The Music of the Mountain Jews

The Music of the Mountain Jews

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Material Type: 
Recordings
Publisher: 
The Jewish Music Research Centre, The Hebrew Univ
Place of Publication: 
Jerusalem
Year: 
1998
Series: 
Anthology of Music Traditions in Israel
Volume: 
10
Pages: 
1 CD
Recording Number: 
AMTI CD 9801
Type of Recording: 
Research Recording
Media: 
CD
Languages: 
English
Hebrew
Juhuri (Judeo-Tat)
Country / Area: 
Central Asia
Tradition: 
Eastern Communities
Description: 

A study of the liturgical and folk music of one of the most remote Jewish communities, the Jews from Daghestan and neighboring areas of eastern Caucasus. This study is based on field recordings carried out during the Soviet period in the Caucasus and among immigrants from that area in Israel, as well as older recordings from Radio Makhachkala. The CD includes musical exemples of prayers in Hebrew and folksongs in Juhuri (Judeo-Tat, the language of the Mountain Jews) from the vast ethnographic and ethnomusicological research on the Mountain Jews carried by the JMRC. Accompanied by a book with texts and transcriptions, catalogued separately.

Sound Examples: 
Khars

The Khars performed by the Orchestra of the National Daghestan Company ("Lezginka") is a dance tune characteristic of the Mountain Jews. Tankhoi Izrailov the director of Lezginka heard this song from his grandmother in the city of Kuba and adopted it for this dance company. The Khars (lit. "to clap the hands" in Juhuri) is very similar to Ovshori in its form and rhythm but much slower in tempo.

Iyr

The Iyr also known in Juhuri as Uylov or Uylomish and in the Kabardin dialect as Ghiyr or Ghibzi is a genre found among all Turkish peoples but among the Jews appears only in the Khaytoghi tradition. These are long complex compositions usually consisting of three parts. The opening is a free polyphonic introductory section in very slow tempo based on motifs from well-known songs. It is followed by a short part which alludes to rhythms from the upcoming sections. The music then abruptly returns to the free rhythm improvisation of the opening section. The third part consists of several melodies each in a tempo faster than the previous one ending with a number of Lezginka dances.