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Comment: McFarland; 2013; 8.90 X 5.90 X 0.50 inches; Paperback; As New; 208 Pages
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Music in Biblical Life: The Roles of Song in Ancient Israel Paperback – January 8, 2013

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Music in Biblical Life: The Roles of Song in Ancient Israel + Music in the Hebrew Bible: Understanding References in the Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvim
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Friedmann] proposes that Israel's birth as a free nation was marked by the Song of the Sea, its monarchic system was defined by the archetypal musician-king David, its moral and ethical guidelines were often received through musical prophecy, and its appointed institution for mediating worship was designed and officiated by priestly musicians. He also argues that Israel was more musically developed than neighboring civilizations." 
- Reference & Research Book News, Inc.

About the Author

Jonathan L. Friedmann is a professor of Jewish music history at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, and Extraordinary Professor of theology at North-West University (South Africa). He is the author, editor or compiler of eleven other books on music and religion. Visit his website at jonathanfriedmann.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786474092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786474097
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan L. Friedmann, Ph.D., is a California-based scholar and practitioner of Jewish music. He spends his time serving as a pulpit cantor, composing and arranging sacred and secular music, researching the history and functions of synagogue song, exploring the roles of music in human life, and teaching at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California. He has written hundreds of popular and peer-reviewed articles, published several books on music and religion, and is the co-founder of two cutting-edge bands: Rabbinical School Dropouts and Elijah's Chair. Jonathan's regular column on music can be read at Thinking on Music (thinkingonmusic.wordpress.com).

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Baruch Cohon on February 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
MUSIC IN BIBLICAL LIFE - review by Baruch Cohon
Setting out to discover the nature and function of music that nobody heard for 2-3000 years calls for considerable intellectual courage. In "Music in Biblical Life" (MacFarland & Co., 2013) Jonathan L. Friedmann shows the results of that kind of courage. With extensive research, from the Hebrew Bible to rabbinic literature to classical and modern scholarship both Jewish and Christian, he establishes four areas of life in ancient Israel where music played a significant role. Starting with music of celebration and praise exemplified by the Song at the Sea, the paean of a new nation miraculously freed from slavery, he proceeds to three very different functions: therapy, David's music to calm a disturbed King Saul; prophecy, those messages of the Hebrew prophets that took the form of songs; and public worship, exemplified in the entire Book of Psalms as sung by the Levites in Jerusalem with suitable instruments and dance. After exploring all these functions, he concludes that Biblical Israel and the many generations descendant from them can be identified as highly musical.
Admitting throughout the book that his research is necessarily hampered by the fact that no sound can be assumed to survive from those days, Friedmann finds ample evidence in the applicable texts to illustrate his conclusions. The 300-plus authorities he quotes, including two from whom this reviewer had the privilege of learning personally, namely Abraham Zevi Idelsohn and Jacob Beimel, range over the fields of musicology, religious and cultural history, theology and mystical medicine - just to name a few.
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The author does a great job of bringing the musical aspect of the Bible to life. If interested in Jewish music history, Friedmann is your guy.
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Music in Biblical Life: The Roles of Song in Ancient Israel
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