musical performance. Nineteenth-century trends toward professionalization in musical careers brought about a marked decline in numbers of women performers and composers. Shut out of conservatories and excluded from professional orchestras, women musicians found professional opportunities primarily in singing and piano performance. Amateur organizations also provided a context for quasi-public performances of men and women together. Most cities had several musical associations, including amateur orchestras and chamber music groups, mixed-voice choirs, and men's glee clubs. Amateur artistry took place both in and out of the public eye and both with and without paid professionals, its relation to publicity and professionalism remaining constantly in flux. Choral performances became the most common form of public activity undertaken by amateur musicians, and the nineteenth century consequently saw the composition of much new choral music as well as a steady stream of revivals of choral works of earlier eras. In Germany and England, the outdoor regional music festival became a popular feature of musical life, centered on performances of oratorios by Handel and Haydn, as well as popular new large-scale works by composers like Mendelssohn and Johannes Brahms (1833–1897).

composers of the nineteenth century

The term Romanticism has often served as a general description for all art music of the nineteenth century, and the practice is not entirely misleading, particularly if one bears in mind that Romanticism in music refers not to uniformity of sound but rather to the cultural orientation of those who composed it and listened to it. For the music critics of the early nineteenth century, who taught educated Europeans how to listen, music itself was Romantic because its mode of expression was abstract yet capable of the most profound emotional power. Nor does the assertion that music never ceased to be Romantic in the nineteenth century, simply passing through various stages of Romanticism from early to middle to late, deny the existence of other musical trends, including historicism, exoticism, naturalism, nationalism, and even realism, each of which, when considered from a musical perspective, seems more like a current in the Romantic stream than an opposing movement. Romanticism expressed an orientation to the world that has been called "the greatest single shift in the consciousness of the West," from a belief that the world was knowable and consistent in all its parts to a belief in "the necessity of the will and the absence of a structure of things" (Berlin, p. xi). In musical life, what followed from that shift was the pursuit of originality, often through special effects and expressive extremes, created through an enriched harmonic vocabulary and the exploitation of instrumental textures and tone colors. Romanticism denoted a belief both in the importance of the arts over all other aspects of life and in the capacity of the most gifted musicians to express what is otherwise inexpressible about existence.

Musical audiences in nineteenth-century Europe listened to more than just the music of their countrymen, and composers, even minor ones, reflected international musical developments more than narrowly national traditions. Nevertheless, composers are usually identified by nationality, and the designation is neither meaningless nor merely convenient. First, in the nineteenth century Europeans consolidated their national artistic traditions—a process called canon formation. That in turn shaped how composers thought about their own creative work. Second, musicians at work in the cosmopolitan world of music, including those enjoying tremendous success outside their native land, felt the undertow of national identity, the force of which only increased over the course of the century. Third, distinctive national styles did emerge, often through the cultivation of deliberate stylistic gestures on the part of nationally conscious composers. Fourth, insofar as print culture helped to shape the meaning of music and engender a broader sense of belonging to a musical community, the different national languages of Europe consolidated a country's musical life. The consequence of all these considerations was a densely woven net of relationships and influence among composers and musicians at work in particular national cultures.

German-speaking Europe

Starting with German-speaking Europe, where the boundaries of the political units never coincided with those of the category of German music, the nineteenth century established the domination of German composers in the concert halls of Europe. This reflected in part the Europe-wide acceptance of the Beethoven myth, which combined the Promethean myth of suffering and triumph with the Romantic era's extreme valorization of musical genius. The reality behind Beethoven's towering presence in the nineteenth century was his composition in the first decades of the century of the bulk of his creations, including the Third through the Ninth symphonies, most of the piano sonatas, the profoundest string quartets, and the immense Missa Solemnis. In these, he seemed to his successors to have explored all of human existence with an unmatchable command of musical language. In central Europe, the question quickly became how anyone could follow in his footsteps. In north Germany, Carl Maria von Weber (1786–1826) laid out an alternative path of Romantic opera but died young, with only Der Freischütz (1821) making a strong impression on his contemporaries. Franz Schubert (1797–1828) of Vienna approached the Beethoven problem by both following and working around him. In his short life, he wrote eight symphonies, numerous chamber works, and an unmatched corpus of over six hundred Lieder or art songs. He too died young, just a year after Beethoven.

