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This entry is part of an online exhibit entitled: "Hava Nagila: From Idelsohn to Belafonte & Beyond," prepared by Eva Heinstein with help from the JMRC staff. To view the exhibit in its entirety click on the link above.
Also exists in English. This volume contains Jewish folk songs in the Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian and Ukranian languages. Each song is printed with text-underlay of the first stanza. As stated in the introductory section, Idelsohn planned to publish the full texts with translation and commentary in a seperate volume, but the plan never materialized. This collection differs from other anthologies of East-European Jewish folk songs, past and recent, whose main interest is the text; here, the emphasis is on the structure of the music. Musical considerations are also involved in the classification of the songs and in the order of their presentation. In Idelsohn's words: "The method here pursued divides the songs primarily according to scale (minor, major etc.) and subdivides them following the various predominant characteristics within the scale." The method, however, presents some problems of finding the desired song; an alphabetical list of the texts is therefore given at the beginning of the volume, in lieu of a table of contents. The songs were drawn form two kinds of sources: informants who sang for Idelsohn, and printed collections of Jewish songs.