The Hasidic Niggun as Sung by the Hasidim

The Hasidic Niggun as Sung by the Hasidim

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Material Type: 
Recordings
Publisher: 
The Jewish Music Research Centre, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Place of Publication: 
Jerusalem
Year: 
2004
Edition: 
1
Series: 
Anthology of Music Traditions in Israel
Volume: 
17
Pages: 
2 CDs + booklet (150 pp.)
Recording Number: 
AMTI 0402
Type of Recording: 
Research Recording
Media: 
CD
Languages: 
English
Hebrew
Yiddish
Country / Area: 
Israel
Tradition: 
Eastern Ashkenazi
Description: 

Contains Niggunim of various genres, and from various Hassidic dynasties, performed either in solo or group singing (choir or congregation), occasionally with instrumental accompaniment. The Niggunim are taken from a variety of calendar and life-cycle events: Shabbat, Festivals, Zemirot, Tish, Wedding, Dance, Devequt, Marches, Waltzes, etc.
Most of the tracks were recorded in Jerusalem and Benei Berak, others in Kefar Habbad, Rehovot, and one in the US.
All Niggunim have been selected from recordings, made since 1961, which are preserved in the collection of the National Sound Archive (NSA) of the Jewish National and Universitary Library, Jerusalem.
Alongside some Pan-Hassidic Niggunim, this compilation represents the following Hassidic communities: Lubavich, Vizhnitz, Karlin (main part of the corpus); Bobov, Boyan, Slonim, Spinka, Sanz, Kretshniff, Toledot Aharon (fair number of recordings); Amshinov, Biale, Gur, Wurke, Lelov, Modzhitz, Porisov, Shomerei Emunim and others (few examples).

Sound Examples: 
"Ki hinneh kahomer"

A 'niggun' of the lubavich Hasidim by Shalom Kharitonov (1886-1933) of Nikolayev Ukraine. Shalom and his brother Aharon among the leading Lubavich 'menagnim' and composers were active under the Rebbes R. Shalom Ber and his son R. Yosef at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries (Zalmanoff vol. I no. 66 and "Index of 'niggunim'" p. li-iii lv lviii). The 'niggun' was composed in the pattern of the Hasisdic Waltz 'niggun' with the Classical structure A-B-C-B. It was originally sung without words but in Israel Lubavich 'ba'alei-teffilah' sing it to the words of the 'piyyut' "Ki hinneh ka-homer" on the eve of the Day of Atonement. This practice has also been adopted in Israel by National-Religious circles. The melody also became popular during the 1920s among non-religious circles in the Land of Israel when Immanuel Ha-Russi wrote words for it- a lullaby entitled "Shekhav beni shekhav bi-mnuhah" (Aldema-Shahar vol. II p. 70). In this recording only the first two stanzas are sung.

"Shir la-ma'alot essa 'einai"

A 'niggun' for Psalm 121 composed by R. Ben-Zion Halberstam of Bobov (1873-1941). According to various reports it was sung by Bobov Hasidim at Joyful and other events; Kloyzenberg Hasidim sang it at wedding events. The 'niggun' has a tripartite structure: waltz - slow part - march. Each part consists of sections or phrases corresponding to the verses of the psalm. The waltz (verses 1-3) has three sections. The slow part (verses 4-6) ends with an open cadence and it too has three sections: the first continues in the waltz rhythm at a slightly slower tempo; the second is in recitative style; and the third resembles a slow waltz. The third part (verses 7-8) in march rhythm consists of two phrases the second of which ends in a surprising modulation.