Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Poof! You're "Chassidish!"

Eli Gerstner's making "Chassidishe Music"

As if recent Chasidic compositions haven't been bad enough, with such listless "hits" like

1) פתח שערי שמים
2) וידעו
3) הכל יודוך
4) קדשוהו רוממוהו

recent non-Chasidic compositions, or better yet adaptations, from Pop music have now been made Chasidish by SINGING IN A HUNGARIAN/SATMARER הברה/ACCENT! That's right, now all it takes for music to be called Chasidish is to take a song you ripped off from a popular "Boy-Band", put Hebrew words to it, and VOILA! You've got a "Chasidishe tape"! Of course if you sing it with a "Litvishe" accent the דין of "Goyishe/Nisht Heimishe/מאדערנע music is still חל, and the music may not be listened to....

Now, why didn't I think of that?!


Camp Runamok said...

"That's right, now all it takes for music to be called Chasidish is to take a song you ripped off from a popular "Boy-Band", put Hebrew words to it, and VOILA! You've got a "Chasidishe tape"!"

And we're surprised at this now? This has been going on for decades in the "Jewish Music" biz. The first major case I am aware of was MBD's "borrowing" a tune from a German Disco band in the late 1980s to give us "Yidden!". The practice likely even predates that.

Anyways, such "reuse" of popular music has been standard fare among us for centuries; How many Rebbishce niggunim started life as popular folk songs or military marches in the Old Countries?

Speaking of niggunim, given that the songs on this particular record are "Kapelye" they no longer have the din of Music but of Chassidish Niggunim. Accordingly, listening to them is now a "hailige avoidah"...especially during sefiroh, Bain HaMaitzoorim, etc.

yitz said...

Hey Hirshel, what's wrong with Belzer music? Many people just love "Kadsheihu, Romimuhu"! And not everything that's in a non-Lubavitch/Litvish havara is Hungarian! Many Polishers, Galitzianers, etc. have similar accents. Like the singers on this recording:
Choir: Avrum Yuda Eckstein, Yaakov Elchana Eckstein, Moshe Shteckl, Aaron Samet, Yuda Hartstein, Yaakov Rotblatt, Mordechai Rotler, Chaim Meir Valtzer, Yitzchok Zenwirth, Sinai Barmatz, Chaim Shloime Mayas & Eliyahu Dolinsky. Child Soloists: Meir Lichternstadter & Sholom Werzberger.
I happen to know Sinai Barmatz, and he's one of the best singers -- and a Modzitzer to boot! I believe this is the same choir that sings on the "Chassidishe Otzros" series.
Now, the songs were produced, arranged and conducted by Dudi Kalish and composed by Eli Gerstner. So there you may be correct - but at least he got some Chassidishe guys to sing his music, so perhaps he wasn't so wrong to call his "new" music Chassidish. If his songs are ripped off from secular songs, please enlighten us. It didn't sound to much like MBD's "Yidden" to me...

Anonymous said...

WHat about ripping off Georgian folk tunes? Where does that fit in?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


stop showing off your ignorance, please.

Belzer tunes are fine, many are quite good actually,especially for today's day and age but they get tired quickly, and they have no life to them. They do not stimulate any emotion, which is the purpose of a song in the first place, especially a Chasidic one. I used the term "Hungarian" for lack of a better term, I understand Polish is also in the realm of "Chasidish". Also, the singers here do sound דוקא Hungarian, with the heavy accents that are easily identifiable, as are Israeli Chasidish accents.

The point here is that songs were basically off limits to Chasidim, because they were considered "Goyish", but now that they change the הברה it's all good and well?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I followed a link over at blog in D minior, and I ended up here.
Belz songs don't inspire emotion?
have no life?
get tired quickly?
I beg to differ! one of my favorite songs, played almost as often as "Oyd Yeshoma" and "Yosis" is the Belz Simen Tov, (usually in F minor, I would sing it but you can't hear me...)
P'sach, is a fantasic tune, very energetic, as are several others. There are few songs that I play over and over for quite a few years that don't totaly bore me , and these are a few of them.
and BTW,, they totaly sound better with a chasidish accent!

Anonymous said...

It is hard to understand a Chabadsker claiming that emesser Chasidisher niggunim have no emotion. There are many chabad niggunim, but almost no interesting or stimulating ones. Maybe the daled bovos, but nothing else. Hu Elokeinu is perhaps the worst nigun sung anywhere, completely devoid of musical or emotional content, Tzomo Lecho likewise.

And peasant folk songs are better left to the shenk.

Mottel said...

Musician, I don't think liveliness is the issues, Belzer nigunim are quite levely, but they also tend to be very simple and thus come out quite repetitive after awhile.

Snag, to quote Tzig:
stop showing off your ignorance, please.
We are speaking about in music, which is mater of taste and therefore left up to the preferences of the one who listens to it.
However, from the very fact that you seem to think the most ubiquitous (though by all means, generally considered to be enjoyable)Chabad niggunim represent an accurate sampling of what we have, only acts as proof positive that you have no idea what you're talking about.
How many of Reb Hilel Particher's nugginim have you heard? How many nigunie Shabbos v'yom tov?
Might I recommend going to 770live and listening to the collection of niggunim there. I recommend nigun 459.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Mottel, you are being too kind.

The problem isn't that 'snag' thinks that those Niggunim represent all Chabad Niggunim, it's just that he knows how to recognise a Chassidishe Niggun that is Meorer the heart, like i know to recognise the difference between a chinese and a japanese (and i don't).

Anonymous said...

In any event, all chabad niggunim have been superceded by the One True Niggun.

Ay Ay ay-ay-ay ay-ay-ay-ay-aaay
Yechi Adoneinu....

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


I really do feel for you, because what you're saying is tantamount to not having a soul at all.

FrumWithQuestions said...

I think the reason why people might think that a niggun is boring, slow , no emotional is because they are not experiencing it in a proper way. Many niggunim have stories behind them which people don't know. If you know the history of a niggun and are singing the niggun at a Rebbes tisch with other yidden I don't know how you can say a niggun is boring or slow. Every niggun has its own emotions that everyperson can feel in a different way but to label them is wrong.

Anonymous said...

There is a very fine line between your justified criticism of cheesy overproduced Jewish music and self-hate. What if I found these ocmments on some anti-Semitic web site claiming that all Jewish music was just rip-offs of Georgian folk songs? How would that sound? And how are you so sure of the origin of the song anyay? A classic example is Miserlu by Dick Dale and the Deltones. Where did Dick Dale get that from? I have a half a dozen albums of that song in Yiddish. But we are so quick to claim that we Jews ripped off Miserlu from the "original" 60's version by Dick Dale. The fact is that traveling Jewish musicians were all over Europe, as well as Gypsy bands and others. Why not believe that the songs are originally Jewish? Why not have a litle patriotism? And if they are not "authentically" Jewish, so what? But it's not just music, apparently. It's a matter of self-esteem. If we listen to crappy music, we are crappy people. But in the end, it's all semantics and a big mind game. So please, don't hate Eli Gerstner or Carlebach or Matisyahu. Just celebrate, or create your own music.

- BB