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A workshop on juggling identities, included in the #unfinal exam for the course “Music in Israel” taught by Francesco Spagnolo (UC Berkeley Fall 2014).

The metaphor of “juggling multiple cultural identities” used in class resonated so much with everyone that I felt I should include this workshop as part of the final exam. The idea is to learn to take metaphors very, very seriously.

More on the course at musicinisrael.wordepress.com.

More on Sara Felder at sarafelder.com.

Music In Israeli Film: Waltz With Bashir (2008)  

Presentation by Claudia Camacho

Directed by Ari Folman

  • Born in Haifa, Israel 1962
  • Studied at Tel Aviv University in the Department of Film and Television
  • His parents were from the Lodz ghetto in Poland and Auschwitz Holocaust survivors
  • Served in the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War, basis of the movie

Music By Max Richter

  • German-British composer born in 1966
  • “Blends classical, electronic, and rock influences”
  • All these genres found in Waltz With Bashir
  • Ari Folman was listening to Max Richter on repeat when writing the script for Waltz

Waltz With Bashir

  • Summary: Waltz with Bashir is an animated documentary film about the director’s experience in the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War. Ari attempts to regain his war memories after a friend tells him about a recurring dream he’s been having.

History behind Waltz With Bashir

  • In 1982 Israel invaded South Lebanon after Israel’s Northern border had been bombed for years from the Lebanese territory
  • Initial plan: To occupy a 40km zone between Lebanon and Israel to cleanse the missile range used by Palestinians
  • Secret Plan: Arik Sharon (Israeli Minister of Defense) wanted to occupy Lebanon as far as Beirut and appoint his Christian Phalangist ally Bashir Gemayel, President of Lebanon to create eliminate threat from the North
  • A week after being elected, Bashir was assassinated. The assassination thought to have caused the massacre by the Phalangists at Shabra and Shatila of Palestinian civilians.
  • It took 3 days for the IDF soldiers to figure out the massacres were happening and do something. By then it was too late, an estimated 3,000 people were massacred.

“I Bombed Beirut” by Zeev Tene

  • “If we go on behaving with our neighbors like we behave with them, there will be in them some hatred built that will be impossible to control.”
  • “I hate Germans.”
  • His song is politically charged and begs the question how could our government of all governments have been involved in a massacre like this.
  • The song puts the Israeli forces in the place of the Nazi’s.

JSB/RPG

  • Concerto No. 5 in F Minor for Harpsichord and Strings by Johann Sebastian Bach
  • “The film is about the nature of reality and memory…about recovering facts and trying to work out what is imagined and what’s real” –Max Richter on Waltz with Bashir
  • Playing during absurd events of war in which it is not entirely sure whether they are imagined or real.

The Haunted Ocean

  • Composed by Max Richter, provides the theme for the movie
  • “Is meant to evoke a sort of unresolved, weightless, lost melancholia” along with feelings of guilt and shame for being involved (by proxy) in this act of genocide
  • Plays whenever Folman is trying to remember the day of the massacre
  • The scenes where the Haunted Ocean plays are really important because there is no dialogue. The music’s job is to express what words cannot.

I chose the movie because it touched on the theme of memory and past and what is usable and what is not. For Ari Folman and many soldiers at Beirut, the memory of the massacre was not a usable memory. The old collective memory of the Holocaust and the new personal memory of the massacre could not exist in the same mind.

Jerusalem of Gold
Presentation and Performance Outline
Adam Kuphaldt and William Li

History
Naomi Shemer was commissioned by Teddy Kollek, then mayor of Jerusalem, to write a songfor the 1967 Israel Song Contest in the noncompetitive portion. This event was sponsored by the national radio station, Kol Israel–the voice of Israel.
Gil Adema, producer of the event, searched through archives and found that there were less than a few dozen songs about Jerusalem, and so requested that she write about Jerusalem.
Naomi Shemer was hesitant at first, and after all, no one at that time would ever say Jerusalem was of gold; the city was divided by a buffer zone between Israelis and Jordanians filled with land mines and barbed fences, with soldiers guarding the border. She eventually agreed, realizing Jerusalem held a special place in her heart.
Shemer’s song was later found to have been plagiarized off a traditional Navarrese song called Pello Joxepe from the Basque country (in the western Pyrenees between France and Spain along the coast). The song was originally written by Juan Francisco Petriarena Xenpelar back in the nineteenth century, and the version Shemer copied was a cover by Paco Ibanez. Mr. Ibanez later said no harm was done.

