Obadiah the Proselyte

Writer and composer
1170-12 century

Born in Oppido Lucano, Italy. At birth given the name Johannes. In 1102 converted to Judaism, and in order to further his study of Judaism traveled to Constantinople, Baghdad, and Palestine, finally settling in Egypt and becoming a member of the thriving Jewish community situated there, where he wrote his memoirs. Obadiah's writings contain the earliest surviving manuscript source of Jewish music notation of synagogue chant.

Sources: Encyclopedia Judaica, Grove Music Online.

Sound Examples: 
Mi 'al har hôrev

Recording of Mi 'al Har Hôrev from Obadiah the Proselyte's Hebrew musical manuscripts found in the Cairo Genizah in 1965. Version sung by Meirav Ben-David Harel, accomapnied by Nima Ben-David on Viola da Gamba.

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