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“Lullaby”: the story of a Niggun

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>25/05/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Music and Politics
Issue numberI
VolumeX
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article traces a Hasidic niggun from its origins in Ukraine around 1910, to mandate Palestine in the late 20's, where it acquired a text and became a hit song; to England where it was recorded in 1943; to Nazi Germany in 1935, where it appeared in two different publications; to New York in 1948 when it was transcribed for the first time; and then back to Terezin in 1943 where Gideon Klein created a powerful and highly symbolic art song based on it. Through detailed musical and textual analyses, drawing on archival and oral history research, we illuminate connections between the text and earlier biblical and musical passages to show that the tune and its contexts provide a history of the Jewish people in the 20th century in miniature.