Essay on Rock Music in Israel

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The widely accepted style of rock music was first established in the United States in the late 1940s. Since then the genre has been reinvented and is constantly being redefined to fit the message of the musicians. Traditionally Rock music would be played with an electric guitar, drums, some sort of base, and a vocalist to tie it all together. In other sub-genres of rock, there could be a piano being played or a saxophone in order to shift the melody to a more appropriate retheme that resembles the message being sung. Rock music was at the time, an escape for younger crowds to freely express themselves and their feeling toward just about anything. The aggressive nature of rock music created the stigma that rock is bad and therefore the music being sung would be about things that people won’t normally accept. Freedom of speech was taken advantage of in the rock culture. She was singing about corrupt politicians or unfair treatment from authorities or parents in some cases.

In other countries, rock music was not excepted as quickly as in the more progressive United stated did. Due to its typically outgoing nature and fast passed beats, rock music didn’t match other countries' cultures or ideals. Israel, which was more religious and social in a sense. The morals behind rock did not agree with the government and religious ideals of the Israeli people. Over time other forms of rock made it to Israel and this led people to see that rock didn’t have to be aggressive. Rock slowly started to be played in nightclubs around the 1960s as a more progressive shift was beginning. Towards the end of the decade rock music finally started to take off when U.S. rock Artists came to Israel to perform. This led to some musicians staying and joining bands with the people from Israel, and making music with the same kind of melodies as a rock but giving it an Israeli twist to it, singing about; victory anger, or reimbursement and loss. Popular songs for the Israeli people were from bands like the Beatles or the Shadows. Whose music was a sub-genre of rock and roll? People then started exploring the other genres of rock music like the blues, death metal, alternative rock, etc. Embracing these new forms of rock music, the Israeli people added a culture of their own to make the music more unique and excepted by a larger targeted audience.

Traditionally, Israeli music was about religious activities and prayers that would be sung in groups and would sound more like a chant to people from western countries. Rock changed this dynamic that had been the same for thousands of years in a matter of a decade. The progressive movement of rock restructured how people would think and view things. It allowed people to say what was on their minds regardless of what others may think. It brought people together to share feelings and ultimately find others who have the same thoughts. This gave people the confidence to be venerable about their opinions. Rock brought this interconnectedness through music and in some countries like Israel, the interconnectedness goes beyond a friend-to-friend basis but on the same level of religious beliefs.

The unique sound that rock music in Israel has is its own style. In rock music, the sounds coming from the electric guitar are normally in a fast tempo that sets the instrument apart from the bad or is the leading sound in the group besides the vocals, whereas a guitar solo in Israeli rock would still be the leading instrument for the music but the tempo slows and resembles more of a jazz song with cultural sounds as well. The song “Foe” by Eggroll, an Israeli rock band, shows the guitarist playing a solo and as you listen, you hear slower and softer cords being played to the beats which almost seems out of retheme but actually it is shown the influence of cultural music before there time. The connection between the Israeli rock music today and the religious music played before them is small, but its presents are significant to the Israeli people and make Israeli rock different from all other genres of rock.

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Most musicians in Israel started performing early in their careers for army internment assemblies. In Israel, it was the tradition to play live Orchestra music to the Israeli army than to play rock music. The option of either performing for the military or being sent to active duty military operations, enticed musicians to join the orchestra and show off the musical abilities each person had. Throughout the years of playing in the Orchestra, Musicians would eventually group up and form their own bands after western social influences made it normal to have rock bands in general and impactfully in Israel. The idea then spread to bands playing Israeli rock music to the army in local cities. The evolution of music has diversified from its original orchestra sound to the sounds of amplified guitars with drums and bass and vocals but the message is still the same. Showing their appreciation for their service through music creates a special bond within society. These musicians that originally played for the army have since expanded and now performed in musical groups all around Israel, performing their own unique music.