Lyrics – Symbolism and Meaning
Though the song traditionally has a very Jewish-centric take, a deeper analysis reveals much more. In fact, the song links together Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
The song gained popularity because it pervaded every facet of Jewish life. Militarily the song was the rallying cry for the Israeli Defense Force when they prepared for war. In regards to spirituality, the song has many religious references and metaphors.

Jerusalem of Gold, today
We were able to find some interesting ways the song is still performed, demonstrating its popularity even nearly fifty years since it debuted:
The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps based in La Crosse, Wisconsin has Yerushalayim Shel Zahav as their corps song, and they play it before every competition.
Jewish musician Sam Glaser realizes that “many of the standards, the absolute birthright of Jewish kids, are being forgotten. Those songs–they include… “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav”– were the great common denominator songs of [his] childhood.”
During President Shimon Peres’ birthday celebration, with a lot of important people from the international community, Mizrahi singer Eyal Golan was asked to perform Yerushalayim Shel Zahav.

About the performance
Adam and William are avid vocalists, drawing experience from 2-A.M.-in-the-morning-shower singing. That, of course, has not stopped them from taking stage at the Magnes. The arrangement is performed in the modified key of C minor. The lyrics are that of Ofra Haza’s original performance.

Popular Music: Famous Israeli Songs in Israel and Around the World
Xulan Zhang

Objective:

Through this presentation, we’ll explore topic of how certain Israeli songs become famous worldwide and the preserve and transformation of performance form, context and people’s interpretation of these songs when they went “globalized”.  And try to answer the question: Is the music a universal  language or a mirror that reflects the difference between different cultures?

Case 1:  Donna Donna

Origin: Yiddish theater song written in the time of Nazi

Performance form: a duo of a man and a woman, choral with the orchestral accompaniment

Became popular when American country music singer Joan Baez performed it in English with guitar.

Represented spirit of freedom in Israel during the WWII.

Became a worldwide symbolic song for people who are pursuing freedom.

Case 2: Hallelujah

Origin: sung by the Israeli band Hakol Over Habibi for 1978’s Eurovision’s competition

Became popular when it was performed by Gali Atari and Milk & Honey song in 1979 and won the competition for Israel as the hosting country

Performance form: alternate among 1 female voice and 3 male voices

The song roused the national pride in successfully winning and hosting Eurovision Competition.

Case 3: Diva

Origin: sung by Dana International, an Israeli transsexual singer

Performance form: It was originally only performed in the form of singing on the competition but later on was added the dancing part

Became highly popular after Dana International performed this song in Eurovision 1998.

But in its own country, Dana International’s big success triggered controversy.

Conclusion: Through these three different cases, I see music’s role both as a universal language that connects people from different culture and a mirror that reflects cultural gap.

Resources:

Text:

  1. Regev, Motti and Edwin Seroussi , Popular Music and National Culture in Israel
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Donna  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallelujah_(Gali_Atari_and_Milk_%26_Honey_song)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diva_(Dana_International_song)

  1. http://www.metrolyrics.com/donna-donna-lyrics-joan-baez.html

http://www.metrolyrics.com/diva-lyrics-dana-international.html

  1. http://www.hebrewsongs.com/?song=haleluyah-eurovision
  2. http://members3.jcom.home.ne.jp/goetheschubert/Donaenglish.htm
  3. http://www.friendsreunited.com/dana-international-diva/Memory/69dd2604-4ae2-41ed-8453-a1b900fbd9de

Video:

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqzGZ5AaeSs
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C33kO3fvjkI
  3. http://www.friendsreunited.com/dana-international-diva/Memory/69dd2604-4ae2-41ed-8453-a1b900fbd9de

 

 

 

Musical Instruments in Israel
Presented by Karen Lin and Allan Tang

As you listen to our presentation, focus on this question- The musical instruments involved in the making of “Jewish music” are as diverse as the Jewish people themselves. How are these four instruments instrumental to the representation of music in Israel?

Violin

History
-Descendant of the viol, an instrument of 15th century Spain
-Jews contributed to the development of violin in Italy.
-Emergence of violin coincides with Jewish migration from Spain to Italy.

