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Changing Musical Soundscapes in Israel

  • Jewish Community Library 1835 Ellis St San Francisco, CA, 94115 US (map)

Free admission with free garage parking on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy streets.


Much of the music heard in Israel today in public spaces would have been difficult to imagine forty years ago. Professor Ben Brinner will play and discuss examples of some of the more striking musical changes that have transpired: the prominence of Middle Eastern musical instruments, styles, and compositions; the spread of religious songs into secular or mixed settings; the impact of Ethiopian Israelis; and the reimagining and repackaging of the classic songs that were a mainstay of musical life in the decades leading up to and following Israeli independence.

Benjamin Brinner is the Helen Diller Faculty Director of Jewish Studies at UC Berkeley.
He has chaired Berkeley’s music department since 2009 and held the Henry and Julia
Weisman Schutt Chair in Music from 2010 to 2013. Professor Brinner has taught
ethnomusicology courses and co-directed UC Berkeley’s Javanese music performing
ensemble, Gamelan Sari Raras, since 1989. He is the author of Playing Across a Divide:
Musical Encounters in a Contested Land
(Oxford University Press, 2009).

Program made possible, in part, by Patricia Hellman Gibbs.