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Come Swing with Me Come Swing with Me
Friday, May 31, 2013 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the last of our highlights, Aryeh Tepper introduces the jazz-fueled piyyut of the New Jerusalem Orchestra; first published June 17, 2010.  Rejoin us on Monday for Mosaic's inaugural essay: Leon Kass on the Ten Commandments. 
Rousseau, Melody, and Mode Rousseau, Melody, and Mode
Friday, May 17, 2013 by Ben Elton | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Though best remembered today for his political philosophy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau was also a careful student of music.  But his conclusions are undermined by the liturgical music of Ashkenazi Jews.
<i>Shabbat Shirah</i>: Song Takes Wing Shabbat Shirah: Song Takes Wing
Monday, January 21, 2013 by Jerry Friedman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Complementing the Song of the Sea, which will be read this Shabbat in synagogue, the Rabbis suggested a home-based ritual to celebrate Shabbat Shirah: feeding the birds.
Not Dead Yet: The Remarkable Renaissance of Cantorial Music Not Dead Yet: The Remarkable Renaissance of Cantorial Music
Tuesday, December 25, 2012 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

After a half-century of steady decline, two unlikely Jewish groups are reviving hazzanut.
Adorno, Butler, and the Death of Irony Adorno, Butler, and the Death of Irony
Friday, September 28, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Irony cannot exist in isolation; something is ironic only in relation to a larger pattern of events or behavior. Every three years, the city of Frankfurt awards its Adorno Prize to honor scholarly achievement in philosophy, music, film, and theater.
The Shofar The Shofar
Friday, September 14, 2012 by Object Lessons with Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In a new series, archaeologist and Jewish Ideas Daily contributing writer Alex Joffe presents an annotated slideshow of the history and culture of a material object.  Here, the shofar. 
Ye Sacred Muses Ye Sacred Muses
Thursday, July 26, 2012 by Simon Gordon | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Are Jewish mourners forbidden from listening to music?  On the face of it, the prohibition is absolute.  Certainly, it is forbidden for mourners to attend concerts, or performances in general.  But what about liturgical music, the music of the synagogue?
Songs and Psalms Songs and Psalms
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

After 17 years in Israel, our family has temporarily relocated to Brooklyn. For a week after we arrived, our pious Jewish neighbors ignored us. Then, on Shabbat, three of them finally approached us, one after another—to tell us that the neighborhood eruv we were using really didn't exist and that we were profaning the Sabbath.
Old-New Leonard Old-New Leonard
Friday, March 9, 2012 by Peodair Leihy | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

After 60 years of publishing and recording, seventysomething Leonard Cohen has something else to say; and, lo and behold, the "Camp"—the Bergen-Belsen of the remembered newsreels of his childhood—comes up. He also gets the "Eye"—Jerusalem's Eye of the Needle—in there, a Jewish metaphor from the Talmud and the New Testament.
Jazz, <i>Piyyut</i>, and Jewish Identity Jazz, Piyyut, and Jewish Identity
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 by Omer Avital and Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Israeli-born, New York-based Omer Avital is both a world-class jazz musician and a master of classical Arabic music. He recently visited the Tikvah Fund, oud in hand, for an evening of music and free-flowing discussion about jazz, piyyut [liturgical verse], and Jewish identity.
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Editors' Picks
Warning Notes Daniel Johnson, Standpoint. Jewish composer Arnold Schoenberg could not have anticipated the future for Vienna's Jews, but a piece entitled "Premonition" reflects growing anti-Semitism 30 years before the Holocaust.
Deconstructing Dayeinu Avi Shafran, Cross-Currents. "Would it really have 'been enough for us' had God not, say, split the Red Sea, trapping our ancestors between the water and the Egyptian army?"
From the Exodus to the Holocaust Harold Klein, Moment. Less than a week after celebrating the Exodus at Passover, we mourn the Holocaust on Yom Hashoah.  Both commemorations demand that we remember the events as if we were there.
Still, Small Voice Rick Jacobs, Jewish Week. "Rationalists, such as Maimonides, and mystical poets, such as Judah Halevi, agree that at the end of the journey there is silence—that silence is the ultimate connection." (Interview by Alfredo Borodowski)
Changing the Tune Michael White, Telegraph. Having laid bare its Nazi history, the Vienna Philharmonic has faced calls to disband.  But ought we to assume that "all great musicians should be great examples of humanity"?
Did Sondheim Destroy the Musical? Kate Wakeling, Jewish Quarterly. Broadway musicals were once the bastion of Jewish acculturation in America.  But, in his musicals, Jewish composer Stephen Sondheim swapped assimilation for alienation.
Mahler: A Musical Messiah? Robert R. Reilly, Claremont Review of Books. Born Jewish, but converted to Christianity, Gustav Mahler was never a true believer in either.  But did he believe in the divinity of his music itself?
Sing to the Lord A New Song Samuel Lewis, Musical Opinion. Israel not only punches above its weight in classical music, but has also cultivated a unique musical voice.
Love Makes the Melody Immortal! Inbal Freund-Novick, eJewish Philanthropy. A recent concert in Berlin, featuring cantors and choirs from across Europe, has brought the music of Louis Lewandowski back home.
Broadway and the Jews Sarah Rodman, Boston Globe. As they say in Spamalot, "You won’t succeed on Broadway if you don’t have any Jews."  A new documentary film emphatically agrees.