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Experiencing Jewish Music in America: A Listener's Companion

Rowman & Littlefield. Jun. 2018. 180p. discog. bibliog. ISBN 9781442258396. $38; ebk. ISBN 9781442258402. MUSIC
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OrangeReviewStarIn this highly readable and engaging text, scholar Frühauf explores the diversity and complexity of "Jewish" music in America—its context and what it means for the Jewish experience. Beginning with the first Jewish congregation established in North America in 1654 and tracing Jewish music as it came to be heard through the stage, screen, and on concert and rock stages, Frühauf offers a wonderfully rich tour of a very broad subject, providing terrific examples of representative Jewish music from holidays and tradition as well as classical music and popular culture. The chapter on Broadway, in particular the section covering Fiddler on the Roof, is particularly informative. On the classical front, the sections on Ernest Bloch through Leonard Bernstein and Steve Reich provide important analyses of these artists to the Jewish musical heritage in America.
VERDICT Highly recommended for readers interested in music, culture, history, and Jewish studies. Although there's no index, the "selected reading" and "selected listening" appendixes will prove useful to those wishing to learn more about this broad subject.

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