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Sephardic Music Class at Longy starts Feb 10, 2009, Cambridge, MA

Okay, danger Will Robinson. There is no such thing as "Medieval Music of the Jews of Spain"—there is no record of what it might have sounded like, much made up history, and contrary to the course description, a general scholarly agreement that much of what passes for same is significantly recent. Ed Seroussi of Hebrew U. gives a fascinating talk on same. But I am an optimist and choose to believe that the class will hew closer to what is known and will cover some neat texts and interesting, if more recent, melodies. It is very cool that Longy is offering this class, and I hope that enough enroll to make it happen. There need to be more Jewish music classes, and more classes in more diverse areas of Jewish music. This could be very good:

New Course this Spring!
at the Longy School of Music
27 Garden Street
Cambridge MA 02138

Medieval Music of the Jews of Spain
Cristi Catt and Na'ama Lion, instructors.

The music of the Jews of Spain, also called the Sephardim, has continued to fascinate throughout the centuries. Pieces of this tradition survive in many forms: some songs survive through oral tradition, some are part of the liturgy and some come down to us in ancient manuscripts. Rising from the medieval courts of Spain, where Jews, Muslims and Christians lived side by side in peace and prosperity, these songs reveal a rich cultural web of influences. Following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in the 15th century, the song tradition made its way to the Balkans to Israel and the US, and is beloved throughout the world. This class explores repertory of the Ladino songs, put in their context with music traditions of the same time including Gallego-Portuguese cantigas and Mozarabic muwashas. This is a performance class open to singers, string, wind and percussion players, by permission of the instructors.

Fee: $325
Meets Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30 PM, 10 meetings starting February 10, 2009.

For more information: www.longy.edu/cont_studies/cs_class_instruct.htm#earlymusic