Surveying first the existing available primary sources on the contributions by Jewish musicians to the development of Bukhara’s musical tradition, the author underlines the often contradictory character of oral sources, and the significance of Judeo-Persian bayazes—collections of verses accompanying shash-maqam—composed before 1917.  On Jewish music proper, A. Dzhumaev insists on the fact that it was and is played exclusively in the synagogues, and in the form of songs related with varied aspects and moments of the Jewish religious practice.  As to the place of Jewish musicians in Muslim Bukhara, he first evokes the silence of most pre-modern written sources on them, before stressing the importance of (often formal) conversion to Islam as a condition for their access of the Emir’s palace, at least until the reigns of Muzaffar al-Din Khan and of his successors from 1860 onwards.  Among other specific productions of the Jewish musicians of Bukhara, A. Dzhumaev provides the example of Hebrew poetry on texts from the Torah, song with specific pieces of shash-maqam.

The Redaction
CER: I-4.5-375