Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Which came first? The Church Modes or the Cantorial Modes?

My email to Dr Klez (Joshua Horowitz)


I teach a Klezmer class on Tuesday nights in South Hadley, MA.  I am researching the origins of Klezmer modes and would like some insight from a scholar such as yourself.


Adam R Sweet

Hi Adam,

Since Judaism predates Christianity, the assumption is that the cantorial modes came first, but, for instance, Freygish, although used in ancient Greece, is a relatively new mode to Jewish music (its not officially a cantorial mode, but belongs to zmiros and niggunim mostly).

Although we like to consider the klezmer modes as being specific to Jewish music, I think if you look at the majority of tunes played today, you'll find that they have more in common with Ottoman Makamat than liturgical music.

Here's a great link:

Irish Dance Traditions

Dancing in the Middle Ages (England) Irish dance dates back to its origins in Europe in the 11th and 12th centuries and became closely ...