Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Maftirim Choir
(469 words)

mThe term mafṭirim designates both a special repertoire of pizmonim (hymns), or paraliturgical sung poetry, from the Ottoman Turkish Jewish tradition, and the choir of male singers that performs them. The tradition of singing poems modeled on the court traditions of Ottoman music originated in Edirne (Adrianople) in the seventeenth century. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it spread to Izmir, Istanbul, and other Ottoman cities.

The genre of mafṭirim stems from medieval Spanish and Levantine Jewish sung poetry. Religious poems were collected and publishe…

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Pamela Dorn Sezgin, “Maftirim Choir”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 29 January 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0014190>
First published online: 2010

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