|Music for Holidays|
Mizrahi music (
Israeli Jews who immigrated from the Arab countries have, over the last 50 years, created a unique musical style that combines elements of Arabic, Turkish, and Greek music. This is not to be confused with the New Hebrew Style, as the Mizrahit style is more spontaneous.
After World War II, many Jewish families made
Lyrics were originally texts taken from classic Hebrew literature, including poems by medieval Hebrew poets. Later they added texts by Israeli poets, and began writing original lyrics as well. An example is the song "Hanale Hitbalbela" (Hannale was confused), sung by Yizhar Cohen. The lyrics are by the modern Israeli poet and lyricist Natan Alterman, to a traditional tune. Singers also translated childhood favorites from Arabic to Hebrew and added electronics and a faster tempo.
Two of the first popular Mizrahi musicians were
Avihu Medina was a singer and composer. He composed many popular hits for Argov. Women also began to play a significant part in popular Mizrahi music. A popular artist was
Because Mediterranean Israeli music was so popular within the Eastern Jewish communities, which were quickly becoming a large percentage of Israel, the natural outcome would be a continuous playback on the local radio station. However the national government restricted the play of Mizrahi music because it was not considered ‘authentic Israeli.’ The social researcher, Sami Shalom Chetrit, wrote "The educational and cultural establishment made every effort to separate the second generation of eastern immigrants from this music, by intense socialization in schools and in the media,".
The penetration of Muzika Mizrahit into the Israeli mainstream was the result of pressure by Mizrahi composers and producers such as
The acceptance of Muzika Mizrahit, over the 1990s, parallels the social struggle of Israelis of Sephardic and Mizrahi origin to achieve social and cultural acceptance. "Today, the popular Muzika Mizrahit has begun to erase the differences from rock music, and we can see not a few artists turning into mainstream. This move to the mainstream culture includes cultural assimilation," writes literary researcher and critic Mati Shmuelof.
It is a widely accepted fact by now that the invention of the recordable cassette by the
After Reuveni's friends and neighbors started offering to buy the cassettes he realized he might have a great opportunity on his hands. He and his brother later went on to become one of the major Mizrahi cassette companies in Israel.