Funny, It Doesn't Sound Jewish

Author : Jack Gottlieb

Available : YES
Age Group :Adults
In his introduction to this meticulously researched study of Jewish-influenced theatrical and popular music from 1914 to 1964, scholar and composer Gottlieb observes, "For the first time since ancient history, when synagogue cantillation influenced church plain chant, Jews contributed significantly to the music of the mainstream." To support his case, he analyzes melodies written for synagogues and the Yiddish theater and finds them in tunes that may not "sound Jewish." He discusses innumerable composers and artists, familiar and obscure, observant and nonobservant, converts and even non-Jews. One chapter is devoted to Cole Porter, "who wrote a little-known ballad, 'Hot-House Rose' (1926), which tells the bitter tale of a Jewish sweatshop (or hothouse) girl." The melodic passages cited on almost every page will be of most value to the musically sophisticated. On the other hand, everyone will be able to appreciate the accompanying 70-minute CD, which includes a marvelous, very Yiddish recording by Judy Garland of Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, as well as Leonard Bernstein at his piano singing Marc Blitzstein's poignant A Zipper-fly. This is a loving, comprehensive and fascinating book.

In his introduction to this meticulously researched study of Jewish-influenced theatrical and popular music from 1914 to 1964, scholar and composer Gottlieb observes, "For the first time since ancient history, when synagogue cantillation influenced church plain chant, Jews contributed significantly to the music of the mainstream." To support his case, he analyzes melodies written for synagogues and the Yiddish theater and finds them in tunes that may not "sound Jewish." He discusses innumerable composers and artists, familiar and obscure, observant and nonobservant, converts and even non-Jews. One chapter is devoted to Cole Porter, "who wrote a little-known ballad, 'Hot-House Rose' (1926), which tells the bitter tale of a Jewish sweatshop (or hothouse) girl." The melodic passages cited on almost every page will be of most value to the musically sophisticated. On the other hand, everyone will be able to appreciate the accompanying 70-minute CD, which includes a marvelous, very Yiddish recording by Judy Garland of Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, as well as Leonard Bernstein at his piano singing Marc Blitzstein's poignant A Zipper-fly. This is a loving, comprehensive and fascinating book.

Customer Reviews

No reviews yet

Write your own review

  1 star 2 stars 3 stars 4 stars 5 stars