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‘God is in the detail’: a composer’s perspective on crafting modern Jewish sacred music

Summary of sections: Prayer, words and music – the role of sacred music ‘Reaching out without dumbing down’ Music as theology; music as midrash ‘Prayer: the lost art’ Making music holy – kodesh ‘God is in the detail’ – 25

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‘You have all been shown’ – its music and meaning

Music and recording © Alexander Massey 19 May 2016 The sheet music for this is available for purchase as part of ‘Five Sacred Chants’. “You have all been shown what is good, and what God seeks from you. Do justice,

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Elohai N’shamah – its music and meaning

Music and recording © Alexander Massey 11 March 2015 The sheet music is available for purchase as part of ‘Five Sacred Chants’. אֱלהַי נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּתַתָּ בִּי טְהורָה הִיא Elohai, n’shamah shenatata bi, t’horah hi. My God, the soul You have

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Five Sacred Chants

‘Five Sacred Chants’ is an 11-page sheet music set of simple rounds and chants for 2 or 3 voices. It includes a a 4-page introduction with an essay ‘What’s the point of chanting?’, and short commentaries on each of the

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What’s the point of chanting?

The focus of chants is not singing, but prayer – avodat lev (or avodah shebalev), ‘service/work of the heart’. When we chant, it is not the quality of our voice or musicianship that counts, but the quality of our intention (kavanah). However

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Circumcising conversion candidates – ‘the most unkindest cut of all’

Jewish boys and the choice not to circumcise Even though circumcision is not a halachic criterion for establishing Jewish status for a boy, there is a strong and widespread religious and social expectation within the UK Orthodox community (religious and non-religious)

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Concert – Sunday 3 March 2019, 7pm

‘The time of singing has come’ Inspirational Jewish Songs composed by Alexander Massey performed by Alexander Massey & Matthew Faulk Slager Jewish Centre, 61 George St, OX1 2BQ Entry free – donations welcome

Jewish Baby Blessings

Here is a list of the music that I have written to Jewish texts that be used for Jewish baby blessings, for boys or girls: B’ruchah Haba’ah (Blessed Is She) – A blessing for the baby girl; a simple tune,

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Jewish Wedding Music

Here is a list of the music that I have written to Jewish texts that can fit into a Jewish wedding: B’ruchah Haba’ah (Blessed Is She) – A simple tune, the guests can pick up the refrain easily by ear

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Celebrating Jewish Women and Girls

Here is a collection of pieces that I have written that celebrate women and girls at the centre of Jewish ritual: B’ruchah Haba’ah (Blessed Is She) – baby blessing for a girl. There is a companion piece which, in English

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