Non-Jewish Music Analysis

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Non-Jewish music has come a long way. Hundreds of Rabbi’s have inspired and restricted the music and have turned it into what it is today. Contrafactum is an important word in the history of Jewish music since it describes the use of other melodies and replaces its original text with a new text. Many Rabbis used this technique but many others were opposed to it. Starting very early in the 11th century, R. Mosheh Ibn Ezra discusses the use of musical instruments in his Book of the Garden. He believes that not all instruments have the ability of influencing the rational mind. More specifically, string instruments are the ones that inspire the soul. The string instruments are meant to be used for religious purposes. Other instruments such as the trumpet would be used for art music and folk music. Moses b. Maimon was an important person of rabbinical-legal literature. Maimon was opposed to a lot of non- Jewish actions. For instance one cannot listen to a song with a secular text, even if it was in Hebrew or Arabic. The song cannot be followed by an instrument or immoral language. The sound of a string instruments and passages played on such instruments while drinking wine was also prohibited. And lastly, one could not listen to a woman sing or play because it will evoke sexual emotions in men. The reason for the amount of…show more content…
He allowed alien music, even if it was utilized in non-Jewish houses of worship. Hazzan inspired others like the cantors of Smyrna who also believed that an appealing melody should not be prohibited for the fact that non-Jews use it in their rituals. Moshe Hazzan states that, “Is it conceivable that because profligate fools brought them into the house of worship, we are forbidden {to use} something that we instinctively approve?” In other words, he believed there is no solid reason for prohibiting music for the reason that it was made by
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