The Torah of Music
Music has the power to express the soul’s deepest prayers, to bridge divides between disparate people and strengthen communal ties, to translate ancient narrative into modern reality. In this series, Joey Weisenberg and Deborah Sacks Mintz will uncover the essential role of song across Jewish history, offering a sweeping view of traditional sources and revealing pathways to infuse song into our own lives.
Session 1: Introduction to The Torah of Music, with Joey Weisenberg
Imagine all the books from the traditional Jewish library are opened to pages containing their most musical passages. Drawing from his award-winning anthology, The Torah of Music, Joey Weisenberg leads a millenia-spanning tour of songful wisdom, offering a glimpse of the rich musical dreamscape of the ancient sages and telling the story of music’s essential role in the spiritual practice of Jewish life today and throughout history.
Session 2: From Psalm to Song: Uncovering the Hidden Melodies of Our Texts, with Joey Weisenberg
Ancient Jewish prayer-songs and poetry, such as the Psalms, are often rollercoaster-like expressions of the human soul that vary as widely in their thematic consistency as they do in their poetic structures. This class will explore how to draw out coherent ideas from the Psalms and other ancient texts and fit them into contemporary musical meters and song structures.
Session 3: Singing through the Sea, Lamenting at the River: Song Narratives in Tanakh, with Deborah Sacks Mintz
How has music expressed both power and joy, and suffering and loss, throughout the Jewish people’s narrative? Where do we see our own experiences embedded within these stories? In this text-based class, explore two key Biblical narratives centering the outpouring of song.
Session 4: Music as Midrash: A Collaborative Workshop, with Deborah Sacks Mintz
How does the modality of music itself unearth new layers in text? The Orange County Community Scholar Program will explore the ways music shifts, sharpens, and complicates our relationship to the sources explored in this series and beyond, collaboratively creating new melodies and telling new stories of our own.
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