Why are Jews so fond of the violin?
-Violin prevalent in media that attempts to represent the Jewish culture
​-Schindler’s List theme employs solo violin
​-The Fiddler on the Roof represents the “precariousness” of Jewish society
-Versatile, intense, passionate instrument that expresses Jewish emotions and experience
-“Ticket into the big city”-Violin linked to Hope because of the many possibilities for an orchestra job in the city.
-Like Asians and pianos, most young Jews had to take up the violin or lose to the “kid next door”

How is the Arabic violin different from its European counterpart?
-Called “kaman” in Arabic
-Adopted from Europe during second half of 19th century
-Suited for maqam, due to its lack of frets
-Moroccans play “gamba style,” placing the violin on their laps
-Tuned in fourths and fifths (GDGD), played in ornate style, can sound nasal and penetrating

Who are some famous Jewish Violinists?
-Miri Ben-Ari, hip-hop
-Itzhak Perlman and Isaac Stern, classical

Oud

History
– Originate from another Persian instrument called the barbat, dating back to the Sassanid (Persian) empire in 224 A.D.
– Spread to Andalusia, or present day Spain most likely through Islamic conquests
– 1492 Spanish Inquisition resulting in European adaptation of the lute and the exile of Jews from Spain to Northern Africa and the Middle East.

– the ud was considered the king of musical instruments in the Arab world
​- versatility, popularity
– can be played in two distinctive styles: Ottoman and Egyptian
Al-Farid – Egyptian style: http://www.mikeouds.com/audio/farido1.mp3
Yair Dalal – Ottoman style

Symbolism
– known for its calming, healing, and meditative properties
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwl9QJWq-2o&feature=youtu.be&t=1m6s
– symbol of tranquility: “the ud invigorates the body…It calms and revives hearts” (Grove)
– structure of harmonious proportions

Yair Dalal
– representing Israel and Middle Eastern cultures, fusing them through music
– peace activist between the two cultures
– Opinion: use of the ud as a symbol of peace

Ud in Shaping Israeli History
– Erza Aharon: ud player and singer who immigrated to Jerusalem in 1934
​- created a small radio program called “Sounds of the East”
​- “wished to provide the Arabic music with a new national Jewish style, encompassing Hebrew texts, western instruments, and harmonization” (Hirshberg 198-199)
– Early Hebrew songs were translated from Arabic, ud suitable to back up singing

Shofar

History
– only Jewish liturgical instrument that survived the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE.
– made out of a ram’s horn

Symbolism
– Ties to the Binding of Isaac
​- (From Genesis 22) Story of a ram sacrificed in place of Isaac, son of Abraham
– Mount Sinai
​- (From Exodus 16) Story of when God descended and gave Moses the ten commandments.
– Played during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
– Sounding of War

Sounds of the Shofar

– tekiah: broken interrupted sound
– shevarim: three triplet blasts, like three shorter tekiah
– terual: nine staccato short notes
– tekiah gedolah: held as long as possible

Qanun

History
-Descendant of the Egyptian harp, dating back to the 10th century
-Means “law,” “rule,” or “norm” in Arabic and establishes the law of pitch for other instruments and singers
-Meant to play in Maqamat (Arabic mode)

Symbolism
-Concertino for Kanun (Qanun), English Horn, Clarinet, Strings and Percussion, Op. 292 (1959) is written by famous Jewish composer Marc Lavry for Iraqi qanun player Avraham David Cohen, who immigrated to Israel in 1949. The piece uses Western harmony but features a traditional Arabic instrument
-Represents the Jewish craft of creative improvisation and absorption of different styles, as the wandering klezmer ensembles did in Europe.

Ali Amr
-Grew up amid war in Ramallah, Palestine (just north of Jerusalem), overcame many logistical difficulties just to attend Berklee College of Music in America
-”Music was my support through it all. I was really influenced by war to create music, and by music to fight against war…Music is peace.”
-Composes his own music, fusing Arabic elements with jazz
-Also a vocalist, singing in traditional style

References
Violin
Jews and the Violin: http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Features/Did-Jews-invent-the-violin
History: https://www.google.com/search?q=violin+history&espv=210&es_sm=93&source=lnms&sa=X&ei=XmiNUon3FIv8iQK1-IH4CQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAA&biw=1517&bih=755&dpr=0.9
Brief introduction to Arabic instruments: http://www.maqamworld.com/instruments.html

Ud
Yair Dalal biography: http://www.yairdalal.com/index.php/en/biography.html
Grove entry on the Ud: http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/28694.
Grove entry on Iran including information on the barbat: http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/13895#S13895.2.5
Garland Encyclopedia on the Ud: http://glnd.alexanderstreet.com/view/330282
Yair Dalal history of the oud and its healing properties: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwl9QJWq-2o
Erza Aharon Entry in the Hirshberg:
Hirshberg, Jehoash. “Westerners Meet Arabic Music.” Music in the Jewish Community of Palestine, 1880-1948: A Social History. Oxford: Clarendon, 1995. 198-99. Print.

