Social Functions of Synagogue Song: A Durkheimian Approach by Jonathan L. Friedmann paints a detailed picture of the important role sacred music plays in Jewish religious communities. This study explores one possible way to approach the subject of music's intimate connection with public worship: applying sociologist Emile Durkeim's understanding of ceremonial ritual to synagogue music. Durkheim observed that religious ceremonies serve disciplinary, cohesive, revitalizing, and euphoric functions within religious communities. Drawing upon musical examples from different composers, regions, periods, rites, and services, Friedmann demonstrates how Jewish sacred music performs these functions.
Jonathan L. Friedmann is cantor of Bet Knesset Bamidbar and Congregation P'nai Tikvah, both in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is also professor of Jewish music history at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California and the co-founder of two cutting-edge bands: Rabbinical School Dropouts and Elijah's Chair. Jonathan has published over 300 popular and peer-reviewed articles, and is the author or editor of ten books, including Quotations on Jewish Sacred Music (2011) and Emotions in Jewish Music (2012). His regular column on Jewish music can be read at The Daily Rabbi, an online magazine (www.thedailyrabbi.com).
Preface Introduction 1. Durkheim and Religion 2. Discipline 3. Cohesion 4. Revitalization 5. Euphoria 6. Conclusion Appendix: Durkheimian Studies Bibliography Index About the Author