Changing High Holiday liturgy
There has been a nice discussion of nusakh and its relative absence in current American services. Professor Marsha Edelman pointed out that Jewish liturgy has always freely borrowed from surrounding cultures and that Ashkenazic cantorial traditions are relatively late. Eva Broman posted this:
Concerning the influences of the surrounding musical culture on Jewish liturgical music, here is something I found in a scholarly article on the influence of Turkish Ottoman music on Greek rebetika(!):
As we know, Ottoman society was a multi-national society in which the cultures of various ethnic and religious communities existed side by side. Each community preserved its religious music in its place of worship, and its folk music within its customs and mores. The music of various ethnic or religious communities formed the peripheral musical culture of the Empire, while the music of the Ottoman élite constituted the central culture (urban light music was a branch of the classical tradition). The Ottoman central music was cherished not only by Muslim musicians but also by non-Muslims: Greek, Armenian, Jewish and other communities. The interesting point was that a great number of non-Muslim musicians were active both in their own religious milieux in church, in the synagogue, etc. contributing to their local or folk music, and also in the sphere of the central music. This peculiarity led to musical exchanges and borrowings. A very typical example of this process is observed in Jewish liturgical music: Jewish cantors singing in Istanbul synagogues borrowed many Ottoman secular or classical songs and performed them in their liturgical ceremonies, on Hebrew sacred texts. One can still hear religious songs or hymns in Istanbul synagogues that maintain their traditional components. Here's the whole article.
Edwin Seroussi has written several articles on these "borrowings".
And in connection to Marsha's comment "Moses' Shirat HaYam probably sounded like an Egyptian pop song" here is an interesting tidbit I found on liturgica.com
>In the Bakkashot services of the Aleppo Jews in Jerusalem, New York, and
>elsewhere, sacred poems are sung to the latest tunes of Arabic popular
>singers as heard on radio and television.