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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 32Jews and Music-Making in the Polish Lands$
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François Guesnet, Benjamin Matis, and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764739

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764739.001.0001

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Musical Afterthoughts on Shmeruk’s ‘Mayufes

Musical Afterthoughts on Shmeruk’s ‘Mayufes

Musical Afterthoughts on Shmeruk’s ‘Mayufes
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 32

Bret Werb

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the mayufes, the song at the centre of the “Mah yafit” that was originally sung during the sabbath meal. It examines how the mayufes came to typify Jewish music and details how wealthy landowners would often command the Jews living on their estates to perform it as part of an evening's entertainment. It also reviews how mayufes made its way into urban popular entertainment. The chapter talks about the late historian Chone Shmeruk, who identified the obscure song-and-dance genre “majufes” as a sociological phenomenon unique to the Polish Jewish experience. It draws on an array of literary sources in order to investigate how Shmeruk recounted the pedigree of majufes.

Keywords:   Mayufes, Jewish music, Chone Shmeruk, majufes, Shmeruk

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