With the arrival of the first Jewish immigrants in New York in the mid-1600s until today, Jewish music in the City has oscillated between preserving traditions and introducing innovative ideas. This course explores the variety of ways people have used music to describe, inscribe, symbolize, and editorialize their Jewish experience. Diverse musical experiences will serve as a window to address wider questions of identity, memory, dislocation, and connections to New York's dynamic and eclectic music culture. We will experience the City's Jewish soundscape by visiting various venues and meeting key players in today's music scene, in order to engage in the ongoing dialogues that define Jewishness in New York. Although a basic familiarity with Judaism and/or music is helpful for this course, it is by no means required. You do not need to know Jewish history to take this class, nor do you need to be musically literate. All translations will be provided, and all musical analysis will be well explained.
Jewish Music in New York