Music

Israeli music, much like Israeli society as a whole, is a tapestry of multiple influences, cultures and geographic origins. Since the beginning of Zionism’s footprint in the land of Eretz Yisrael, music has been a significant element of early Zionism, Jewish growth in the period before the state, and then in Israeli culture since 1948. Early folk songs of the Halutzim (pioneers), classical music of the Palestine Orchestra (now the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra), Mizrahi music made popular in the 1970s, rock and roll, hip-hop and jazz are just some of the many pieces of Israeli music. Styles and genres reflect the origins of Jewish immigrants to Israel, Israel’s experiences as a state, and then cross pollinated with cultural combinations and influences from elsewhere. Artists such as David Broza, Shalom Hanoch, Arik Einstein, Zohar Argov, Naomi Shemer, Ha’dag Nahash and Muki convey the depth and complexity of Israel through their music. These songs act as historical and social benchmarks as well as compasses, telling the unique stories of Israel and its history, society, culture, and population.

Books

Bohlman, Philip V. Jewish Music and Modernity. New York, NY: Oxford Press, 2008.

Gradenwitz, Peter. The Music of Israel: From the Biblical Era to Modern times. Portland, Or.: Amadeus Press, 1996.

Hirshberg, Jehoash. Music in the Jewish Community of Palestine, 1880-1948: A Social History. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995.

Horowitz, Amy. Mediterranean Israeli Music and the Politics of the Aesthetic. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2010.

Ingber, Judith Brin. Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2011.

Idelsohn, A. Z. Jewish Music: Its Historical Development. New York: Henry Holt, 1929.

Ingber, Judith Brin. Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2011.

Keren, Zvi. Contemporary Israeli Music: Its Sources and Stylistic Development. [Ramat-Gan, Israel]: Bar Ilan University Press, 1980.

Regev, Motti, and Edwin Seroussi. Popular Music and National Culture in Israel. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004.

Seroussi, Edwin. Popular Music in Israel: The First Fifty Years. Cambridge, MA: Harvard College Library, 1996.

Shafir, Gershon, and Yoav Peled. Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Articles

Boston Globe. “Ravid Kahalani’s Musical Journey Returns to His Roots.” July 4, 2013. Accessed July 9, 2013. 

Cohen, Judah M. “Rewriting the Grand Narrative of Jewish Music: Abraham Z. Idelsohn in the United States.” Jewish Quarterly Review, 100:3 (2010): 417-53.

Erdely, Stephen. “The Land Where Two Streams Flow”: Music in the German-Jewish Community of Israel. Philip V. Bohlman .”  Journal of the American Musicological Society 45:1 (1992): 153-60.

Erez, Oded and Nadeem Karkabi. “Sounding Arabic: Postvernacular Modes of Performing the Arabic Language in Popular Music by Israeli Jews,” Popular Music 38:2 (May 2019): 298–316.

Eliram, Talilah.”The Israeli Folksong” (Song of the Land-of-Israel) (n.d.): Hebrew University.

Gilboa, Avi, and Bissan Salman. “The Roles of Music in Let’s Talk Music, a Model for Enhancing Communication between Arabs and Jews in Israel,” Nordic Journal of Music Therapy 28:3 (May 2019): 256–68.

Habib, Jasmin, and Amir Locker-Biletzki. “Ḥama Venehederet (Hot and Wonderful): Home, Belonging, and the Image of the Yored in Israeli Pop Music,” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 361 (Winter 2018): 1–28.

Halevi, Yossi Klein. “Israeli Rock Music’s Spiritual New Sound,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2015.

Halper, Jeff, Edwin Seroussi, and Pamela Squires-Kidron. “Musica Mizrakhit: Ethnicity and Class Culture in Israel.” Popular Music 8:2 (1989): 131

Hirshberg, Jehoash. “The Vision of the East and the Heritage of the West: A Comprehensive Model of Ideology and Practice in Israeli Art Music.” Bar Ilan University.

Kallio, Alexis Anja et al., editors. Music, Education, and Religion: Intersections and Entanglements. Indiana University Press, 2019.

Lev, Tomer. “Music and Music Education in Israel in an Era of Social and Cultural Schism,” Min-Ad: Israel Studies in Musicology Online 15:2 (January 2018): 23–40.

Liebes, Tamar, and Zohar Kampf. “Hello! This Is Jerusalem Calling: The Revival of Spoken Hebrew on the Mandatory Radio (1936-1948).” Journal of Israeli History 29:2 (2010): 137-58.

Loeffler, James. “Do Zionists Read Music from Right to Left? Abraham Tsvi Idelsohn and the Invention of Israeli Music.” Jewish Quarterly Review 100:3 (2010): 385-416.

Nocke, Alexandra. “Israel and the Emergence of Mediterranean Identity: Expressions of Locality in Music and Literature.” Israel Studies 11:1 (2006): 143-73

Public Radio International PRI. “Israeli-born Ethiopian Jew Embraces Ancestry in Her Music.” July 2, 2013. Accessed July 9, 2013. 

Regev, Motti. “Israeli Rock, or a Study in the Politics of ‘local Authenticity’.” Popular Music 11:1 (1992): 1.

Serousssi, Edwin. “Nostalgic Soundscapes: The Future of Israel’s Sonic Past,” Israel Studies, 19:2 (Summer 2014): 35-50.

Seroussi, Edwin. Popular Music in Israel: The First Fifty Years. Cambridge: Harvard College Library, 1996.

Shabtay, Malka. “‘RaGap’: Music and Identity among Young Ethiopians in Israel.” Critical Arts 17:1-2 (2003): 93-105.

Shahar, Natan. “The Eretz Israeli Song and the Jewish National Fund.” Studies in Contemporary Jewry IX (1993): 78-91.

Shiloah, Amnon, and Erik Cohen. “The Dynamics of Change in Jewish Oriental Ethnic Music in Israel.” Ethnomusicology 27:2 (May 1983): 227-52.

Waterman, Stanley. “Variations on a Hebrew Theme: The Politics of Art Music in Israel.” GeoJournal 65:1-2 (2006): 113-23.