Were MOST of the Classical music composers of Jewish origin? which percentage and why for this?

Posted by Vera Ferris on July 4th, 2010 and filed under Jewish Music | 5 Comments »

why for this and which percentage? how this differed from previous before "classical music" came about?

also, how the nazis treated this matter? how they liked classical music that was composed by jewish people?

how long this has been the case in Europe, and , again, why?

also how traditional music was performed before "Classical " music? what is "classical music"?

and which instruments were used before?

which parts of europe and how differed ?

please explain

thanks for your answers!

No – very few of them were. Of the most famous I believe Felix Mendelssohn was Jewish but the truly great composers – Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and so on – were not.

5 Responses

  1. Mikey, just Mikey Says:

    No – very few of them were. Of the most famous I believe Felix Mendelssohn was Jewish but the truly great composers – Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and so on – were not.
    References :

  2. Rubym Says:

    Mendelssohn (I’m not sure of the spelling) is the only one I can think of off hand who was. His music was banned in Nazi Germany. Mozart and Bach, I’m pretty sure were Catholics. Beethoven may have been Catholic or Lutheran by birth. Any music by composers who were Jewish was probably banned, The most popular operas in Nazi Germany were by Wagner, who was an antisemite.

    During the years before the Nazi takeover in Germany and then Austria, and other parts of Europe, many symphony conductors and musicians were Jewish. That is one of the first places wealthy Germans began to notice something, when their symphony orchestras starting losing conductors, etc. But not enough to do anything.

    Classical music and before that baroque music, etc. were around since around the 1700′s. Folk music of one kind or another had always been around in just about every part of the world.

    I don’t know all the different instruments, but harps, harpsichords, drums, trumpets, etc.

    PS: In the US in modern times, a huge amount of popular music was written by Jewish composers, ranging from Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, many Broadway teams like Rodgers and Hammerstein, more recently Pop and Rock songs written by Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, etc. But that is popular, not classical.
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  3. fradiga Says:

    Your question is rather a list of questions.
    I would start with this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Jewish_classical_musicians

    Mendelssohn was one Jewish composer whose music was hardly heard under the Nazi régime. There may be others, of course.

    Instruments were not standardized enough in order for them too be played in an orchestra for a long time. Technological progress and new norms made it possible and such progress is still on-going. So the era of classical music started when music instruments became stable enough to be included in various groups. You may want to look up websites about ancient music instruments and their evolutions (or disappearances) to find more info. The same for what instruments were popular where.

    The presence of Jewish musicians among composers seems to follow the pattern of racism in Europe and the eventual assimilation of Jewish people among Gentiles. This is why you find more and more of them during the 19th century and even more in the 20th.

    I hope to have enlightened you to some extent and contributed to your search. Good luck!
    References :

  4. tri5ia Says:

    Mahler was Jewish too.
    References :

  5. SteveUK Says:

    There is quite a strong amount of Jewish Classical music, though they are a minority, probably about 1 in 5.
    The first modern (post 1000AD) music tended to be Plainsong and early church music. This was because music was seen as a luxury not a neccessity, so composers needed to be financially supported by someone elses wealth. The growth of the European Courts lead to wider patronage of the arts.
    Regarding Hitler and the Nazis – Hitler was a fan of Richard Wagner (famed for inventing the leit motif), who wrote operas regarding Germaic ancient heroes (Siegfried, Tristram & Isolde etc) and had had a very public bust up with a fellow composer who happened to be Jewish. He therefore fitted the nazis bill perfectly.
    The term ‘classical’ generally refers from Bach onwards, though whether Tippett deserves to be termed classical, yet Jean Michel Jarre or Ennio Morricone don’t, is a theoretical discussion. (I hate Tippetts music:))
    The first classical instruments would have been keyboards (clavichord & church organ) with wind accompaniment (Recorders mostly, though some sackbuts, too).
    The first courts to embrace classical music were the Italians and Austro-Hungarians. Their influence led to the French and British courts attempting to rival these established courts. No monarch wants to look less impressive than another, whether militarally or in finance or the arts. Peter the Great wanted to Westernise his Russian court (and Russia) in the early 18th century, which led to the growth of Russian Classical music, notably Mussorgsky, Rimsky Kosakov etc (and the great plagiarist, Piotr Tchaikovsky).
    Hope I’ve answerred all your questions in order and spread a little enlightenment.
    References :