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Comments for entry Western Music
Western music, the music that includes classical music, developed for the most part in the Church. Jews were pretty much excluded from this. Also they were always moving around due to discrimination so Jews were not able to develop their own classical music or participate much in developments going on in Christendom. However, the original Church music came from Jews who converted to Christianity. Therefore the early melodies and ideas about harmony, etc. are probably from Jewish sources.
There are no famous Jewish composers from the Classical period, but starting in the Romantic period we have Mendelssohn. His parents were born Jewish so officially he is considered a Jew though he was raised as a Catholic. Later in the Romantic period there were a few Jewish composers of moderate note like Offenbach and Meyerbeer. At the end of the Romantic period a giant of a composer, Mahler, was Jewish but he converted because Jews were not allowed to conduct at the state opera. When he converted he said he "changed his coat' meaning that the inside had stayed the same.
Of course in modern times there have been several famous Jewish composers like Copeland, Bernstein, Gershwin, and Minsky.
Ha! ... managed to slip that in!
Author: Von Cello Eintrag from 03.12.2009
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