Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fake a-cappella music: Following the letter, violating the spirit of the “law”

I’ve been making it a point to patronize West Side Judaica, my favorite Jewish book and ritual-items store, since reading that the store may be forced to close due to skyrocketing rent. As it happens, having heard an opinion that one isn’t supposed to listen to singing accompanied by musical instruments during the Shalosh HaShavuot/Drei Vochen/”Three Weeks” (the period between the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha B’Av), I had a good excuse to do damage to the family finances—I needed to buy some a-cappella CDs. Imagine my annoyance when I started playing one of the CDs and heard a bunch of guys singing with full accompaniment. For the life of me, I couldn’t imagine how these people could possibly say that their album of allegedly a cappella singing was recorded without the use of musical instruments.

It was a rare moment of brilliance when the truth finally hit me.

“Dune-koff (dummy)!,” quoth she, smacking herself upside the head. “You’ve been reading Mark/PT’s blog for almost three years, and you’ve never heard of a drum machine?"

“Can you say ‘synthesizer’?”

I don’t know quite what to make of such a “cheat.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you know, my custom in this area differs in that I don't consider any non-live music to fall under the custom of avoiding "simcha" during sefira and the three weeks. Conversely, I find the loophole of listening to a-cappella music, with or without fake instrumentation, to be entirely bogus. So during times when my practice is to avoid even recorded music, such as the Nine Days and when I was personally in shloshim, I didn't listen to any music, including a-cappella. To each her/his own custom.

Thu Jul 12, 09:23:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"To each her/his own custom" might be good advice for many people, but I'm not sure I *have* one, yet. Coming from a non-Orthodox family, and, therefore, having no "family minhag/custom," has its advantages and its disadvantages. "Pick one," eh? Not so easy. Confusion reigns. Sigh.

Thu Jul 12, 01:30:00 PM 2007  

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