Archives for posts with tag: listening

Here you go!

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From Settlement to Statehood: Music and Cultural Politics in Palestine Before 1948.

The listening assignments for Week 4 are here. We are now getting into the thick of our course, and exploring the hybrid musical repertoires sung by the chalutzim, or Zionist pioneers who established the early Jewish settlements in Ottoman and British mandatory Palestine in the early decades of the 20th century.

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Listening assignments for Week 3 are here. We discuss musical notions of exile (or notions of musical exile), and the musical relationship between music and a land.

As we listen to songs of longing (for a seemingly unattainable land, the Land of Israel) sung across the Jewish Diaspora for centuries, we also read about the arrival of Diaspora Jews to Palestine, and the development of musical life before and shortly after the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948.

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We got through week one, and it looks like as of next week we will have a complete roster, and full access to UC Berkeley’s bSpace. Not bad.

Also, The Magnes is opening this weekend. Images of our classroom are going around, too. See some here:

In the meantime, a couple of (hopefully) useful reminders.

First: until bSpace is available to all (some of you should already be in by now), use this blog as your main source of information about the class. This includes the syllabus, and this week’s reading assignments.

Second: If you have not done so already, do make time to read this week’s materials (they will come useful throughout the course).

Third: use the weekend to become familiar with next week’s assignments. I’ll be posting more on this blog, but for now refer to the syllabus and to the weekly handout, which you can also find here.

Last: enjoy the weekend!

Documentary film-maker Julia Bacha articulates it so well.

“Most of you have probably never heard about” – she says – what the real reality of Israel and Palestine really is.

I’ve felt the very same way myself, reporting once a week about life and culture in Jerusalem during the “second intifada” for RAI (Italian National Radio) in 2002-2003. The sense that what the world knows about this part of the world is so different from what actually happens on the ground can be very dis-empowering. For everyone. Oftentimes, while researching a story in or around Jerusalem, and at the same time reading the headlines, I had the distinct sensation that I was living in a parallel universe.

This is why I like what Bacha says (even though I’m not exactly sure about the methodology she outlines in her outstanding TED Talk). She suggests that empowerment can come through paying attention. This has definitely something to do with our subject of study: the power of our attention (and attention is, primarily, listening: an activity supremely connected with sounds) is an essential key not only in understanding, but also in changing, reality. So, let’s become powerful listeners.

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