Subsequent generations of German composers represented a wide range of responses to the burden of the past. Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann, whose careers flourished in the early middle decades of the century, both embraced the music of the past as a living part of the music of the present. Mendelssohn, a scion of educated Germany's most famous Jewish family, drew compositional inspiration from Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), Mozart, and Beethoven. He was a key figure in the nineteenth-century revival of Bach's works and integrated elements of Bach's style especially into his oratorios (Paulus, 1836, and Elijah, 1846). His instrumental compositions (including the precociously brilliant Octet for Strings [1825], arguably the greatest example of youthful genius in European music) showed both Mozartian grace and Beethovenian aspirations. Schumann, who founded in 1834 one of the most influential music journals of the century, the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, centered his work on the smaller genres of piano music (more than thirty major works that seek to evoke mood, personality, and atmosphere) and song (more than 240). But he also wrote symphonies and welcomed, through his journalism, any sign of a new Beethoven appearing on the musical scene. This finally happened in 1854, when the twenty-year-old Johannes Brahms appeared on Schumann's doorstep with piano compositions to play for him. Schumann hailed Brahms in print as the "young eagle" swooping down from the mountains of artistic inspiration, and Brahms spent the rest of his long and fruitful life laboring under the double burden of his own and others' expectations. He did compose symphonies, string quartets, and concerti, in the tradition of Beethoven yet distinctively his own, and his German Requiem, as well as his contributions to the Lieder repertoire, reflected artistic debts to the other "giants" of the past, the tramp of whose feet he complained always to hear coming up behind him.

Richard Wagner (1813–1883), for his part, declared Beethoven's Ninth Symphony the end of the line in symphonic development, with its choral finale bursting the bonds of purely instrumental music and pointing the way forward to Wagner's own creative work—the eleven "music dramas" he composed beginning in 1842 with Rienzi and culminating in Parsifal in 1882. In between, he composed works as different as Tristan und Isolde (1865), the freely moving chromatic harmony of which was unprecedented in music and expressed an unrelentingly bleak story of doomed love, and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868), his only drama with a happy ending. He composed the great Ring cycle, consisting of four massive music dramas (Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Gëtterdämmerung) over a period of more than two decades. In 1876, it premiered in the theater he designed expressly for it, in the small Bavarian town of Bayreuth, far from what he thought of as the superficial glamor of urban theatrical display. Wagner, in turn, bequeathed a new problem to his successors, for now both opera and symphony seemed too complete for further additions. Some, like the song composer Hugo Wolf (1860–1903), turned to intense miniaturism, compressing an entire music drama into a single Lied. Others, like Anton Bruckner (1824–1896) and Gustav Mahler (1860–1911), turned away from opera to a kind of symphonic maximalism, which in the case of Mahler synthesized voice and instrument on a far grander, more unrestrainedly expressive scale than Beethoven had attempted.

Non-German composers, especially those to the north and east of German-speaking Europe and within the boundaries of the Vienna-centered Austro-Hungarian Empire, faced their own German problem of finding a musical voice in cultures dominated by great weight of the German musical repertoire. Franz Liszt and Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849), one born in Hungary and brought up musically in Vienna, the other the Polish-born son of a French father teaching in Warsaw, cultivated cosmopolitanism. For Chopin, this meant making his musical career in Paris, where his piano compositions, at once delicate and demanding, earned him much admiration. For Liszt, who lived longer, the route around Germany led him back through it numerous times. After retiring in 1849 from the virtuoso career that had taken him all across Europe, Liszt worked first as the court music director in Weimar then moved at the end of his life to Rome. His prolific output of piano and orchestral works represented a deliberate effort to escape Beethoven through instrumental color, extraneous poetic "programming," virtuosic elaboration, and a certain formlessness, for all of which he earned the intense admiration of some but the bitter opposition of composers like Schumann and Brahms. Others (including to some extent both Chopin and Liszt) differentiated themselves from German composition by cultivating national color in their work. Mikhail Glinka (1804–1857), who studied with German musicians in Russia as well as in Germany itself, was the first to represent a model repeated all across central and eastern Europe, of intense admiration for German musical culture combined with an equally intense desire to escape it. His musical nationalist solution was to write Russian national operas (e.g., A Life for the Tsar, 1836) and orchestral works with a Russian flavor (e.g., Kamarinskaya, 1848). His successors in Russia consisted most prominently of the Balakirev circle of self-consciously Russian composers, known as The Five and including Alexander Borodin (1833–1887), Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881), and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844–1908). Peter Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) rejected the circle but nevertheless contributed to the establishment of Russian composition as a distinctive voice in European music. Antonin Dvořák (1841–1904) in Prague and Edvard Grieg (1843–1907) in Norway, both indebted to German musical culture for their training, found musical means to express the national character of their homelands by integrating folk music and its distinctive harmonies into their formal compositions. For both, their international reputations stemmed from the popular appeal both of their music and of their embodiment of a seemingly authentic national voice.