Among all the famous rock artists in Israel, the most sauté after is Arik Einstein, he was the face of Israeli rock music and was also an accomplished actor and screenwriter. He has often been voted the most Israeli singer and according to his biography it states “Throughout the years, his musical styles reflected the rapidly changing nature of the Jewish state.” This quote shows that there is importance in keeping the music true to its Israeli Jewish heritage while at the same time keeping up with the ever-evolving rock and roll industry. Einstein was a pioneer for the rock industry in Israel introducing new sounds to the rock music industry never imagined and according to his biography Einstein, “was the first time the sound of an amped-up electric guitar was featured throughout an Israeli album.”. Musical Pioneers like Arik Einstein made music enjoyable for a more diverse crowd, all while staying true to his religious and cultural ideals. Einstein flourished because he was willing to accept new forms of music like rock and roll and by adding a creative cultural flare to his music he thrived in his musical carrier and is now a world-renowned musical performer. Paving the path in the rock and roll world in Israel and influencing others to peruse their own musical careers.

There are other forms of rock genres like a heavy metal rock which seem like there would be no correlation between what the lyrics are describing and the religious views of the Jewish Israeli artists. This genre of rock is a more progressive version of rock music and therefore there is a smaller target audience due to its intensely aggressive style of music. The band “shredhead” is an Israeli heavy metal rock band and in an interview with the band, one of the performers named Nagor says “but I respect Jewish traditions and I really love Jewish music and the melodies in it,” He states prior to the quote that he is a Moroccan Jew and was not practicing but he shows respect for the heritage of the Jewish culture through their music. This respect can even be found in the most extreme genres of rock music like heavy metal rock otherwise known as death metal.

The rock and roll industry in Israel today isn’t what it used to be in the late 60s and early 70s. In 2019 Israel’s most listened-to genre of music was Electronic music (EDM) from European influences but just because times change doesn’t mean people forget the hits from Israeli Rock bands in the past. People like Dubi Patimer, has devoted their life to bringing back the popular Israeli Rock music hits in the 70s and 80s and putting these forgotten songs in the spotlight once again. Patimer says “This new kind of foreign-influenced music was unappreciated in its time. But when 20-year-olds hear the songs I upload, they think, ‘Wow, what an awesome band.” This quote resembles Patimers call to action. People like Patimer are what keep the unique sounds formed by Israeli rock bands in the sixties, seventies, and eighties appreciated and enjoyed to this day. Furthermore, it shows respect to the artists that pioneered the multiple rock genres in Israel.

Traditionally the music in Israel was played for religious purposes or to inspire men in the army before going on tour. This deep root society was unfazed when western Influencers first brought rock and roll music to Israel, it was too progressive at the time for many Israeli citizens. They did not was to hear loud electric guitar music over rumbling drums, bass, and vocals. It did however influence some musicians to embrace this new rock genre. when people like Arik Einstein heard this music, they went to work and developed rock of their own by adding cultural influences from Israel, and instead of being sung in English, the songs would be sung in the native language. Doing this made musicians like Arik Einstein very accomplished rock artists and showed other people that rock music can be diversified and manipulated for any target audience. Although rock music in Israel may not be as prevalent in today’s society, the music created by Israeli rock musicians and the stories of how they came to be will always be remembered throughout history.

Work Cited

  1. https://www.liveabout.com/what-is-rock-music-2898293
  2. https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/israeli-music-history/
  3. https://www.allmusic.com/artist/arik-einstein-mn0000287249/biography
  4. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/culture/.premium-saving-israeli-rock-music-from-oblivion-1.5314219
  5. youtube.com/watch?v=uSJoMdlrxV8
  6. https://www.jstor.org/stable/853223?seq=4#metadata_info_tab_contents
  7. https://jewishjournal.com/culture/arts/300321/israeli-heavy-metal-band-shredhead-turns-up-the-volume/
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Essay on Rock Music in Israel. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-rock-music-in-israel/
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