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The Jews of Yemen possess rich musical traditions, which have always been of interest to scholars of Jewish music, just as their unique cultural history has attracted the attention of Jewish scholars from an early stage. Interest in this culture is still alive today, half a century after the migration of most of the Jews from Yemen to Israel. Their special contribution to the development of Israeli culture, including many variants of Israeli music, is one focus of such interest. This publication of archival recordings of Yemenite Jewish music is still, therefore, considerably pertinent.
This album contains a selection from the varied range of recordings made by Naomi Bahat-Ratzon and Avner Bahat in the 1970s. They have been chosen in the ﬁrst place on the grounds of the quality of performance and recording, and, secondly, in accordance with the diverse principles and combinations characteristic of the diwan repertoire. Some of the songs are heard in a series of different performances, in order to enable the listener to appreciate the variety of melodies and their combinations, while focusing on the basic characteristics of the music of the diwan songs. Each singer chose the stanzas that he wanted to sing, as well as the melodies and the transitions between them. This enables one to comprehend the ways in which the songs have evolved in the Yemenite Jewish tradition and in their Israeli adaptations.
Performers include: Zadok Zubeiri, Shalom Keisar, Uri Cohen, Menachem Arussi, Yosef Ozeiri, Yosef Cohen, Yehudah Cohen, Zekhariah Yitzhak, Aharon Cohen, Haim Cohen, Danny Cohen, Baruch Yefet, Aharon Amram, Yehiel Zabari, and Haim Ozeiri.