Italy and France

Nineteenth century musical life can be seen to fall either under the shadow of Beethoven or the spell of Gioacchino Rossini (1792–1868). Rossini, who liked to call himself the last of the classicists, achieved fame early with light works and comic operas, including his most famous work Il Barbiere di Siviglia (1816; Barber of Seville), then proceeded to write thirty-six operas in fewer than twenty years, many of them serious and all of them written under the rushed conditions of Italy's multicentered, year-round opera mania. He effectively retired from theatrical composition at age thirty-seven and spent the rest of his long life presiding genially over the musical scene in Italy and France. He not only was the architect of Italian Romanticism, in which he was followed by Vincenzo Bellini (1801–1835), Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848), and the young Giuseppe Verdi, but he also inspired French Romanticism with his melodic vitality, formal balance, mastery of rhythm, and faultless sense of style. However the greatest of the nineteenth-century French composers, Hector Berlioz (1803–1869) and the long-lived Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921), brought more musical inventiveness and range to the Rossinian pleasantries. Berlioz especially was committed to the idea that instrumental music could convey as much drama and feeling as opera, without succumbing to German abstraction. Verdi added an element of seriousness to the Rossinian model, bringing politics to the opera world with works that were received by his countrymen as veiled calls for unification and freedom (e.g., Hernani, 1844, and Rigoletto, 1851). Verdi's later operas became the foundation of the grand opera repertoire of the later nineteenth century (Il Trovatore, 1853; La Traviata, 1853; Aïda, 1871, composed in Cairo in honor of the opening of the Suez Canal), and his choral-orchestral Requiem (1874) was considered in its day one of the greatest works of the century.

The two decades before the outbreak of World War I served as a pivotal moment in musical development, both consolidating the trends of the previous century and overthrowing its musical strictures in startling, even shocking ways. This final period can be seen to begin in 1886, with the long-awaited universal recognition of an international copyright union. This finally codified the high value the previous century had placed on artistic originality and encouraged the upcoming

generation to a freewheeling experimentation, now recognized by law. In France, the characteristic figure of the period was Claude Debussy (1862–1918), regarded in his time as the musical counterpart to French impressionism. His abandonment of the conventional rules of harmonic development in favor of sheer sound and texture signaled a rejection of the whole Germano-centric canon of tonal development, then reaching its most extreme form in the symphonies of Mahler. Debussy's works were generally short and evocative, as well as titled to suggest visual images like footsteps in the snow, light on the water, or moonlight. In Germany, meanwhile, the date 1908 looms large in music histories as the year when Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951), the reluctant revolutionary, "discovered" atonality, decisively breaking with a centuries-long development of notes arranged by so-called keys, usually in the major or minor mode. Finally, 1913 marks, for both music and cultural historians, the beginning of twentieth-century turmoil with the infamously tumultuous premier in Paris of Igor Stravinsky's (1882–1971) Rite of Spring. This Russian composer sought to tap the primal drives of human life with percussive, irregular rhythms and clashing tones. For all these composers, something deeply Romantic persisted in their attitude toward art's special place in society, but the questions of how and even whether musical tones could express the inner life of humans or contribute to human progress had become increasingly difficult to answer.

