This course explores the musical traditions associated with North African Jewry – herein defined as Maghrebi Jewry and including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and al-Andalus (historical Sepharad or Spain) – from both ethnomusicological and practical perspectives. The scope of the course will include exploring different historical periods, regional and interregional connections between Jewish communities, intercultural connections between Jewish and non-Jewish communities, through the vantage point of liturgical, paraliturgical, and non-liturgical musical expressions.
Two-year core curriculum in the classical Ashkenazi-Lithuanian tradition including a semest in each of: Shabbat Nusach, Rosh Ha'Shanna, Yom Kippur, Shlosh Regalim. The entire liturgical year is covered, including life cycle. The pedagogy is focused on mastery of Nusach as an improvisational medium. Study sources: an extensive collection of sheet music developed by Hazzan Kessler, based on the work of earlier authorities, particularly Max Wohlberg. Printed music includes sections of scalar and motivic analysis along with samples, e.g. multiple settings of texts. Classes include coaching of talmidim as they develop their own style and improvisational skills.