Monday, April 20, 2009

While We Were Out...

Haaretz published an article, "The New Black Music" about Chareidi singers. This part is of interest:
The Bnei Brak-based Guardians of Sanctity and Education is conducting stubborn battles against singers who don't obey its instructions, and tries to prevent commercial bodies from cooperating with them. "Many groups that wanted to help and nurture Hasidic music prefer not to get drawn into arguments with the activists, and give up these cooperative ventures," says Lapidot. "The activists are torpedoing marketing initiatives by cell phone companies and approve only mainstream music. Many artists are harmed by that. The activists dictate to firms precise lists of artists with whom they should cooperate." He says the rabbis' decisions even affect the types of ring tones mobile providers offer their users for download.

One of the companies that has reduced its activity in the area of Hasidic music is Cellcom, whose activity in the field of ultra-Orthodox music is conducted under the name Cellcom Volume. In the past the company funded large performances, held in the context of Hakafot Shniyot, a post-Simhat Torah celebration, and sent its customers compilations with songs by the giants of Hasidic music.

But even Cellcom was forced to significantly reduce its activity. The company has a seal of approval from the rabbis' committee for communication affairs, and sells "kosher" products to the ultra-Orthodox sector that do not include content services or the ability to send text messages. The approval of the rabbis' committee has forced Cellcom to abide by the committee's instructions regarding singers it can cooperate with. The committee has also forbidden Cellcom from financing concerts.

"We don't interfere with business deals of one kind or another or with wars," says Yoni Sabag, the head of Cellcom's marketing department. "I can say unequivocally that even in the field of music, which is related to cell phones, we work closely with the rabbis' committee. We're very pleased about this cooperation and it works both ways. We listen to them regarding of other activities as well. They express their opinion and we don't oppose them. We are willing, and what they allow us to do we'll do. We won't act against a decision of any committee."
Meanwhile, Oorah settled yet another misleading solicitation practices complaint. We told you so. Any guesses as to which State AG pursues this next?

And, Hamodia included a "Melody & Harmony" section in their "Bright Ideas" Pesach supplement. The section includes an embarrassing article by Harav Moshe Wolfson, Shlita. Rav Wolfson is the Rav of Beis Medrash Emunas Yisroel and Mashgiach of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas.

Here's a taste:

There is a fundamental difference between the seven Ushpizin and the twelve shvatim, the twelve tribes of yisrael. Every Jew has a direct connection with the Ushpizin, whereas each shevet is a seperate and unique entity; the shvatim are thus a symbol of disunity.

For every seven white keys, representing the major notes on the piano, there are five black keys, representing the minor notes, each of which is half-tone higher or lower than the white key next to it. The black keys complement and harmonize with the white keys.

In general, somone who would play using just the white keys on the piano would be able to play only a lively song, while playing just the black keys would result in a sorrowful song of atzvus, sadness.

It is likely, then, that another tradition handed down from Yuval is for the keys that play major notes to be white, for happy songs, while the black keys, which play the minor notes, are black, for mournful music. White is a source of chessed for Klal Yisrael (this may be one reason why doctors wear white); on the Yomim Nora'im we wear white kittels. Black, on the other hand, represents the trait of gvurah and is a source and an expression of melancholy.

A song that is played using a combination of black and white keys mixes chessed and gvurah. Together the seven white keys and five black keys of an octave equal twelve, the number of shvatim of Klal Yisroel, which as mentioned above, can symbolize disunity. Such a song is appropriate only for galus. When Moshiach arrives, however, everything will be whiite, for there will be no atzvus.
Oy! Where to even begin? Lets just say that the musical misstatements/errors in this segment alone speak to the strong need for music education in Chareidi schools!