Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Who put the Jew in Jewish Music?

It looks like Velvel had an interesting rant session on the Yahoo Jewish Music Message Boards.
It seems to have boiled down to what makes Jewish Music Jewish? That answer will certainly depend on who you are talking to. I'm certainly not going to get into some philosophical debate on the subject, but I will say this in response to some points brought out on the thread he listed. It is only normal for music to be somewhat influenced by the culture that surrounds it. You can argue that grunge music is not all that musical and one would be entitled to that opinion. Heavy Metal and grunge are certainly not for everybody (myself included) and perhaps may not be considered "Jewish" because they bring out a very wild and uninhibited feeling. This is why a lot of Rabbis are against the Rock and Roll heard these days on many popular Jewish recordings. I would have to disagree with the idea that AF and MBD have absolutely no connection with their original material. I think a lot of their tunes are very inspiring (they have published a lot in the past decade) and how can one possibly know that anyway? Why not give the benefit of the doubt? Bottom line I don't think showtunes are "Jewish" and I don't think anybody should be using them in conjunction with Davening although Halachicly there may not be a problem with it.