Professional Development of MusicIn the 1930s, the threat of Nazism in Europe drove hundreds of music teachers and students, composers, instrumentalists, and singers into Israel. Music began to occupy an importance place in Israel's cultural life.
OrchestrasThe Palestinian Philharmonic Orchestra, founded by Bronislaw Huberman, gave its first concert in Tel Aviv in 1936. It became an essential part of Israel's musical life and evolved into one of the pre-eminent orchestras in the world. Shortly afterwards, a radio orchestra was created as well as the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Be'er Sheva Sinfonietta, and other orchestras based around Israel.
Zionism and the Formation of the State of IsraelZionists had four main beliefs:
1. The vulnerability of Jews to persecution required immediate, complete treatment.
2. Cultural, social, and political rehabilitation must be the work of the Jews themselves.
3. They must establish themselves as the majority population in a land.
4. Only in a land of their own would there be a full revival of Jewish culture and the Hebrew language As a result, the State of Israel was founded in 1948!
Music Education and ResearchAt the start of the 1960s, music education and research became prevalent at institutions of higher learning. First, the Artur Rubinstein Chair of Musicology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was established. Other musicology departments were later added at Tel Aviv University and Bar Ilan University with the specialization of Jewish music and music of Israel's various ethnic groups.
Folk MusicJewish immigrants to Palestine brought with them music of their various host countries. To unite these new immigrants with a common cultural identity, Zionist musicians composed folk songs. The lyrics spoke of the experience of living in Israel, agricultural work, and love. Music needed to be dedicated to and related directly to the common good.
Naomi Shemer- Revitalizing Folk MusicNaomi Shemer (1930-2004) was a leading Israeli musician and songwriter. She transformed folk tradition into a new form of national popular music. From the 1960s-1980s, she sang of the uniqueness of the land of Israel. Her song, Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (1967), reunited Jerusalem after Israel won the Six-Day War of 1967. Here's a video of Shemer singing Yerushalayim Shel Zahav:
OperaThe New Israel Opera began performing on a professional level, reviving the public's interest in opera. Opera companies had been disbanded some years earlier.
Ofra Haza- Popularizing Yemenite MusicOfra Haza (1957-2000) was an Israeli singer, actress, and recording artist. Of Yemeni heritage, her music is a mixture of traditional and popular singing styles, blending Eastern and Western instrumentation, orchestration, and dance-beat. Im Nin'Alu
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n35nflM_IC0 Chai Eurovision Song Contest 1983
Arik Einstein- pioneer of Israeli Rock MusicArik Einstein (1939-2013) was an Israeli singer, songwriter, actor, comedian, and screenwriter. Through both high public and critical acclamation, Einstein is regarded as the greatest, most popular, and most influential Israeli artist of all time. His music career spanned over 50 years and he recorded over 500 songs. Ani V'atah
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETqJxlBrQbc Uf Gozal
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez1e2VPsRFw Yesh Bi Ahava
Zohar Argov- Mizrachi MusicArgov popularized "Mizrachi" or "Oriental" music in the 1980s. His music was hugely popular with Israelis from the Middle East, many of whom were from Israel’s working class. Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean melodies and musical motifs continued to be fused with pop and rock by bands like Ethnix and Tipex, resulting in mainstream popular music that now had a uniquely Israeli sound. The Flower in my Garden
Mass Migration of Jews from Soviet UnionIn the early 1990s, Israel's music life transformed as over one million Jews migrated from the Soviet Union. This immigration brought new professional musicians, instrumentalists, singers, and music teachers who then formed additional symphony and chamber orchestras. Music programs were revitalized in schools, conservatories and community centers throughout the country.
Influence of Music from AbroadThe advent of cable television in the early 1990s opened up Israel's youth culture to the cutting edge of popular music from abroad. From Europe, Israel absorbed electronic techno and popular club music. This kind of music became the backing of Israel’s third Eurovision victory in 1997- Viva LaDiva, sung by Dana International: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv83u7-mNWQ Israeli kids additionally absorbed hip hop music from the U.S, using it to demonstrate varying political directions.
The Idan Raichel ProjectIdan Raichel is a producer, keyboardist, lyricist, composer and performer. he Idan Raichel Project is distinctive for its fusion of electronics, traditional Hebrew texts, and diverse musical influences. Idan has become an ambassador representing a world of hope in which artistic collaboration breaks down barriers between people of different backgrounds and beliefs. Bo'i
Additional Popular MusiciansOmer Adam is an American-Israeli singer whose music fuses elements of Mizrachi and Western Pop. Arisa-Tel Aviv
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMQw29nfzpg Netta is an Israeli singer with both Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jewish descent. She won the 2018 Eurovision contest with the song "Toy."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CziHrYYSyPc Here is a compilation of Israel's best Eurovision songs: