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. 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 2. 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 3. Who created the written notation for cantillation notes?
 King Solomon
 Aaron the Priest
 The Masoretes
 Rabbi Akiva

 

Question 4. Whose job was it to sing and play musical instruments as part of the Temple service?
 Poor people
 Women
 Levites
 The High Priest

 

Question 5. Which event brought Cantor Yosselle Rosenblatt to the attention of the New York Times in 1917?
 His refusal of Cleofonte Campanini's offer to sing the lead at the Chicago Opera
 His appearance at the New York Public Library for the War Savings Stamp Campaign, when he sang "The Star Spangled Banner"
 Leading the prayer service at the First Hungarian Congregation Ohab Zedek, one of New York's premier synagogues
 When he sang before a crowd of 6,000 at the Hippodrome Theater to raise funds for Jews suffering in Europe

 

Question 6. Which musician recorded Hava Nagila as "Holiday Mambo"?
 Machito and his Afro-Cuban Orchestra
 Harry Belafonte
 Bruce Springsteen
 Bob Dylan

 

Question 7. What is Leonard Bernstein's only work composed for the synagogue?
 Kaddish
 Jeremiah
 The Dybbuk
 Hashkivenu