Tuesday, March 07, 2006

did debbie friedman write that great tzur mishelo tune or was it 17th century yemenites?

a few weeks ago i had an idea for an experiment. i was curious how aware people were of the origins of various niggunim we all used for various shabbat songs.
there is a praticular melody for tzur mishelo
(don't click around the website yet just listen to the melody) which is quite popular in the various circles i travel in. it was the default at brown hillel when i was in college, in fruity-anglo-jerusalem, and in DC where i live now.
i asked people if they knew its origins. many said they didn't. several postulated that it was an old hassidic melody. others where sure that it was mizrahi, others narrowed it down saying it was yemenite/temani. one guy thought it was debbie friedman. estimates of its age ranged from 20 years new to 400+/- years old.
it turns out that, with the exception of the folks who said they didn't know, everyone was wrong.
the niggun was written by a guy name avniel/peter salzman a few years ago.
anyways, i saw his website, and had been a fan of his music, so i sent a donation. if i think something is terrific i try to support it like when i subscribed to the onion even though it is available free.


At 3/14/2006 , Blogger BZ said...

Yeah, I first heard it in 2001 in Israel, but it has spread like wildfire since then!

At 3/15/2006 , Blogger BZ said...

I learned that Tzur Mishelo in 2001. It traversed my whole Jewish world almost instantaneously!

At 3/15/2006 , Blogger BZ said...

And why wasn't there a fruity-Anglo-Jerusalem when I lived there? Or why didn't I know about it?


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