The earlier version, entitled “Cross-Repertoire Motifs in the Liturgical Music of Ashkenazi Tradition,” was presented at the World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, 2013. This article is an expanded and elaborated version of that paper.
The original German version of the epoch-making monograph by Robert Lachmann (published originally in 1942 in English without musical examples and photographs) on the musical culture of the venerable Jewish community from the Island of Djerba, off the southern coast of Tunisia. Reaching far beyond this specific case, which served Lachmann as a kind of pilot project, the book has become a model that scholars may find applicable to other issues in ethnomusicology.
The tradition of singing the Psalms according to a specific set of masoretic accents (ta'ame emet) had been considered nearly forgotten. However, on the basis of the oral renditions of Psalms performed by North African and Middle Eastern Jews in liturgical and non-liturgical contexts that have survived until the present, this monograph maintains that many aspects of the system of cantillation according to masoretic accents was kept alive in actual practice.
Also in: Musicological Studies 3 (1980): 139-58. Interviews made during field work in Hungary and Czechoslovakia illustrate the emic concepts about musical composition in Ashkenazic Jewish music. The concepts differ considerably with regard to various styles within the tradition. Nevertheless, it is generally agreed that Hassidic nigumim are original inventions of composers from Hassidic courts.
Attempts to conceptualize and illustrate the problem of rhythmic structures without a clear beat, that is, structures which are commonly called free or flowing rhythm. A theoretical framework is proposed for the analysis and transcription of such music.