2. Recordings and computer-aided cataloguing of the collection:
The recording of various Jewish musical traditions, mainly in Israel, and occasionally also abroad, is undertaken in close cooperation with the Music Department and the National Sound Archives (NSA) of the Jewish National and University Library (JNUL). During 1990-1994 these endeavours have yielded approximatively 755 hours of recording time-and 68 video tapes. The total amount of recordings now kept by the NSA reaches over 8000 hours of recording time and over 220,000 recorded items. The archives were further enriched by the donation of the E. Gerson-Kiwi private collection of recordings Among the video films of special interest are the films of the journey made by Y. Mazor and P. Eliyahu to Dagestan in the fall of 1992, of weddings in the Caucasus and Libya, and the pre-nuptial ceremonies of the Jews of Libra and Haban.
Since 1982, the center, in conjunction with the JNUL, has been engaged in the project of computer-aided cataloguing of the NSA catalogue.
3. The Lachmann Collection Restoration Project The collection of recordings by the late Robert Lachmann is one of our historically most important collections, and includes 322 cylinders (some eleven hours of recording time) and 1378 metal discs (some fifty hours of recording). Under the gracious sponsorship of the International Music Council (IMC-UNESCO), the International Association of Sound Archives (IASA) and the Austrian Friends of the Hebrew University, the Jewish Music Research Center and the National Sound Archives undertook a joint project of restoration with the Phonogramm-Archiv of the Academy of Sciences of Vienna, in order to make the Collection accessible for research. The project demanded sophisticated technological expertise, and is being implemented in a series of steps. The entire estimated cost of the project (approx. $50,000) was raised in Vienna under the leadership of Dipl. Ing. Peter Landesmann.
4. Jewish Oral Traditions-an Interdisciplinary Approach (a joint project with the Centre national de la recherche scientifique [CNRS]; Researchers: F. Alvarez-Pereyre with I. Adler, T. Alexander, S. Arom, I. Ben-Abu, N. Ben-Zvi, Y. Ghelman, S. Weich-Shahak, M. Taube, Y. Mazor, O. Schwarzwald, E. Scheinberg, U. Sharvit). A volume containing the results of research conducted in conjunction with the CNRS, entitled: Jewish Oral Traditions-An Interdisciplinary Approach (eds. I. Adler, F. Alvarez-Pereyre, E. Seroussi and L. Shalem), was published in 1994 as vol. 6 of Yuval: Studies of the Jewish Music Research Center.
5. Anthology of the Liturgical Music Traditions of Ethiopian Jews (a joint project with the CNRS and Yuval-France; Researchers: S. Arom, F. Alvarez-Pereyre with the assistance of S. Ben-Dor and O. Tourny) This project envisions an extensive selection and in-depth study of the liturgical music of the Ethiopian Jews. The project is based on a considerable corpus of material (more than 8 hours of digital recording) and includes the most important items of the liturgical cycle, recorded from a group of Ethiopian priests (kesim) who have settled in Israel over the recent years.
The project will culminate in the publication of a comprehensive anthology of the liturgical music of the Ethiopian Jews, in the form of a 2-3 CD album, accompanied by a monograph on the historical and ethnological context of the music. One of the goals of the project is to study the characteristics differentiating it from the music of the Church. The first stage of work, the musical transcription of the recordings, has been largely completed. Continuing research deals with the principles of structure and form and the nature of the performance, analysis of the different modes and the clarification of the relation between text and melody, together with the ramifications of this for the organization of the musical form. one compositional principle which has already been located is the process of centonization: the existence of identical melodic fragments in chants that differ one from the other.
The volume scheduled to accompany the CDs will discuss in a general ethnographic framework the life of the Beta-Israel in Ethiopia, the ethnographic data connected to the liturgy, and primarily the literary, linguistic and musicological material from the perspective of structure, typology and dynamic characteristics.
6. The Musical Traditions of the Jewish Communities in Bordeaux and Bayonne((a joint project with Yuval-France; Researcher: H. Roten) Following the establishment of a basic corpus of some 2,500 melodies, recordings of oral traditions, collections of musical notation in manuscript (since 1820), and in print (since 1893), H. Roten continued his research in the goal of learning the structural elements of this music. Some thirty items from the Rosh Hashana liturgy were transcribed from the recordings made of various informants. Certain characteristic aspects have already been perceived in those parts of the repertoire which may be classified as non-measured psalmody. A systematic cadential formula (descending fifth mi-la) may appear with variants which serve as a kind of camouflage of the melodic formula.
