Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2001.
Did you every want to know what all the da di di di da and bam bam bam were really all about in the nigunim of Lubavitcher Hasidim? Do you know how the music reflects their philosophy of the two souls?
Let me recommend “Music in Lubavitcher Life” by Ellen Koskoff. I can tell you it’s something that it will fascinate a lot of people.
There are so many questions about Hasidism and their music that are answered by this book. It’s insightful and full of information presented in a very clear, understandable and readable way. While the book is academic, with plenty of research and bibliography, it’s still quite easy to read. And there are lots of specific musical examples and explanations. Ellen has done original ethnographic fieldwork among the community as she’s been interested in the music and working in the Chasidic community for over 25 years.
Ellen Koskoff has written many articles on ethnomusicology. In 2000, I heard her give a most interesting lecture at the London conference about the role of women in music in the religious communities. This new book takes more of an overview discussing all sorts of aspects of music in the Lubavitcher life.
jsp/January 22, 2002.