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Jewish Contiguities and the Soundtrack of Israeli
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Assaf Shelleg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199354948

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199354948.001.0001

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From Pre- to Post-Statehood

From Pre- to Post-Statehood

Hebrewism Diluted

Chapter:
(p.73) 2 From Pre- to Post-Statehood
Source:
Jewish Contiguities and the Soundtrack of Israeli History
Author(s):

Assaf Shelleg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199354948.003.0003

Chapter 2 traverses the year of Israeli statehood to discuss the emergence and dilution of Zionist musical onomatopoeias (citations of Jewish folk or liturgical music filtered through a post-romantic musical vocabulary under the purview of nationalism), their social hierarchies, and the separatist mechanism that enabled them. Surveying parallel developments in modern Hebrew literature and poetry, this chapter analyses the gradual disillusionment with romanticism through the usurping linear compositional devices that upset the relegation of Arab Jewish music to “pre-modern” or “religious” (and accordingly the need for a Western “correcting” hand) in an attempt to portray a non-romantic East in keeping with contemporary serial techniques. Composers’ disillusionment with romanticist Zionism accelerated the turn to the linear musical properties of Arab Jewish music that gradually severed art music from its national function. The chapter concludes by assessing the ways in which composers departed (or were unable to depart) from the eschatology embedded in the Zionist discourse.

Keywords:   Alexander Boskovich, Mordecai Seter, Erich Walter Sternberg, Hebrewism, Israeli art music, Israeli cultural history, Josef Tal, Paul Ben-Haim, Stefan Wolpe, Arab Jews

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