See alsoBeethoven, Ludwig van; Brahms, Johannes; Debussy, Claude; Liszt, Franz; Tchaikovsky, Peter; Wagner, Richard.


Primary Sources

Berlioz, Hector. Memoirs of Hector Berlioz, from 1803 to 1865, Comprising His Travels in Germany, Italy, Russia, and England. Translated by Rachel Holmes and Eleanor Holmes. Edited and revised translation by Ernest Newman. Reprint, New York, 1966.

Charlton, David, ed. E. T. A. Hoffmann's Musical Writings: Kreisleriana, The Poet and the Composer, Music Criticism. Translated by Martyn Clarke. Cambridge, U.K., 1989.

Hanslick, Eduard. On the Musically Beautiful: A Contribution Towards the Revision of the Aesthetics of Music. Translated by Geoffrey Payzant. Indianapolis, 1986.

Lippman, Edward, ed. Musical Aesthetics: A Historical Reader. Vol. 2: The Nineteenth Century. Stuyvesant, N.Y., 1986.

Stendhal, Richard. Life of Rossini. Translated by R. N. Coe. Reprint, Seattle, 1972.

Wagner, Richard. My Life. Translated by Andrew Gray. Edited by Mary Whittall. New York, 1983.

Secondary Sources

Abraham, Gerald. A Hundred Years of Music. London, 1974.

Barzun, Jacques. Berlioz and the Romantic Century. 3rd ed. New York, 1969.

Berlin, Isaiah. The Roots of Romanticism. Princeton, N.J., 1999.

Dahlhaus, Carl. Nineteenth-Century Music. Translated by J. Bradford Robinson. Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1989.

Daverio, John. Nineteenth-Century Music and the German Romantic Ideology. New York, 1993.

Dent, Edward. The Rise of Romantic Opera. Cambridge, U.K., 1976.

Donakowski, Conrad. A Muse for the Masses: Ritual and Music in an Age of Democratic Revolution, 1770–1870. Chicago, 1977.

Einstein, Alfred. Music in the Romantic Era. New York, 1947.

Finson, Jon W. Nineteenth-Century Music: The Western Classical Tradition. Upper Saddle River, N.J., 2002.

Gramit, David. Cultivating Music: The Aspirations, Interests, and Limits of German Musical Culture, 1770–1848. Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2002.

Holoman, D. Kern, ed. The Nineteenth-Century Symphony. New York, 1997.

Johnson, James. Listening in Paris: A Cultural History. Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1995.

Lockwood, Lewis. Beethoven: The Music and the Life. New York, 2003.

Metzner, Paul. Crescendo of the Virtuoso: Spectacle, Skill, and Self-Promotion in Paris during the Age of Revolution. Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1998.

Newman, William S. The Sonata since Beethoven. 3rd ed. New York, 1983.

Plantinga, Leonard G. Romantic Music: A History of Musical Style in Nineteenth-Century Europe. New York, 1984.

Ratner, Leonard G. Romantic Music: Sound and Syntax. New York, 1992.

Ringer, Alexander, ed. The Early Romantic Era: Between Revolutions, 1789 and 1848. Music and Society. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1990.

Rosen, Charles. The Romantic Generation. Cambridge, Mass., 1995.

Samson, Jim, ed. The Late Romantic Era: From the Mid-19th Century to World War I. Music and Society. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1991.

Spotts, Frederic. Bayreuth: A History of the Wagner Festival. New Haven, Conn., 1994.

Taruskin, Richard. The Oxford History of Western Music. Vol. 3: The Nineteenth Century. New York, 2005.

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Whittall, Arnold. Exploring Twentieth-Century Music: Tradition and Innovation. Cambridge, U.K., 2003.

Celia Applegate


views updated Jun 11 2018


In the most generalized sense, music is the organization of sound and silence; any definition less broad than that would risk exclusion of a diverse variety of musical practices. Across the range of types of music making, no matter the genre or type, music is a cultural practice that defines and is defined by the people who participate in it. By studying music, people can learn about cultures present and past and investigate how music intersects with issues of individual and cultural identity. Throughout its history and into the twenty-first century, what is usually called Western classical music—instrumental music, opera, and dance—coupled with Western music studies have formed and informed cultural conceptions of and representations of gender and sexuality by means of composition, performance, scholarship and listenership.


