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The Lord's Song in a Strange Land: Music and Identity in Contemporary…

by Jeffrey A. Summit

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Across the United States, Jews come together every week to sing and pray in a wide variety of worship communities. Through this music, made by and for ordinary folk, these worshippers define and re-define their relationship to the continuity of Jewish tradition and the realities of Americanlife.Combining oral history with an analysis of recordings, The Lord's Song in a Strange Land examines this tradition incontemporary Jewish worship and explores the diverse links between the music and both spiritual and cultural identities. Alive with detail, the book focuses on metropolitan Boston andcovers the full range of Jewish communities there, from Hasidim to Jewish college students in a transdenominational setting. It documents a remarkably fluid musical tradition, where melodies are often shared, where sources can be as diverse as Sufi chant, Christmas carols, rock and roll, and Israelipopular music, and where the meaning of a song can change from one block to the next.… (more)

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Across the United States, Jews come together every week to sing and pray in a wide variety of worship communities. Through this music, made by and for ordinary folk, these worshippers define and re-define their relationship to the continuity of Jewish tradition and the realities of Americanlife.Combining oral history with an analysis of recordings, The Lord's Song in a Strange Land examines this tradition incontemporary Jewish worship and explores the diverse links between the music and both spiritual and cultural identities. Alive with detail, the book focuses on metropolitan Boston andcovers the full range of Jewish communities there, from Hasidim to Jewish college students in a transdenominational setting. It documents a remarkably fluid musical tradition, where melodies are often shared, where sources can be as diverse as Sufi chant, Christmas carols, rock and roll, and Israelipopular music, and where the meaning of a song can change from one block to the next.

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