Jewish music days at Bar-Ilan University

For the religiously observant musician, the festival “expression of my religious and my musical feelings and aspirations.”

March 5, 2019 22:07
1 minute read.
Students relax at Bar-Ilan University.

Bar-Ilan 370. (photo credit: BIU)


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The seventh annual Days of Jewish Music festival is taking place through March 8th at Bar-Ilan University.

Internationally acclaimed Israeli organ player and musicologist Yuval Rabin, who founded the festival and serves as its music director, describes his baby as “three and a half days of all kind of Jewish music: Morocco, Ashkenaz, Yemen, America, Tunis, Middle Ages, Rock, Klezmer and Noam Sheriff, and also includes workshops and academic conference.”

For the religiously observant musician, the festival “expression of my religious and my musical feelings and aspirations.”

Mark Kligman, a Los Angeles based professor of Ethnomusicology and director of the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music, will present a lecture and a workshop at the festival.

Speaking about his attraction to Jewish music, Kligman – who over the years authored a book and numerous articles about Jewish music – says that during the 1980s when he was an undergraduate student, he saw his classmates coming from different parts of the world “who were truly interested in the music of their heritage. But in the history of Western Music class, I noticed when discussing music of the Temple in Jerusalem, there was one paragraph.”

Kligman says he knew there had to be more on Jewish music and set out to explore. This led to studying Ethnomusicology, i.e. the cultural study of music.

“I seek to look at the music of Jewish life as a social scientist and view the experience of prayer. I am interested in investigating how music works as a dialogue between cultures. As an observant Jew that loves Jewish life, I’m interested in how people are connected to Jewish expression through music. I teach the history and diversity of Jewish musical expression historically and across many different traditions.”

In his lecture on synagogue music, Prof. Kligman will speak on cantorial styles prior to 1840, while in the workshop he “will share with musicians the music of synagogues from the late 1700s and early 1800s and we will interpret the music.”

For detailed information and reservations please visit the site

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