Event Title

To Sound Jewish: An Exploration of Faith in the Music of Felix Mendelssohn

Presenter Information

Lisa Learman, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 323

Start Date

4-29-2016 4:00 PM

End Date

4-29-2016 5:15 PM

Abtract

Felix Mendelssohn’s conversion from Judaism to Lutheranism has sparked debate regarding his theological proclivities and their influences on his compositional style. Some musicologists believe that a Christo-centric theology defines Mendelssohn’s music entirely. Others maintain there are elements of Mendelssohn’s compositions that sound distinctly Jewish. This study examines tonal, rhythmic, and structural aspects of a representative sample of compositions, as well as relevant secondary sources that discuss what it means to sound “Jewish,” in order to explore how culture and faith are represented in Mendelssohn’s music.

Notes

Session III, Panel 13 - Deciphering Musical Codes: Studies of "Excess," Joy, and Jewishness
Moderator: Ben Geyer, Visiting Instructor of Music Theory

Major

Biology; Musical Studies

Advisor(s)

Yolanda Cruz, Biology
Sigrun Heinzelmann, Music Theory

Project Mentor(s)

Sigrun Heinzelmann, Music Theory

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Apr 29th, 4:00 PM Apr 29th, 5:15 PM

To Sound Jewish: An Exploration of Faith in the Music of Felix Mendelssohn

King Building 323

Felix Mendelssohn’s conversion from Judaism to Lutheranism has sparked debate regarding his theological proclivities and their influences on his compositional style. Some musicologists believe that a Christo-centric theology defines Mendelssohn’s music entirely. Others maintain there are elements of Mendelssohn’s compositions that sound distinctly Jewish. This study examines tonal, rhythmic, and structural aspects of a representative sample of compositions, as well as relevant secondary sources that discuss what it means to sound “Jewish,” in order to explore how culture and faith are represented in Mendelssohn’s music.