Friday, March 16, 2007

Sephardic Pizmonim and Baqashot

I just ran across two more types of Jewish liturgical music I'd never heard of before: Sephardic Pizmonim and Baqashot. The Sephardic Pizmonim Project website describes them like this:
"Pizmonim (פזמונים) are traditional Jewish songs with the intentions of praising God as well as learning certain aspects of traditional teachings. They are sung throughout religious rituals and festivities such as prayers, circumcisions, bar mitzvahs, weddings and other ceremonies."
Wikipedia, drawing on material from the Sephardic Pizmonim Project, describes Baqashot like this:
The Baqashot (or "bakashot", שירת הבקשות) are a collection of supplications, songs, and prayers that have been sung by the Sephardic Aleppian Jewish community and other congregations for centuries each week on Shabbat (Sabbath) morning from midnight until dawn. Usually they are recited during the weeks of winter, when the nights are much longer. The duration of the services is usually about four hours.
The Pizmonim project website provides explanatory material and a treasure trove of .mp3 recordings of pizmonim and baqashot recorded in the 1980's. It also sells a collection of 11 CDs of pizmonim.


DJK said...

thats very interesting...i've never heard of baqashot. I appreciate the blog. I just finished listening to this amazing band called "one world group" you can find them here.

which one dows it fall under? pizmon or baqashot?

Jack said...

Hi djk. I'm glad you liked the post. I hadn't heard the "one world group" album before. I'm scanning the track list and listening to the song samples on the JMG site right now. The album's fun, thanks for pointing it out to me. I wouldn't think it would fall under Sephardic pizmon or baqashot, though. The track's seem generally to come from Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat prayers and zemirot a couple of folk tunes, and one or two I couldn't place. Originals, maybe?