Music of the sephardic jews

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  • 1. Music of the Sephardic Jews By Elise Armstrong and Amy Huie
  • 2. Victoria Benozilio • Born in Athens in 1942 • Sings in a Jewish chorus • Was the director at an elder’s home
  • 3. Sephardi: a Jew of Spanish or Portuguese descent. They retain their own distinctive customs and rituals, preserving Babylonian Jewish traditions rather than the Palestinian ones of the Ashkenazim.
  • 4. The Diaspora • 1492: Edict declaring all Jews must convert to Christianity • 250,000+ Jews abandoned Spain and Portugal • Sultan Bayazid allowed all Jews to enter into the Ottoman Empire safely
  • 5. Result of the Diaspora “All the armies of the Lord left, the refugees of Jerusalem that lived in Spain, this cursed land, in the fifth month of the year 5252, that is 1492. From there they dispersed to the Four Corners of the earth… They went where the winds guided them: to the lands of Africa, Asia, Greece and Turkey. And they live there until today.” ~Yosepf ha Kohen, Italian Jewish writer
  • 6. Jews in Thessaloniki “Thessaloniki you are the city and mother of Israel…mother of the people of Israel, like the people of Jerusalem in the days of her glory.” ~Samuel Usque, Jewish poet • Thessaloniki very accepting to Jews and marranos • Grew in popularity by mid 16th century • Marranos considered inferior • Thessaloniki was a “singing city”
  • 7. Ladino • Predominantly Spanish with foreign influences • In Thessaloniki the lower class’ Ladino was wellpreserved whereas upper class’ Ladino was diluted • Was not spoken in the synagogue • Dying language but there are still people who communicate with it • Victoria’s mother in-law only spoke Ladino, necessary for her to learn
  • 8. Music “A mosaic of sacred and profane, Jewish and nonJewish, old and new.” ~Amnon Shiloah, Jewish Musical Traditions • Both secular and religious • About 200 songs preserved from 15th century
  • 9. Characteristics of Sephardic Music • Religious music was performed a capella • Secular music included instruments: • Instruments: • Oud • Darbuka • Mandolin • Violin • Lute • Verdi’s Adio Querida • Themes of romance, everyday life
  • 10. Adio Querida
  • 11. When the Music Stopped German Occupation April 9, 1941 – German occupation began Summer of 1942 – 6000-7000 Jewish men between ages of 18 and 45 collected from their homes February 6, 1943 – Yellow Magen David stars were issued March-August 1943 – 95% of Jewish population exterminated in Auschwitz and Birkenau Victoria was born during the German Occupation
  • 12. Aftermath • Jewish Population today is about 1200 • After WWII the survivors were afraid to speak Ladino and sing their songs • Jewish singer in elder’s home sang to Victoria authentic Sephardic songs
  • 13. Jewish Community Today • Jewish Community Center in Thessaloniki • Strives to preserve the Ladino language and Sephardic culture • Provides classes on Ladino • There is an elementary school for Jewish kids • Only taught Hebrew, Spanish and French • Ladino is not part of their curriculum • Victoria helped organize a Sephardic music festival • Bands from all over the world participated
  • 14. Ocho Kandelikas
  • 15. Music Today • Large Sephardic music revival today • Pasharos Sepharadi • The commercialization and experimentation of Sephardic music has allowed this this tradition to continue • Modern influences – electric guitar, CDs, etc. • Music has become more universal because many people are able to recognize their own language in the songs
  • 16. Savina Yannatou • Victoria said Savina is considered an “artistic” performer of Sephardic music • Born in Athens in 1959 • Classically trained • Combines her classically trained background with traditional music and improvised music
  • 17. Savina Yannatou
  • 18. Works Cited • New Oxford American Dictionary 3rd edition © 2010, 2012 by Oxford University Press • Primavera en Salonico