Old Jewish Folk Music – The Collections and Writings of Moshe Beregovski

Edited and translated by Mark Slobin

Syracuse University Press, 2000, 598 p.
(Original edition : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982)

This book features the writings and the works from the collecting of Yiddish songs and klezmer tunes done by the ethnomusicologist Moshe Beregovski (1892-1961) in Soviet Union.

Organized in five parts, this book of reference features :

  • 290 songs and  melodies collected by Moshe Beregovski (1892-1961) between 1930 and 1946 in Ukraine (“Jewish Folk Music”, published in 1934 ; “Jewish Folk Songs”, published after his death in 1964), and also, noted and documented ;
  • Moshe Beregovski’s essays (“The Interaction of Ukrainian and Jewish Folk Music” (published i n1939) ; “Jewish Instrumental Folk Music” (1937) and “The Altered Dorian Scale in Jewish Folk Music” (written in 1946 and published after his death in 1973), in which he talks of subjects that are still on the table in the field of Jewish ethnomusicology.

By publishing these texts translated in English, Mark Slobin aims not only to give access to a large audience of researchers and musicians to Beregovski’s, but also to show the impact of Beregovski’s methods – advanced for its time – on general ethnomusicology beyond Jewish studies.

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