7. The Liturgical and Para- Liturgical Musical Heritage of the Jews of Djerba (a joint project with Yuval-France; Researchers: 1. Adler, S. Arom, A. Herzog, Y. Mazor, H. Roten, E. Seroussi) The Jews of Djerba constitute one of the most ancient communities of the Diaspora, and one which has keenly preserved its musical traditions. The project involves a comparative study of three layers of recorded sound documentation:(1) the collection undertaken in 1929 by Robert Lachmann, who also published an important study devoted to this repertoire; (2) the collection based on fieldwork undertaken since the 1950s and mainly those kept at the National Sound Archives of Jerusalern; (3) recording sessions, in Paris, Djerba and in Israel, devoted to the annual liturgical and paraliturgical cycle, and the teaching of this repertoire to the children and students of the Talmudic schools. A comparative study will be done with the historical recordings (on cylinders) of Lachmann. which have just been restored, thanks to the cooperation between the Sound Archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Phonogrammarchiv of the Academy of Science of Vienna (see above paragraph 3). This project permits comparison of recorded documentation spanning 65 years. The recordings undertaken during our field work in Djerba in September 1994 have shown that a great part of the liturgical and paraliturgica1 chants recorded by Lachmann in 1929 has been faithfully kept alive in this community. (This project is carried out with the support of the French Ministry of Culture.)
8. Cancionero Sefardi by Alberto Hemsi (Researcher: E. Seroussi, with P. Diaz Mas, J. Manuel Pedrosa and E. Romero; musical transcriptions: S. Weich-Shahak) This extensive work includes a postscript by Prof. S. Armistead, one of the foremost experts of the Judeo-Spanish chant. The above-mentioned Spanish experts provided separate introductions for each genre represented in the text, which have been translated into English. The indices include literary incipits, titles, names of informants and place-names.
Jewish ethnolinguistics: content and structure of the traditional stories of the Judeo- Spanish culture.
The cantillation of the Mishna: study of oral performances from linguistic and musical points of view. Jewish interlinguistics: the French and Hebrew of Jews in France and Israel. The Judeo-Spanish of the Western Jews (Southern France, England, Holland, etc.). The linguistic performances of the Jews in Germany, Austria and Romania. The liturgical music traditions of Ethiopian Jews.
African music. Ethnomusicological methodology. The liturgical music traditions of Ethiopian Jews. The musical heritage of the Jews of Djerba.
The music and piyyut of the Yemenite Diwan (male paraliturgical singing). Israeli music-Eastern and Western Jewish traditions as expressed in Israeli art music.
Jewish music: Biblical and Second Temple periods. Medieval and postmedieval culture-contacts in Western Europe (Judeo-German song contrafacts, hidden sources in "Jew parodies") . Inconographical sources. Relational index system for inventory of Jewish music sources. Archaeomusicology of the Near East. Israeli song.
Yiddish folksongs and popular music. Yiddish musical culture during the Holocaust.
The influence of the local musical folklores in Eastern Europe on the melodies of Yiddish songs. The Yiddish folk songs created during World War II. The music of Judeo-Spanish folk songs.
Samaritan music. Jewish biblical and liturgical cantillation. The relation of music to text in traditional Jewish music (problems of meter and rhythm). The musical heritage of the Jews of Djerba.
The liturgy of the Karaites in Israel and the United States.
Jewish Renaissance. Concepts of music in Renaissance thought. Kabbala and music.
Hasidic musical traditions, especially style and function in weddings and the Hasidic Tish. The musical heritage of the Jews of Djerba.
The musical traditions of the Jewish communities in Bordeaux and Bayonne. The liturgical musical traditions of Ethiopian Jews.
Jewish music, especially the Ashkenazi tradition. Cantorial music. Hasidic music.
Liturgical and para-liturgical music of the Sephardi Jews.
Musical traditions and their function in the life of the Jews in Yemen. Identification of regional repertoires and styles.
Jewish cultural history in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust. Yiddish literature and press in Poland between the two World Wars. Yiddish literature in Argentina. Yiddish humor.
Contemporary Yiddish spoken in Jerusalern. Hasidic music.
The musical traditions of Ethiopian Jews.
Oral music of the Sephardi Jews of the Balkan countries and Spanish Morocco Spanish romances from Tetuan, Tangier, Turkey and Salonika.