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New Book: “Experiencing Jewish Music In America: A Listener's Companion” By Doctor Tina Frühauf

July 27, 2020 | By Helene Kamioner

“Experiencing Jewish Music In America: A Listener's Companion”

By Doctor Tina Frühauf

 Leading Expert In Facets Of Jewish Music And Culture

“…Jewish music is a multifaceted crystal, and Frühauf turns the gem in every direction to give universal perspective in the context of the American soundscape. Her commentaries will prompt readers to listen in a refreshing new way to Jewish music, opening doors to understanding. (Kenneth LaFave)


Dedicated to immigrants of all faiths, cultures, and walks of life, Experiencing Jewish Music in America: A Listener's Companion offers an easy-to-read and new perspective on the remarkably diverse landscape that comprises Jewish music in the United States. This much-needed survey on the art of listening to and enjoying this dynamic and diverse musical culture invites listeners curious about the many types of music in its connection to Jewish life. Experiencing Jewish Music in America is intended to encourage further reading about, listening to, and viewing of this portion of America’s musical heritage, and provide listeners with the tools to understand and appreciate this body of work. Experiencing Jewish Music in America offers insights into an extensive range of musical genres and styles that have been central to the Jewish experience, beginning with the arrival of the first Jewish immigrants in the sixteenth century and the chanting of the Torah, to the sounds of pop today. Each chapter offers selected case studies where these unique forms of music were—and still can be—heard, seen, and experienced. The volume thus brings together American Jewish history, the story of American and Jewish music, and the roles of the individuals important to both. It offers the reader tools to identify, evaluate, and appreciate the musical genres, and reflect the growing interest of the past decade in Jewish music.

About the Author:  A native of Essen, Germany, now residing in New York City, Dr. Tina Frühauf, is a noted expert specializing in every aspect of Jewish music. Professor Frühauf holds teaching positions at Columbia University and serves on the doctoral faculty of The Graduate Center, City University of New York. During the summer semester of 2019 she was DAAD guest professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. Dr. Frühauf has authored The Organ and Its Music in German-Jewish Culture (Oxford University Press, 2009/2012) and has edited German-Jewish Organ Music: An Anthology of Works from the 1820s to the 1960s (A-R Editions, 2013), Hans Samuel: Selected Piano Works (A-R Editions, 2013), and Dislocated Memories: Jews, Music, and Postwar German Culture (Oxford University Press, 2014), which won the Ruth A. Solie Award and the Jewish Studies and Music Award of the American Musicological Society. She has written several books for a wide-ranging audience, most recently Experiencing Jewish Music in America, published by Rowman & Littlefield. Dr. Frühauf’s monumental monograph on music in the Jewish communities of postwar Germany, Transcending Dystopia: Music, Mobility, and the Jewish Community in Germany, 1945–1989, is due to be published by Oxford University Press in December, 2020.

Transcending Dystopia features pioneering research on the role music played in its various connections to and contexts of Jewish communal life and cultural activity in Germany from 1945 to 1989. As the first history of the Jewish communities' musical practices during the postwar and Cold War eras, it tells the story of how the traumatic experience of the Holocaust led to transitions and transformations, and the significance of music in these processes. As such, it relies on music to draw together three areas of inquiry: the Jewish community, the postwar Germanys and their politics after the Holocaust (occupied Germany, the Federal Republic, the Democratic Republic, and divided Berlin), and on the concept of cultural mobility. Indeed, the musical practices of the Jewish communities in the postwar Germanys cannot be divorced from politics as can be observed in their relations to Israel and United States. On the grounds of these conceptual concerns, selective communities serve as case studies to provide a kaleidoscopic panorama of musical practices in worship and in social life. Within these pillars, the chapters in this volume cover a wide spectrum of topics from music during commemorations, on the radio and in Jewish newspapers to synagogue concerts and community events; from the absence and presence of cantor and organ to the resurgence of choral music. What binds these topics tightly together is the specific theoretical inquiry of mobility. Interdisciplinary in scope and method, the book builds on recent scholarship in Cold War studies, cultural history, German studies, Holocaust studies, and Jewish studies.




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