Commentary Magazine

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Jewish Music on Records

- Abstract

Phonograph records, once dismissed as “canned music,” today hold a high estate—indeed they represent a kind of official canon of public taste. In this sphere, Jewish music occupies an uncertain position. The best part of Jewish music has never been recorded. Much of what has been recorded is no longer available; whatever is available can be purchased only in a few stores, usually in solidly and traditionally old-style Jewish neighborhoods.

Are we to assume then that Jewish musical tradition has found no foothold among Jews in this country?

The widespread musical activities of temples and Jewish organizations would contradict this. Why then are recordings of Jewish music so meager—and so largely limited as to outlets?

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