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A Fusion of Traditions: Liturgical Music in the Copenhagen Synagogue.  Jane Mink Rossen and Uri Sharvit.  Odense: University Press of Southern Denmark, 2006.  156 pp. + supplemental CD.  ISBN 978-8-7767-4038-2

Reviewed by Andrew BuckserA Fusion of Traditions

Jewish liturgical music presents a wonderful example of the way that local traditions emerge out of historical and political processes. Its content and style are often deliberately traditionalist, aiming to connect contemporary listeners to a history stretching back to the days of the prophets. That history is a complex one, however, involving thousands of years of migration, factionalism, and local variation, each of which have left their traces in the ethnic and cultural composition of any Jewish community. A Jewish service, especially a holiday service, contains a number of distinct musical events, and each of these requires a choice among the musical traditions associated with the different elements of the local community. In the music of its liturgy, therefore, every congregation literally sings out the unique fusion of traditions that make up its distinctive history. Read the rest of this entry »

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