Bayer, Batya

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BAYER, BATYA (Bathja ; 1928–1995), Israeli musicologist, music archeologist, and librarian. Born in Bingen, Germany, Bayer immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1936 with her family. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Zurich in 1959. Subsequently she received a librarian's degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 1964 to 1974, she was the director of the Music Department at the National and University Library and played a vital role in shaping the research of the major music research library in Israel. She was also a senior lecturer at the Department of Musicology of the Hebrew University. Bayer was a pioneer in the interdisciplinary study of music and archeology in relation to the ancient civilizations of the Near East, and one of the creators of a new field of study: music archeology. She made a significant effort to gather archeological and iconographical data from the biblical period in Palestine with a view to elucidating the musical passages and musical instruments mentioned in the biblical text and post-biblical writings. Her thorough investigation is exemplified by her monograph The Material Relics of Music in Ancient Palestine and Its Environs (1963), by the entry "Neginah ve-Zimrah" in the Encyclopedia Biblica 5 (1980), and, in particular, by her two extensive studies "The Biblical Nevel" (Yuval 1, 1968) and "The Titles of the Psalms" (Yuval 4, 1982).

Bayer was broadly cultured and an individual of enormous erudition and perfectionism. An eloquent example is her coverage of the extensive musical material related to biblical figures and stories for the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica as well as her other entries on a wide variety of subjects.

[Amnon Shiloah (2nd ed.)]