Shofar
Shofar, its use and its origins [book], requires Berkeley library: https://babel.hathitrust.org/shcgi/pt?id=mdp.39015007926341;view=1up;seq=6
Meaning of the Shofar (also in the shofar book, but with interpretation):
http://ohr.edu/1191
Pitches and Notes of the Shofar: http://www.musicofthebible.com/extra_shofar.htm
Exodus 19: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+19&version=NIV
Genesis 22: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+22&version=NIV
Rosh Hashanah information:
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/holiday2.html
http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Judaism/Rosh-Hashana-The-sound-of-the-shofar-325263

Youtube links on people’s opinion on the meaning of the shofar, accuracy is unknown and used as supplement/interesting information:

Qanun
Concertino for Qanun: http://www.marclavry.org/2011/03/16/concertino-for-kanun-qanun-english-horn-clarinet-strings-percussion-op-292/
http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/d/EventDetails/i/38590/pid/187
Ali Amr profile: http://www.berklee.edu/news/627/student-profile-ali-amr
Jewish musical identity: http://books.google.com/books?id=b9ST9c-7_z0C&pg=PA18&lpg=PA18&dq=qanun+in+jewish+society&source=bl&ots=sJcMta_J0n&sig=JZpOf0R6FV68_oBt7HZ89PdmhJc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7AWNUrm7DYHqiwLNtoCwCg&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=qanun%20in%20jewish%20society&f=false
Brief history: http://www.sarahmichael53.com/about-the-qanun.html

Jazz in Israel – Outline
Jimmy Yin

The main purpose of this presentation is to provide a broad overview of Israel’s burgeoning jazz scene, as well as the institutions that have contributed to their success.

My hope is that at my presentation gets people excited about Israeli jazz (or jazz in general)! The global nature of the genre makes it particularly relevant to the themes we discuss in this class, and Israeli artists make use of many of the musical motifs which we have encountered thus far.

The outline below covers the people and main topics that I’ll be covering in my presentation. Attached at the end are the recordings and resources that I referenced and used in the course of research for my paper.

I. Introduction

II. Beginnings

– Zvi Keren

– Arnie Lawrence

III. Today’s Scene

– Avishai Cohen, bassist

  • Recording: Madrid

– Gilad Atzmon

– Eli Degibri

  • Recording: Israeli Song

– Gadi Lehavi

  • Recording: Gadi Lehavi Quartet with Eli Degibri

IV. Festivals and Institutions

– Red Sea Jazz Festival

– Educational institutions

  • Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music

– Recording companies

– The role of the West

Links to recordings:

Avishai Cohen Band – Madrid (requires Spotify)

Eli Degibri – Israeli Song

Gadi Lehavi Quartet with Eli Degibri

References/further reading:

Davis, Francis. “Music: Chiri Biri Bim, Chiri Biri Bop – the Israel-New York Pipeline

Yields a Fresh Crop of Serious Jazz Talent.” The Village Voice May 2007: 119. ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013 .

Goldsby, John. “GLOBAL PLAYER: AVISHAI COHEN.” Bass Player 07 2010: 26, 30, 32, 34. ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013 .

Greenberg, H. (1996, Sep 13). Hitting high sea: At the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat, poolside jams start after midnight and the rhythms roll until dawn. Baltimore Jewish Times, 231, 60.

Keren-Sagee, Alona. “Joseph Schillinger – A Disciple’s Reminiscences of the Man and  His Theories: An Interview with Prof. Zvi Keren.” Tempo – A Quarterly Review of Modern Music 64 (2010): 17-26. ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

Keren-Sagee, Alona. “Zvi Keren: His Contribution to Israel’s Music Scene.” Min-ad: Israel Studies in Musicology Online 2 (2002)ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

Lehavi, Avner. “Gadi Lehavi: Jazz Pianist” Lehavi, Avner. 2013. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. <http://gadilehavi.com/Video_2013.html&gt;.

Ratliff, Ben. “Watching Musicians Evolve Onstage.” New York Times. May 20 2013. ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

The Midterm Exam for Music in Israel that took place today followed a collaborative (and digital) template that I had not tried out before.

As our colleagues at UCLA Center for Digital Humanities state:

Digital Humanities scholarship is necessarily collaborative and interdisciplinary; it emphasizes design, multi-mediality, and the experiential by creatively expanding the networks of participation, the modes of access, and the mechanisms for the dissemination of scholarship.

Essentially, the exam involved the following components:

  • Self-selected working groups (max 5 students for each group), based on culinary preferences (and, therefore, taste, an essential aesthetic dimension)
  • Collaborative work spaces: a combination of Google Apps for education and the digital collaborative canvas created by linoit.com
  • Collaborative interdisciplinary research on: history, visual culture, food, politics, sociology, anthropology, religion, gender, and, of course, music! 
  • The creation of historical profiles of real, or realistic, characters
  • The instant movement from content creation to publication of research results

The building blocks of the exam where outlined in a shared document, which is also published online:

View this document on Scribd

The results of the work conducted by the class is published online, in a rather colorful digital canvas. Clicking on the image below will lead to a digital canvas that summarizes both the background, the methodology, and the work done during the exam.

