My Jewish Learning

Jewish Music Quiz

Jewish music today extends well beyond the synagogue, to the concert halls of Israel, the Klezmer revival, and the reggae of Matisyahu. How much do you know about Jewish music?



Question 1. Hava Nagila began as:
 A Hasidic melody in Eastern Europe
 A folk melody from the Zionist movement
 A revolution song sung by the Jews in concentration camps
 A biblical melody sung by the priests in the Temple

 

Question 2. Which of these facts about Debbie Friedman is NOT true?
 Her "Alef bet" song has appeared on Barney the Dinosaur's TV show
 Her compositions have become a lasting part of the Reform movement's liturgy
 Her version of "V'ahavta" was co-written with James Taylor
 She learned to play guitar at Jewish summer camp

 

Question 3. Which of these is an example of song in the Bible?
 Abraham singing to God as he attempted to sacrifice Isaac
 Moses and Miriam leading the people in song after the exodus from Egypt
 The Israelites singing their complaints to God in the desert
 All of these

 

Question 4. When Wagner claimed in his essay "Judaism in Music" that Jews could never be "true" creators because they are parasitic, Arnold Schoenberg created what musical response?
 Cain and Abel
 Moses and Aaron
 Rachel and Leah
 Jacob and Esau

 

Question 5. What are nigunim?
 Notes for chanting the Torah, haftarah, and other Jewish sacred texts
 Wordless or nearly wordless musical tunes, sometimes set to short phrases in Hebrew or Yiddish
 Excerpts of Jewish prayers set to secular music
 Music composed by the professional cantorial league

 

Question 6. What factor has contributed to the development of a rich tradition of classical music in Israel?
 A government policy to fund "Western" music, as opposed to "Eastern" music
 The belief that classical music could instil Zionist values
 The popularity of the Eurovision competition
 The immigration of European musicians to Israel

 

Question 7. What are the names of the hip-hop artist Subliminal's first two albums?
 "The Light and the Shadow" and "The Light From Zion"
 "The Sun and the Moon" and "The Star of David"
 "Day and Night" and "Follow the Light"
 "The Numbers Song" and "Kobi Shimoni"