Various Artists

Folk Music of Palestine

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Merely one year after Israel was founded, Folkways released Folk Music of Palestine. Selected from the Department of Folk Music of the Anthropological Institute of Israel -- formerly the Palestine Institute of Folklore and Ethnology -- the album's 16 tracks document traditional music from the region of Palestine. Within this mix is a Bokharian wedding song, characterized by a yodeling trill and a 3/4 meter articulated on two doyras (hand drums). The Iranian tune "Recitation From Firdausi's Shaname" features a pleasant gait and smoothly sung verses that alternate between two male singers. The liner notes offer musicological analyses of the tracks, highlighting formal, tonal, and rhythmic features. Though the recordings distort a bit since they are mixed too hot, the album reminds listeners that the people of this turbulent region -- whether Muslim, Jew, Christian, or agnostic -- all have a common love for music.

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