Susana Weich Shahak
Susana Weich-Shahak (Musicologist and Researcher) has worked since 1973 on the research on the Sephardi Musical Tradition at the Jewish Music Research Center of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem: field work, analysis and catalogue of the Judeo-Spanish repertoire. As a researcher, she published several books and articles on Sephardi music and traditions, and edited numerous disks with songs belonging to the Separdi music repertoire. For nearly forty years she carried out fieldwork in the Sephardi communities of Israel and of the world in order to collect data for her music researches.
Beyond the audio and video records of traditional and modern songs, she recorded hundreds of hours of Judeo-Spanish speech and Sephardi ceremonies and everyday situations. Some of these data belongs now to priceless oral documents of Judeo-Spanish, since it would be impossible to document them today. Weich-Shahak will make available her collection to this project. It should be noted that this collection is invaluable for the documentation of Judeo-Spanish, because it includes recordings of ceremonies and moments of daily life of the Sephardim, which are now no longer possible to document.
In this project, Weich-Shahak will be employed for 8 hours/week for twenty-four months as a musicologist and anthropologist. Because of her very good knowledge of Judeo-Spanish, and due to her high skill in customs and traditions of the Sephardim, and especially because of her competence in the fieldwork with Judeo-Spanish speaker and her familiarity within, Shoshana will take part on the data collection and interviewing people, and provide also anthropological relevant information for the recorded material, which she will also annotate.
Weich-Shahak will focus on the documentation of celebrations and costumes of Sephardim, and on music and songs related to them, such as songs of the life cycle (birth, lel shmurim, circumcision, bar mitzvah and bath mitzvah, marriage, preparation of the shroud, death and mourning), and of the regular and annual holidays (noche de alhad, first day of the month, Tu bishvat, Purim, Passover, Sukkot, etc.), all sung outside the synagogue, as well as laboring songs, lullabies, songs of the infantile repertoire, and other traditional songs such as coplas and romansas..
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