Stories of Music
Unit 4

Creating the Context
Creating the Context

Jewish music has always changed and adapted to the musical interests and tastes of its host culture. Today is no different. The emergence of technology has simply accelerated the musical transformations underway. This is the first in a 2-part lesson looking at trends influencing the innovations we experience in Jewish music available to us today. Here we focus on identifying significant historical factors and figures to lay the foundation and create a context.

Through this class, the learner will understand that: 

  • The openness and inclusivity of American society have allowed for unprecedented experimentation and diversity in Jewish music.
  • The emergence of technology has magnified the diversity and inclusivity of Jewish music composition and performance by providing easy access to a platform for unique personal expressions and participation.
  • The intersections of Jewish music and uniquely American musical styles (i.e. bluegrass, Jazz) has led to distinctive Jewish/American style of music.
Factors Explored and Questions Asked
Factors Explored and Questions Asked

Learners will be asked to consider how the music of summer camps impacted the music of the broader Jewish world. They’ll also examine the our evolving relationship with Israel post-1967, and how these changes influenced Jewish music. And, finally, learners will reflect upon how technology has accelerated the transformation of Jewish music.

Along the way, they’ll be asked:

  • What historical/sociological factors have influenced the creation, distribution, and engagement with Jewish music at the beginning of the 21st century?
  • What do the emergent trends and innovations of 21st-century Jewish music say about 21st century Jews?
  • How has technology changed the creation and distribution of Jewish music in the 21st century?
  • What are the boundaries between liturgical and concert music? Have they changed?