Monday, May 15, 2006

From the mailbag...

Banschool writes:
What's your take on Matisyahu's second studio album YOUTH? I'm just curious to hear your opinion. I think it's infectious and downright uplifting...then again I'm not a professional music guru. 'Jerusalem' is my favorite track.
Didn't listen to the whole thing. Didn't like the tracks I heard.

Michael writes:
In addition to the general silliness surrounding the Monsey/5-Star-Judaica/Sapphire Advertising video clip, I would like to point out that the actual vocals-only *arrangement* of “Sweet Home Alabama/Yibaneh Hamikdash” was ‘borrowed’ from Rockapella, which in turn covered the famous Lynyrd Skynyrd song.

The Rockapella album is called “Common Time.”

So they’re not just ‘borrowing’ songs from the goyish oilem, they’re borrowing arrangements from goyish a cappella groups.

Let’s hear Sameach’s response to that.
If the use of the arrangement is licensed, I have no problem with their using it. If not, they can be sued for infringement. Regardless, I'm pretty sure Sameach had no idea of its source.

Rachel writes:
Thanks for your great blog. I just started an Adi Ran blog, and wanted to get any ideas you may have. I'm going to try to put up translations of Adi Ran songs, and have put up 2 so far.

Adi Ran News & Translations of Hebrew Lyrics
Heshy Maryles writes:
I noticed that there was some interesting discussion about sources for prohibiting taped music, and I thought I could add some information.

The original source to prohibit taped music is from R YC Zonnenfeld, zt"l, who paskened that the prohibition adopted in Yerushalaim against music at chasunas included recorded music. Now realize that at that time recorded music was very unsophisticated, and he still held it was ossur, so kol shekain today, where a good sound system with a great CD could sometimes sound better than live!

There are those (tzitz eliezer, for example) who maintain that a tape recorder, etc, is a musical instrument, which would prohibit even the poorest quality "musicless" sefira CDs (he even says v'chein nohagin), but it doesn't seem that the velt is mekabel this chumra.

Sources - ayin Piskei Teshuvos

P.S. your blog gets real interesting in a Toradige way sometimes -- it's starting to look like Hirhurim (minus the UO/MO issues, of course)!
I didn't include R' Sonnenfeld's psak in the discussion because I'm not convinced that it is relevant to sefirah. The takana against music at weddings in Yerusholayim is relatively recent (150 years or so) and was in response to a cholera epidemic. It is not based on the Talmudic prohibition against music since the Sanhedrin was abolished. The premise of the takana is that Jews living in Yerusholayim, who view Yerusholayim b'churbonoh daily, have an added obligation to mourn its destruction with heightened sensitivity. Thus, extracting anything from those takanos and applying it elsewhere may be a stretch, since the premise isn't applicable.

Thus, one could accept Rav Sonnenfeld's psak and still permit listening to recorded music during sefirah, IMO.

In fact, I've heard that many poskim in Yerusholayim, who accept Rav Sonnenfeld's psak, rule that it is permissible for Americans getting married there to have a full band at their weddings; which makes it clear that this is something that only applies to residents of Yerusholayim.

Incidentally, the minhag in Yerusholayim is to allow drums at weddings. They usually have one drummer and some singers. I'm surprised that no one has adopted this approach to producing sefirah albums ala Funkapella. Why waste all that time on sampling and producing second rate "mouth drums" when it seems as though you can just have the real thing?