Properly speaking, a history of gender and sexuality in Western music would start in ancient times, for musicians and historians throughout history have traced Western musical roots to ancient Greece and Rome. Whereas very little written music remains from this period, philosophies of music address music's correspondence to the harmony of the natural world, its value in education, and its ability to engage with emotion, whereas theoretical studies explain its foundation in the physical sciences. At the very core of Western music there exists a tension between science and expression—between objective and subjective approaches to music making—that makes Western music a fascinating entry into considerations of gender and sexuality. Whereas Western music is founded upon scientific principles of physics and harmonics, its dealings with emotional expressivity and subjectivity have been thought by some to corrupt its objectivity and feminize its stature among the other arts. Critiques of this feminization have, moreover, extended to those who create and practice music. Beginning with Plato (427 bce–347 bce) and Aristotle (384 bce–322 bce), philosophers and critics have debated this tension within the foundations of Western music but offered no clear resolution, such that the debate resurfaces generation after generation.

The first substantial body of written music dates from the medieval period and consists of monophonic chants with liturgical and nonliturgical religious texts by anonymous composers. Given the conservatism of the church and the limitations of education for women, men typically dominated music education and performance. For medieval women, however, a life devoted to religion, though lived primarily in seclusion, afforded educational and artistic opportunities unavailable to laypeople. Hildegard von Bingen, a twelfth-century Benedictine abbess, church reformer, mystic, author, and composer, wrote a number of chants and a morality play set to music, Ordo Virtutum (Ceremony of the virtues), that prove to be exceptions to the gender norms of the era as well as exceptional works within the body of medieval chant. Her intensely spiritual music centers on the female voice and a personal communion with God and the Virgin in a style that several historians have identified as possessing erotic (or homoerotic) overtones in its depiction of ecstasy. Representations of love, albeit worldly and not divine, also concerned composers of secular songs in the later Middle Ages, including Philippe de Vitry (1291–1361), Guillaume de Machaut (c. 1300–1377), and Guillaume Dufay (c. 1397–1474). These composers likewise pondered boundaries of sexuality and spirituality in polyphonic and polytextual genres that combined love songs, dance tunes, popular refrains, and even sacred hymns within single compositions in a manner that represented the contemporary fluidity between sacred and secular, aristocratic and popular, and courtly love and sex. Refrains and love songs also permeated sacred works as composers developed masses and motets around single melodic lines extracted from popular tunes.


In the Renaissance (1350–1600) groups of amateur performers from among the aristocrats across Europe filled their leisure time with musical performance. The madrigal, the most popular of polyphonic genres, owed much of its attractiveness to texts that abound in double entendres and metaphoric treatment of sexual encounters. Many refer to death at the hand of a cruel lover, with death serving as a well-known and accepted metaphor for orgasm. Composers from Jacques Arcadelt (c. 1507–1568) to Orlando di Lasso (c. 1532–1594) and Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643) wrote music that enacted these sexual encounters through modal allegory, word painting, chromaticism, and symbolic interaction between polyphonic voices. More difficult madrigal repertoire, however, fell to professional or semiprofessional singing groups, the most famous of which was the all-female concerto della donne, or the Three Ladies of Ferrara. The texture of three high female voices intricately intertwined held an erotic appeal that titillated audiences and inspired the foundation of similar ensembles across Italy. Secular music, however, was not the only genre to employ eroticism, for madrigal composers also wrote sacred works in which they often called upon similar poetic and musical imagery to depict mystical experiences of divine love.

The popularity of vocal music in the late Renaissance and an interest in the perceived union of music and theater in ancient times helped to foster the rise of opera in Italy and across Europe over the course of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The castrato—a male singer castrated before his voice changes so as to preserve its soprano range—effectively dominated opera up through the early eighteenth century. These men led operatic casts in the roles of heroic mythic and historical characters ranging from Orpheus to Julius Caesar. Their powerful soprano voices literally projected sound and figuratively projected a commanding masculinity for period audiences. Farinelli (Carlo Broschi; 1705–1782), the most famous castrato of the period, was not only a famous musician but also a highly sought-after sexual partner. Castrati's soprano voices also ideally suited them to the narratives involving gender confusion that were quite popular in seventeenth-century Venetian opera. Castrato masculinity, however, did not go unquestioned: French audiences, for example, shunned the castrato, deeming the voice (and perhaps the men who possessed it) to be unnatural.

