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Experiencing Jewish Music in America (Listener's Companion) (Hardcover)
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Experiencing Jewish Music in America: A Listener's Companion offers an easy-to-read and new perspective on the remarkably diverse landscape that comprises Jewish music in the United States. This much-needed survey on the art of listening to and enjoying this dynamic and diverse musical culture invites listeners curious about the many types of music in its connection to Jewish life. Experiencing Jewish Music in America is intended to encourage further reading about, listening to, and viewing of this portion of America's musical heritage, and provide listeners with the tools to understand and appreciate this body of work. This volume is designed to appeal to listeners of all stripes, regardless of ability to read music, and of religious or cultural background. Experiencing Jewish Music in America offers insights into an extensive range of musical genres and styles that have been central to the Jewish experience, beginning with the arrival of the first Jewish immigrants in the sixteenth century and the chanting of the Torah, to the sounds of pop today. It lays the groundwork for the listener's understanding of music in its relation to Jewish studies by exploring the wide range of venues in which this music has appeared, from synagogue to street to stage to screen. Each chapter offers selected case studies where these unique forms of music were--and still can be--heard, seen, and experienced. This book gives readers unique insights into the challenges of classifying Jewish music, while it traces its history and development on American soil and outlines "ways of listening" so readers can draw clear connections to Jewish culture. The volume thus brings together American Jewish history, the story of American and Jewish music, and the roles of the individuals important to both. It offers the reader tools to identify, evaluate, and appreciate the musical genres, and reflect the growing interest of the past decade in the academic study of Jewish music.