Oxford publishes Tina Fruhauf’s book on German Jewish organ music

Tina Fruhauf Organ and Its Music in German-Jewish Culture Oxford University Press has released the scholarly work of Dr. Tina Fruhauf, The Organ and Its Music in German-Jewish Culture. The press descriptions states that the book “examines the powerful but often overlooked presence of the organ in synagogue music and the musical life of German-speaking Jewish communities. Tina Frühauf expertly chronicles the history of the organ in Jewish culture from the earliest references in the Talmud through the 19th century, when it had established a firm and lasting presence in Jewish sacred and secular spaces in central Europe. Frühauf demonstrates how the introduction of the organ into German synagogues was part of the significant changes which took place in Judaism after the Enlightenment, and posits the organ as a symbol of the division of the Jewish community into Orthodox and Reform congregations. Newly composed organ music for Jewish liturgy after this division became part of a cross-cultural music tradition in 19th and 20th century Germany, when a specific style of organ music developed which combined elements of Western and Jewish cultures. Concluding with a discussion of the organ in Jewish communities in Israel and the USA, the book presents in-depth case studies which illustrate how the organ has been utilized in the musical life of specific Jewish communities in the 20th century.”
ISBN13: 9780195337068
ISBN10: 0195337069 hardback, 296 pages

Based on extensive research in the archives of organ builders and Jewish musicians, The Organ and Its Music in German-Jewish Culture offers comprehensive and detailed descriptions of specific organs as well as fascinating portraits of Jewish organists and composers. With an extensive companion website featuring full color illustrations and over 200 organ dispositions, this book will be eagerly read by performers, students, and scholars of the organ, as well as students and scholars in historical musicology and Jewish music.


“This groundbreaking and engaged study is really two books in one: the story of modern Jewry’s growing interest in the organ, combined with a fresh look at music in German Jewish culture. It’s solid and satisfying on both counts.”–Mark Slobin, Professor of Music, Wesleyan University, and author, Fiddler on the Move: Exploring the Klezmer World

“Not often for either the general or specialized reader does such a book appear, drawing for the first time a rich, authoritative and unrivalled picture of a musical culture distinct from yet close to the western mainstream. As Dr. Frühauf shows, why the organ appeared in the western Diaspora’s synagogues is much clearer than why it appeared in Christian churches, and it forms the basis here for a wonderfully broad account of a society and its religious practices, music and composers. Focusing on the dominant German context — with all that this involved, from the fruitful nineteenth century to the horrible 1930s — itself contributes to many another topic of deep interest today.”–Peter Williams, author of The Organ in Western Culture 750-1250

“With the elegance of both scholar and performer, and the insight garnered through years of archival study and hours at the organ console, Tina Frühauf opens new chapters in the history of Jewish music in modern Central Europe. This book makes a major contribution to studies of Jews and modernity, but no less challenges the reader to rethink the very nature of Jewish musical tradition before modernity. As cultural history, Frühauf’s book deftly poses questions about Jewish identity and musical identity alike, where they meet and where they depart. Upon encountering the marvelous case studies in this book, readers may never again experience Jewish music in the same way.”–Philip V. Bohlman, Mary Werkman Distinguished Service Professor of the Humanities and of Music, University of Chicago, and author, Jewish Music and Modernity

Product Details
296 pages; 14 halftones, 21 Music Examples; 6 1/8 X 9 1/4;
ISBN13: 978-0-19-533706-8
ISBN10: 0-19-533706-9

About the Author(s)

Tina Frühauf is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and Editor at Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale in New York. In addition to her works as a scholar, she is an organist and church musician. Her German and English publications include articles in the Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy and Orgel International, numerous book chapters and encyclopaedia contributions on the German-Jewish music culture, organs and organ music, the piano and the violin.
Companion Resources

The following resources are available from the “The Organ and Its Music in German-Jewish Culture” companion site:

* About the Author
* About the Book
* Appendices