Explore the natural beauty, diverse culture and rich musical heritage of Israel – ABC News

Posted By on March 23, 2020

Modern-day Israel is a country defined by centuries of multicultural history, providing rich inspiration for music and art.

Sitting on the south-eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, Israel is a melting pot of cultural and musical influences from across the region. Mizrahi and Sephardic music, Hasaidic melodies and traditional folk song mix with Greek music, jazz and classical styles. Since 1967, classical composers in Israel have sought to create a unique Israeli identity in their works, some drawing in explicitly Jewish or Middle Eastern material. Ami Maayani writes of his music being shaped by the "unique spirit" of the place, "melding the cantillations and prayers of the various Jewish traditions, the folk songs of Eretz Yisrael and the Arabic music of our neighbours". His Maqamat-Arabesque No. 1 for solo harp draws on Arabic scales and rhythms, yet it also hints at the Baroque in its structure and elegance.

Along Israel's eastern border with Jordan, nestled between the Judaenan Hills and Transjordanian highlands, the Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth. The lake's surface and shoreline sit a remarkable 430m below sea level, and with salinity levels so high a human body floats effortlessly and an abundance of mineral-rich mud, it's a big hit with tourists. Polish composer Julius Chajes explores Israeli connection with place and song in his Israeli Melodies for string orchestra. Each movement is a setting of an Israeli folk songs, taking the listener to Canaan, Galilee and the Desert, and inviting them for a peaceful meditation on Israel by night.

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Explore the natural beauty, diverse culture and rich musical heritage of Israel - ABC News

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