The Musical Tradition of the Eastern European Synagogue

Sholom Kalib’s 5-volume project makes possible the existence of one centralized, definitive place and resource to the vast and major musical, cultural, and historic legacy of the Eastern European synagogue…

Ruth Eisenberg from Baltimore writes:

The first volume of a projected 5-volume work entitled The Musical Tradition of the Eastern European Synagogue was recently released by Syracuse University Press. Its subtitle is History and Definition, and it is designed to provide a concise history of the
tradition in its totality. For hundreds of years, the music of the Eastern European synagogue, which is the musical heritage of the overwhelming majority of the world’s Jews was integral to the daily fabric of Jewish life.

The 5 volumes together will provide a thoroughly comprehensive history, verbal explanation, and documentation (including all of the notated
music), and facilitates an unprecedented capacity for thorough, in-depth exposure to and study of the tradition in its entirety. This work truly amounts to nothing less than rescuing a vast cultural treasure from near certain oblivion. I think people should know about this and that the first volume
is now available. Volume I provides a 277-page text with an accompanying 227-page volume of illustrative examples. It traces the roots and component liturgical, philosophical, musical, and vocal elements of the tradition, accured in the periods and places of its history. To the best of my knowledge, no comparable work exists. The existing anthologies usually deal with specific subjects, such as compositions by one cantor, or the artistic compositions for cantor and choir. But thus far no anthology was able to represent the Eastern European tradition in its multi-faceted richness. Sholom Kalib’s work does just that, and I know it will excite the interest of music scholars and performers, Jews and non-Jews, who will be interested in this as a contribution to the history of liturgical music in general.
There are two books that comprise Volume I. Part One is text, and Part Two is a book of notated music that are illustrative examples.