Encyclopedia of Jewish Book Cultures Online

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Music, Written
(1,490 words)

1. Pre-modern


2. Modern

Written music represents only a very small section of Jewish musical practice because the primary medium for the performance and transmission of melodies was (and is) orality. Especially in the liturgical and paraliturgical context, Jewish texts tended not to use musical notation, even when contemporary Christian ones did. This is clearly seen in prayer books or other liturgical books like the Haggadah, where the use of musical notation is a rare exception. Furthermore, the extent of use…

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Stellmacher, Martha, “Music, Written”, in: Encyclopedia of Jewish Book Cultures Online, General Editor: Emile Schrijver. Consulted online on 23 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2772-4026_EJBO_COM_042455>
First published online: 2023

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