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Grant number: FB-57287-13

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Ronit Seter
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar

A History of Jewish-Israeli Music, 1940-2010

In 1940, when Tel Aviv was a threadbare community of European refugees, exiled concertgoers listened eagerly to equally uprooted composers. Today, their descendants enjoy music in which historic Jewish- and Muslim-Arab idioms denote Israelism. This book examines the music and ideas of composers Paul Ben-Haim, Josef Tal, Mordecai Seter, Shulamit Ran, Betty Olivero, and others from the nation's founding to the present. As in Bartok's work, nationalism, orientalism, and folklorism intersect in their music to define a national style. Israel's art music, however, treats these elements as dichotomies: it simultaneously defies and adheres to a distinct nationalist project; it embraces the Orient as both Self and Other; and its folkloric base is both local and international.

Project fields:
Music History and Criticism

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2013 – 7/31/2014