Using Bees To Effect Vengeance

I get to be as self-indulgent as I want without wasting anyone's time. Guilt-free solipsism -- excellent!

Looking for that particular entry? Search Using Bees....

This page is powered by Blogger. Why isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by


Email the Proprietor

Monday, August 26, 2002
More rampant piracy, but this one should have you running to purchase copies of Gary Giddins' Visions Of Jazz. In a piece on Charlie Haden and Hank Jones' glorious Steal Away record, Giddins opens with some remarkably insightful reflections on how African-American religious music embodies a parity between Old and New Testaments that Western Christian music doesn't. He then goes on to point out:

"Go Down Moses", an obvious example, would suit any seder and, as a piece of music, beats the Passover anthem, "Da-yenu" by a country mile or a desert sea. Considering how indifferently Jews, who practically invented the modern pop song, have fared with hymns, one wonders why they haven't borrowed from other ex-slaves with a cannier ear for the pentatonic scale."

I'd never thought about it, but Jewish religious music seems somewhat undernourished given the disproportionate influence Jews have had on other musical forms. Did Jews prefer to compose for the masses? Are the best Jewish composers more secular-oriented? Is it that we just don't know as much about Jewish music because of centuries of repression? I have to agree with Giddins -- any culture that can boast Mendelssohn, Berlin, Gershwin, Dylan, Bacharach, and Joey Ramone must be able to do better than "Da-yenu" -- although I can hear The Ramones taking a good shot at that one.


Comments: Post a Comment