Castrati were not the only ones to profit from the new popularity of opera, for these men shared the stage with many female singers (except in Rome where Catholic moral codes usually prohibited this interaction of the sexes). Throughout the seventeenth and well into the nineteenth century, dynastic musical families helped to further the careers of female performers and composers, many of whom entered into the business under the guidance of their fathers or family elders. Francesca Caccini (1587–c. 1640), daughter of the composer Giulio Caccini, performed as a vocalist in a family ensemble modeled on the concerto della donne and composed ballets and other works, serving as the highest paid musician in the service of the Florentine court at the start of the seventeenth century. Barbara Strozzi (1619–1677), an important female composer of the era, lived from childhood with the poet and librettist Giulio Strozzi (who may have been her father) and studied under such composers as Francesco Cavalli (1602–1676), eventually composing a number of important solo cantatas and other vocal works.


Opera continued to find favor with eighteenth-century audiences, though over the course of the century comic opera and its women usurped the popularity of serious opera and the castrato. Memorable female roles from the comic stage include the servant Serpina in Giovanni Pergolesi's La serva padrona (The servant mistress) (1733), who uses her musical abilities to seduce her master, pretend to a class above her own, and achieve it. An archetypical soubrette (coquettish maid), the servant Serpina is, despite her station, the cleverest character in the opera. Other notable soubrettes include Susanna of The Marriage of Figaro (1786) and Despina of Così fan tutte (1790), from operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791). The former presents another convention of eighteenth-century comic opera—cross-dressing—in the character of Cherubino, the lovesick young man who lusts after his mistress (and every other woman in the opera). Played by women, pants roles such as Cherubino offered opera spectators a tantalizing hint of lesbian sexuality that modern audiences still find engaging.

The fact that instrumental music has not made an appearance in this entry until now should not imply that it did not exist, but only that opera typically usurped its popularity and that it primarily remained the purview of professionals and a select group of amateurs. This situation changed, however, over the course of the eighteenth century, as composers, performers, critics, and audiences began to pay more attention to and invest greater status in instrumental music—including sonatas, chamber works, and symphonies. Theoretical works addressed the new system of tonality and the imitative capabilities of instrumental music as scholars sought to award music a higher standing among the arts. Subscription concerts featuring (usually male) virtuoso composer-performers playing their own concerti and conducting their own large-scale symphonies gained a broad popularity that served to define these public genres along gender lines. Whereas certain women performers—Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (c. 1664–1729), also a composer), and Therese Jansen (c. 1770–1843), for example—appeared in semi-public concerts, female performers were limited to harp, keyboard, or other instruments considered suitable for young ladies. Female keyboardists created a large demand for amateur works and helped to foster a lucrative market for the publication of compositions for women, from C. P. E. Bach's (1714–1788) Damensonaten (Sonatas for ladies) (1770) to accompanied keyboard sonatas in which (male) violinists or flautists played simple accompaniments for female keyboard soloists.

Composers modeled many popular amateur works on social dances of the period, for dance was a crucial component of eighteenth-century culture as well as an increasingly influential art form in its theatrical manifestations. Though music and dance have always been connected, developments in social and theatrical dance in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries set the foundations for ballet as it is now known. In the late seventeenth century, professional and amateur dancers alike took part in spectacular productions of French theatrical dance composed of nonnarrative, virtuoso renditions of popular courtly dance. In social and theatrical dance of this period, men and women typically performed nearly equivalent choreographies such that on several occasions Louis XIV, the king of France (r. 1643–1715) famously performed female roles in drag. Over the course of the eighteenth century, however, choreographic reform introduced the narrative ballet d'action in which dancers employed gesture to tell stories. This new style of ballet, the near relative of the nineteenth-century grand ballet, employed many of the steps and positions of its seventeenth-century predecessor. However, because narrative ballet called for more obvious gender differentiation in choreography, the repertoire for male and female dancers diverged to privilege gendered stereotypes of comportment and capability.


