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Shulsinger, Bezalel


SHULSINGER, BEZALEL (Bezalel Odesser ; c. 1779–c. 1873), ḥhazzan. Born in Uman, Russia, Shulsinger received no formal musical education. Nothing is known about him before 1826 when he was already a renowned ḥazzan and held a post in Odessa. From 1860 he lived in Jerusalem. Shulsinger's compositions, characterized by their lyrical simplicity and easy-moving grace, were taken down by members of his choir, many of whom later became famous ḥazzanim. Thus Shulsinger's influence on synagogue music was far-reaching, and many of his compositions achieved widespread popularity. One of them is "Attah Noten Yad," which he is supposed to have sung to his pupils upon his departure for the Holy Land.


Idelsohn, Music, 267, 298; idem, Thesaurus of Hebrew Oriental Melodies, 8 (1923), xix–xx, and nos. 237–9; H. Harris, Toledot ha-Neginah ve-ha-Ḥazzanut be-Yisrael (1950), 396–9.

[David M.L. Olivestone]

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