12. Tracing the Minhag Ashkenaz in Swiss Synagogue Music: Advocates of Intangible Cultural Heritage meet Agents of Cultural Sustainability

Cultural Mapping and Musical Diversity - Britta Sweers

Sarah Ross [+-]
Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover
Sarah Ross is professor of Jewish music studies and director of the European Center for Jewish Music at the Hannover University of Music, Drama, and Media, Germany. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2010 at the University of Music and Theatre Rostock, Germany. She is author of A Season of Singing: Creating Feminist Jewish Music in the United States (Brandeis University Press, 2016) and co-editor of Judaism and Emotion: Texts, Performance, Experience (Peter Lang, 2013) and editor of the book series Jewish Music Studies (Peter Lang). Her main fields of research are Jewish music, ethnomusicological gender studies, and music and sustainability.

Description

The term ‘cultural heritage’, as defined and developed by the UNESCO, includes oral traditions and living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants. The ways, how the understanding of this concept is put into practice is, however, often limited to visual rather than audible forms of culture, such as within the context of Jewish culture in Switzerland. Here, much effort has been put e.g. into the preservation of the tangible Jewish heritage of the two villages Endingen and Lengnau in Surbtal, but less into safeguarding of the musical traditions of these two villages. Against this background, the chapter argues to apply the concept of cultural sustainability in the study of the so-called Minhag Ashkenaz (the Western-German custom) in Swiss synagogue music. Within the context of this chapter, the concept is first of all understood as an independent and alternative concept from UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage. Thus transformed, it better represents the discursive and dynamic processes of preserving, transmitting and sharing cultural expressions – such as orally transmitted synagogue chants.

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Citation

Ross, Sarah. 12. Tracing the Minhag Ashkenaz in Swiss Synagogue Music: Advocates of Intangible Cultural Heritage meet Agents of Cultural Sustainability. Cultural Mapping and Musical Diversity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Mar 2020. ISBN 9781781797594. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=35836. Date accessed: 26 Jun 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35836. Mar 2020

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