The great ballets of the nineteenth century—Giselle (1841), Coppélia (1870), and Swan Lake (1877)—employ such stereotypes, as choreographers and composers call for women dancers to be light, even languorous, and delicate, whereas male dancers execute high leaps and lifts that convey their masculinity. These gestures belong to a rigorous choreographic vocabulary that characterizes classical ballet, a vocabulary that is ultimately a symbol of control—of the dancer over his or her body, and of the dance over the dancer's body. Moreover, whereas early ballet was usually participatory—with many opéra-ballets ending in a general dance for audience and performers—ballet in the nineteenth century became an inherently visual genre, the male gaze intently focused on the female performing body.

Gender stereotypes also divided instrumental music in the nineteenth century, as critics widened the gap between public and private, professional and amateur, and hence male and female, music making. Once liberated from the patronage system, composition became a valued enterprise of genius, expression, and subjectivity typically dominated by male artists. As musicology developed over the course of the century, historians and critics privileged these genius composers and crafted narratives of musical development and evolution that resulted in the formation of a canon of male composers that, even in the early twenty-first century, continues to dominate concert repertoire. The nineteenth century was also an era for instrumental virtuosos, including Franz Liszt (1811–1886) and Niccolò Pagannini (1782–1840), who inspired female adulation that at times approached sexual frenzy. Few women pursued professional performance careers, and those who did, including Clara Schumann (1819–1896), benefited from the support of family members who were likewise involved in music instruction or composition. (Fanny Mendelssohn's [1805–1847] family, by contrast, prohibited her from performing in public.) In general, music making by young bourgeois women grew to fill an ever-larger role in the domestic sphere. The publication for amateur musicians of genres such as the lied and character piece was a lucrative business, though it could bring critical condemnation and accusations of effeminacy to composers, as was the case for Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849), whose nocturnes appealed to the female market. A handful of important female composers and performers, including Schumann and Amy Beach (1867–1944), however, did challenge gender norms by pursuing careers as performers and composers.

In what seems a contradiction of nineteenth-century gender norms, a host of powerful women appeared characterized on nineteenth-century operatic stages; however, they most often met their demise by the opera's end. Nineteenth-century dramatic opera brought a number of heroines to the stage and garnered fame for the female singers who executed these virtuoso roles. The title character of Georges Bizet's (1838–1875) Carmen (1875) is perhaps the most famous role in nineteenth-century opera—a highly sexualized femme fatale. Carmen is an Orientalist opera, casting anxieties about European (specifically French) gender and sexuality to a distant locale (Spain) and embodying them in the character of a gypsy woman. With arias including the famous habanera "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" (Love is a rebellious bird), Bizet portrays Carmen as a powerful, seductive, lusty, and bodily woman who is a threat to morality and idealistic true love. Carmen thus represents the inverse of what was perceived acceptable for nineteenth-century women, and as such, dies at the opera's end. Death was the fate of many powerful opera heroines—Aïda, Tosca, Salome, Lulu—a fact that bears evidence to mounting anxieties with regard to women's place in society (recall the contrary domesticity of women's instrumental music in this same period). The canonical works to which these heroines belong have remained the staples of opera repertoires into the early twenty-first century.


Music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries is perhaps less easy to define by sweeping trends. In the late-nineteenth century, composers explored more liberated representations of sex and sexuality in such works as the love duet from Richard Wagner's (1813–1883) Tristan und Isolde (1859) and Claude Debussy's (1862–1918) Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (Prelude to the afternoon of a faun) (1895). When these composers broke with the tonal language and excess of late-nineteenth-century Romanticism, a multitude of styles and schools arose. Serialism and twelve-tone music applied rigorous new systems of rational organization to music that intellectualized and perhaps masculinized the art. (It has been argued that Aaron Copland (1900–1990) turned to an academic atonal style when threatened by accusations regarding his homosexuality and perceived communist politics.) In the mid-1950s aleatory, or chance music, as pioneered by John Cage (1912–1992), challenged conceptions of what constituted music by incorporating non-musical sounds and determining composition and/or performance by operations of chance, processes that critics have identified as coded markers of Cage's homosexuality.

