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Word Count: 2,159
The Jewish religion and its people are among are among the most ancient in the world dating as far back as 5000 years The Jewish total worlds population is considerably small comparing to the whole worlds population Jews never had a place or a country where they could live as a nation they have been scattered all over the world and have been influenced by almost every culture and nation Yet the following questions arise how has this nation survived and why didnt it disappear or get assimilated The ability to remain loyal to their faith spiritual culture and thought is what made them resist over the centuries They created communities built schools synagogues and centers to practice religion study the language and celebrate holidays Music being used in prayers songs for holidays and on occasions of mass gathering and religious celebrations such as BarBat Mitzvahs and weddings unifies Jews and plays a significant role in their life But what is Jewish music and how can we approach the study of it According to Amnon Shiloah Jewish musical tradition is musical tower of Babel Anyone can experience a simultaneous panorama of sound when passing the Western Wall a remnant of Jerusalems Temple On Friday evenings groups of worshippers gather before the Wall all singing the same Shabbat prayer texts but using many different melodies All are simultaneously performing the same fundamental ritual welcoming the Shabbat at exactly the same hour expressing the same feelings experiencing the same emotions Only melodies differ expressing a whole spectrum of musical styles Abraham Z Idelsohn the pioneer of Jewish ethnomusicalogical research defines Jewish music as the song of Judaism through the lips of the Jew and as tonal expression of Jewish life and development over two thousand years So we see that Jewish -1- music differs from community to community and should be studied separately within each community rather than as a single conception
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