Official Languages: Hebrew and Arabic
Current Population: 9,289,761
Climate: The climate is Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers, when the maximum temperature in Jerusalem is generally between 30°C and 35°C (86°F to 95°F), and mild, rainy winters, with a minimum temperature in the city of about 5°C (41°F). The climate is sub-tropical on the coast but more extreme in the Negev Desert, in the south, and near the shores of the Dead Sea (a lake on the Israeli–Jordanian frontier), where the summer temperature may exceed 50°C (122°F).
Main Religions: Judaism and Islam
Folk and Popular Israeli Music
An area of musical creativity originating in Erets-Israel (‘land of Israel’) was Erets-Israeli song, which consists of Hebrew texts set to music with a monophonic texture, usually by identifiable Erets-Israeli composers during the period 1882–1948. Erets-Israeli songs developed alongside other Hebrew songs sung in Erets-Israel up to 1948.
The origins of Hebrew songs coincide with the revival of Hebrew culture in Europe and the beginning of the Zionist movement in the latter half of the 19th century. The Hebrew cultural revival included literature and poetry, just as the Zionist movement brought with it waves of immigration to Erets-Israel.
The majority of songs in Erets-Israel during the era of the first immigration were brought by immigrants. Songs typically expressed a longing for Erets-Israel along with the hope for rebirth in the homeland. Many of the song lyrics were written in Hebrew by poets who were part of the ḤibatṢion (love of Zion) and Hatḥiyah (revival) movements, but who, for the most part, had never visited Erets-Israel. The majority of song melodies were borrowed from Hasidic and Yiddish sources, and from Russian, Romanian and Polish folk and popular songs.
Most melodies were in minor keys and in duple metre, at times in slow march-like tempos, with typical Hebrew syllabic emphasis on the penultimate syllable.
Four distinct song types characterize these eras. First, Ḥibat Tzion songs continued from the previous era, becoming part of the second immigration's repertory. The second category includes songs composed within Erets-Israeli educational institutions. The third category includes songs with Arab melodies that were widespread in Erets-Israel to which Hebrew texts were fitted, e.g. Hachmisimi, Bein Nehar Prat, Yad ‘Anugah and Ani Re'itiha. The fourth category includes songs with melodies originating in Eastern European Hasidic culture. Such texts include short verses from the Bible or from prayer books.
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(4): Hirshberg, J., Shahar, N., Seroussi, E., & Shiloah, A. Israel. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 7 Dec. 2021, from https://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000041316.