Just as gay and lesbian composers and performers gained greater visibility in the latter half of the twentieth century forming composer collectives and other associations, women, too, grew to have an increasingly important role in the contemporary music scene. Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979) trained many famous composers, including Copland; Yoko Ono (b. 1933) explored the divide between art and popular music in the mid-1960s; and Pauline Oliveros (b. 1932) structured improvisational works around a collective of women's voices. Women performers (on all instruments, not just those deemed suitable for women) also became an important part of modern concert life, though a gender imbalance still exists in major orchestras and the appointment of a female conductor is enough to make news headlines.

Whereas classical ballet remains popular, choreographic trends in modern dance of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries may be seen to free dancers from the strictures of classical ballet (not the least of which are pointe shoes), as it explores new vocabularies of choreography. Many of the early pioneers of modern dance were women—Martha Graham (1894–1991), Agnes de Mille (1905–1993), and Isadora Duncan (1877–1927), among others. The diverse currents of modern dance are as multiple as those of contemporary music, but among the notable developments are all-female or all-male dance troupes. The virtuoso Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is an all-male troupe that performs parodies of classical ballets in drag. Matthew Bourne's (b. 1960) enormously successful Swan Lake features an all-male ballet corps in its retelling of the tale, in which a male swan represents deliverance for the tormented prince struggling with his desire for love.

The popularity of Bourne and other homosexual choreographers has called attention to the degree to which gay and lesbian performers and audience members are deeply involved in contemporary dance scenes. The same is true of opera, for music theater has historically been a location around which homosexual communities evolve. For example, opera queens—a particular contingent attracted to the diva and the opera in general—display ardent devotion to sopranos such as Maria Callas (1923–1977) and Joan Sutherland (b. 1926) and are among the most knowledgeable and passionate of opera audiences. Ballet and modern dance likewise maintain dedicated audiences made up of a number of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender devotees.

In the late twentieth century, gender studies, queer studies, and feminist criticism each greatly influenced musicology and music theory, particularly with regard to issues of recuperation, representation, and queerness in music and music history. As a result many modern scholars make a practice of interrogating the canon and encouraging scholarship that considers music in its social context. The recuperation of female composers and performers typically involves a more general study of music making by women and the social constructs that surround music—educational opportunities, social factors, and institutional limitations. The influence of feminist theory has also led to the examination of musical portrayals of women in opera, ballet, and music theater, and even in pure instrumental music, by such scholars as Susan McClary, Suzanne G. Cusick, and Ruth A. Solie. Texted or choreographed representations of women offer images that enable critics to consider historical conceptions of gender—both male and female—by means of its musical manifestations. Gender characterizations also emerge in instrumental music, for example, in nineteenth-century terminology that referred to the musical themes in a sonata-allegro form as masculine and feminine and in the division of musical genres according to gender binaries.

Since the 1990s work in queer musicological studies has involved both recuperative and analytical strategies for examining the musical canon through the lens of alternative sexualities. Perhaps because of the perceived effeminacy of music, attitudes toward homosexuality in regard to the art have tended to oppress or erase its presence. Though music has throughout its history been very much influenced by gay and lesbian performers and composers, not to mention listeners, much of that history has until recently been closeted, as were many of the individuals who lived it. Among these men and women are such figures as Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632–1687), Franz Schubert (1797–1828), Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893), Wanda Landowska (1879–1959), and the aforementioned Copland, Cage, and Oliveros. Revisiting the biographies of such composers can fruitfully shed new light on their compositions. The queer musicologist Philip Brett has identified a complex of cryptography—including camp, Orientalism, and eroticism—by which composers and performers resisted the effacement of their own sexuality. Such studies may enable new interpretations of a range of canonical and noncanonical compositions. Other approaches to scholarship that have evolved out of queer studies involve the study of listener reception from a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or even transgender perspective, in what amounts to a queer reading of music.


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                                          SARA GROSS

                                         SARA WALSER