Music update

Music professor Francesco Lotoro talks about collecting more than 4,000 pieces composed in Nazi concentration camps.

Beth Am Israel has collected sound files of synagogue melodies, for listening or downloading. Their site features Friday night, Saturday morning, and additional Jewish tunes.

Cantors face the challenge of declining interest in nusah: Congregants don’t want “traditional liturgical music but more contemporary American styles and melodies — sometimes derisively referred to as “happy clappyâ€? music.â€? So, should shuls do something about “profound illiteracy of the American-Jewish communityâ€?, or go with the trend toward participation, which “turns the professional cantor into merely a song leader”?

With an emphasis on both traditional cantorial music and the spiritual elements of jazz, the newest CD by Afro-Semitic Experience, “Yizkor: Music of Memory� includes Cantor Alberto Mizrahi.

Singer Lipa Schmeltzer is arguably the first Haredi pop star — with all the controversy which comes with that role.

A new book looks at the songs written in Israel over the past decades, including the modern Hebrew ballads, Land of Israel songs, Hebrew rocks songs, songs from Israel’s top poets and more.

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