Magen Avot

The Mogen Ovos Mode: a Study in Folklore

Singing the prayer magen avot, the abbreviated repetition of Sabbath-eve amidah, is an old tradition which "goes back to the third century." Jewish communities in different parts of the world share the same mode for the prayer, though each community has its own variant. This mode, which, to Idelsohn, is the deepest expression of the Jewish soul, is based on an "original melodic line of Jewish folk song" and is also the foundation of various synagogue melodies (e.g. Leoni's yigdal).

Material Type: 
Articles in Journals

Parallels Between the Old–French and the Jewish Song

A somewhat controversial article in which Idelsohn tries to show traces of Jewish music in French folk music. Jews settled in France in the fourth century; "they were scattered throughout the country and lived mingled with the native people" until the fourteenth century when they were expelled twice, first in 1306 and for the second time in 1394.

Material Type: 
Articles in Journals
Year: 
1933

Toward A Clearer Definition of the Magen Avot Mode

Author

Primarily motivated by historical and comparative musicology, past studies of Ashkenazi prayer modes were affected by a pre conceived paradigm, which resulted in a distorted perception of these modes. This paper first examines the roots and specific implications of this phenomenon in one such mode, which insiders call "Magen Avot" and then moves on to propose a new model for a definition of the mode.

Material Type: 
Articles in Journals
Year: 
2001-2

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