We Are What We Eat | Music in Israel Midterm Exam (2013)

The experiment seemed successful. I look forward to hearing back about it from students in the coming week or so. But I felt that everyone was thoroughly engaged, and passed the exam with flying colors.

A good week…

 

Dear Class,

As listed in our Course Syllabus, as well as announced and explained during lectures and discussion sections, next week we will be having a Midterm exam.

The exam will take place during lecture time (please be on time!), at 2121 Allston Way, on Thursday, October 31, 2013. 

Methodology

As I explained in class, my approach to testing for this course is in line with the understanding that there are many concurring, and at times conflicting, ideas, perspectives, and “listening modes” involved in the topic we are all researching together (“Music in Israel”). The format of the Midterm will represent an attempt to be coherent with this approach: it will try to build on the idea that, as a class, we can also work collaboratively, and that the sum of our collective knowledge is greater that its parts (each of our own backgrounds, perspectives, individual understanding of course materials, etc.). Therefore, we will work towards making good use of the almost three days of brain power (52 participants, including instructors, times ca. 80 minutes of lecture time = ca. 70 hours) that are available to us during each of our lecture meetings, in order to re-think what has been covered by our course thus far. The key is not to have all materials memorized, but to be able to quickly access all relevant information, to “connect the dots,” and to be able to elaborate on it all, on the basis of the tools built in class and of each student’s individual work preparing for it. 

How to prepare

You are required to review all work for Music in Israel since the beginning of the Semester. Please focus on the following:

  • Class Syllabus
  • Weekly Assignment Sheets (Week 1 through Week 9), and the listening assignments listed (and explained) in each of them, as well as the related reading materials (all sheets, articles, CD booklets, and links are available on bSpace)
  • Course Blog and the resources listed on it 

What to bring (“packing list’)

  • Yourselves (attendance is mandatory!)
  • Personal computers (laptops, tablets, etc.), with access to AirBears and bDrive, as well as the electronic resources of the UC Berkeley Library (we will also have a few laptops/tablets available for you in case you cannot bring your own) 
  • Class materials (books, articles, mp3 files, etc.; all except for one book also available online)
  • Weekly Assignment Sheets/listening guides
  • Paper and pens/pencils or other materials to take/sketch notes
  • Musical instruments, puppets, etc.: anything that you feel may help you in successfully work on the Midterm exam 

Follow-up 

During the week after the Midterm, Rachel and I will be collecting anonymous feedback on the course. As we move towards the last third of the Semester, we are particularly interested in better understanding how the tools, methodologies, and ideas introduced thus far work for the class, and individually for those of you who wish to provide some additional thoughts about them. 

View this document on Scribd

Dear Class,

Next Wednesday, our Final Examination will be held at The Magnes from 11:30 until 2:30.

Attendance is mandatory. No exceptions.

As discussed in class, the Final for Music in Israel will follow the “unconference” format, which requires active participation from everyone.

Participants (that’s you!) will choose the content of the discussion by suggesting possible topics, creating a schedule, attending and participating in the discussion sessions, and helping with a plenary conclusive session.

In order to be prepared for the final you will need to take a look at the following links:

You can bring ANYTHING you wish to the Final. Laptops, smartphones, tablets, books, notes, post-it’s, puppets, musical instruments, other instruments… Really, anything that you think will help you.

The draft of the schedule is available at http://bit.ly/unfinal2012 and you can already add your proposed topics to it.

You are expected to contribute to the discussion by:

  1. Proposing discussion topics (sessions) in the initial Session Marketplace and create a Schedule
  2. Attending a total of 3 sessions based on your interests (up to 4 different sessions will take place at the same time in the auditorium, conference room and seminar room of The Magnes)
  3. Participate in the discussions you are attending
  4. Contribute to the plenary concluding session

All topics are acceptable. Those pertaining to the course are preferred, since this is what brought all of us together, but you may also come up with different ideas and, if enough students want to participate, that’s good too.

Personally, I’m interested in sessions that complete what the course had to offer during the semester. It is a chance to provide your fellow students (and the instructor) with critical feedback, suggestions on how to improve the learning experience, ideas on new materials, your own views on a specific topic, etc.

The Final (or the “unfinal” as we have been referring to in class)  will only be as good as the content we inject into it.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email me, as usual.

See you in class,

Francesco

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