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Israeli Mediterranean Music: Straddling Disputed Territories

Amy Horowitz
The Journal of American Folklore
Vol. 112, No. 445, Theorizing the Hybrid (Summer, 1999), pp. 450-463
DOI: 10.2307/541372
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/541372
Page Count: 14
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Israeli Mediterranean Music: Straddling Disputed Territories
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Abstract

Israeli Mediterranean music is a contemporary hybrid music genre created by Mizrahim—African and Asian Israeli Jews with roots in Islamic countries. Israeli Mediterranean music integrates the disparate musical styles that flourished in the new state. The music made its retail debut in cassette form amidst vegetables and household appliances in Tel Aviv's outdoor marketplaces. Initially rejected by the Eurocentric Israeli music industry because its Arabic sound violated prevailing national and artistic categories, the music infiltrated the Israeli mainstream in the 1990s and helped to reset the boundaries of national identity. Using Israeli Mediterranean music and musicians as its focal point, this article examines hybridity as a deliberate artistic process through which Mizrahi musicians create musical products as well as institutions that can challenge their marginalization by the mainstream music industry and the wider Israeli society.

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