What are the characteristics of Jewish music?
Jewish music is typically characterized by its minor mode, use of the accordion and clarinet, and use of a Jewish scale. What is the background of Jewish music? The history of Jewish music can be traced back over 3,000 years. From ancient times until the Middle Ages, all sorts of people played musical instruments and sang in the shtetls of Eastern Europe.
After the expulsion from Spain in 1492, many Sephardic Jews immigrated to the Ottoman Empire and Greece. There they began to form music ensembles made up of violins, violas, and kaval players. Later, in the early 1800s, many Russian and Romanian Jews immigrated to the United States. In the United States, they began to create music in the idiom of their new home country.
They combined traditional tunes with words, instruments such as the guitar and banjo, and added influences from African-American music.