Contemporary Practice of Traditional Jewish-Spanish Music Repertoire in Turkey: citing the continuous Turkish and Greek influences
by Hadass Pal-Yarden [Istanbul Technical University, Turkey]
Copyright (c) 2004, Hadass Pal-Yarden
SUMMARY: In the last few years Istanbul has become a scene for the unique musical activities of Ladino (Judeo- Spanish) music. Sephardic tradition has become more accessible to the Turkish audience, and a door has opened for musicians of other faiths to collaborate with Jewish musicians. The paper’s aims are to provide an introduction to Ladino music in its commercial aspects in Istanbul and to illustrate how Sephardic melodies were born out of interaction between communities and not created in an environment of cultural isolation.
musicians from the days of the invention of 78 r.p.m. recordings in the former
Ottoman Empire, including Roza Eskenazi, Haim Efendi, Isaac Agazi, Haskil,
Viktoria Hazan, just like the present-day performers, were Sephardic, sang in
more than two languages, and played with musicians who were not Jewish. That
was the natural way of life in the old days of Istanbul and this mixing
nourished the music and made it flourish. We see a careful reawakening,
especially in the last five years, of Sephardic music. There is a growing use
of the notion of creating music together as in the old days. This new vibrant
activity is a spark that needs to be nurtured in order to be comparable to the
long and wide collaboration in the “Tunel zamanları” (the times of Tunel,
the end of Ottoman rule and beginning of the republic).
CV: Hadass Pal-Yarden is an Israeli singer of Judeo-Spanish music and a doctoral student of Ethnomusicology in MIAM program. She studied folklore, classical Turkish music, and makam in the Conservatory of ITU (Vocal Department). Her first solo album, Yahudice: Urban Ladino Music from Istanbul, Izmir, Thessalonika and Jerusalem (Kalan, 2003), was released in Istanbul.