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The Most Musical NationJews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire$
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James Loeffler

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780300137132

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300137132.001.0001

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The Most Musical Nation

The Most Musical Nation

The Birth of the Society for Jewish Folk Music

(p.94) Chapter 3 The Most Musical Nation
The Most Musical Nation

James Loeffler

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the history of the Society for Jewish Folk Music, an organization of composers, performers, scholars, and amateur enthusiasts committed to the mission of creating modern Jewish music, founded in 1908. It analyzes the organization's responses to the strange mixture of antisemitism and philosemitism in the Russian musical world, and suggests that their eloquent musical arguments constituted an affirmation of Jewish music as an integral yet distinct voice in modern European culture. The chapter also discusses their efforts to rehabilitate the image of the Jewish musician through a cosmopolitan notion of Jewish national music.

Keywords:   Jewish Folk Music, Jewish music, antisemitism, philosemitism, Russian musical world, European culture, Jewish musician, Jewish national music

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