Reading the Paratext: Leib Kirschner's Cantorial Anthology of 1910

Kirsten, Beatrix Mari (2018-11-28)

Thesis (MMus)--Stellenbosch university, 2018. Dept of Music

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In 1910, Cantor Leib Kirschner compiled a collection of Synagogue music into an anthology. He recorded the composition titles in a table of contents, in Hebrew script. This book currently counts among the holdings of the South African Jewish Music Collection (SAJMC). In order to access the layers of meanings that are represented by this anthology, research and interpretation is necessary. However, there seems to exist a hiatus in historical research in South Africa, both of South African cantors, and of the genre of the cantorial anthology. This study is approached from the premise of paratext, i.e. textual elements that surround the body text. I apply this theory from three perspectives. The first perspective is historical. I compile a concise background of the cantorial anthology as a genre, and describe the paratexts of five published cantorial anthologies from the SAJMC. The second is a biographic perspective. I use paratextual elements of Kirschner’s book to retrace the cantor’s steps from the Gardens Synagogue in South Africa back to Poland and Moldova. Thirdly, I make a description of the paratext of Kirschner’s anthology itself. While certain paratextual elements are self-explanatory, others first need to be interpreted in order to access its substance. To this end, I conduct a palaeography where I decipher, transcribe, translate and contextualise Kirschner’s table of contents. This anthology represents the collection, notation and dissemination of a specific cantorate. Furthermore, it renders this music of Jewish communities that are isolated in terms of ideology, location and time, accessible to a broader audience today. More personally, Kirschner’s anthology represents the remnants of a life. Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Kantor Leib Kirschner het in 1910 ‘n versameling van Sinagogemusiek in bundelvorm saamgestel. Hy het die komposisietitels in Hebreeuse letters in ‘n inhoudsopgawe opgestel. Hierdie boek word tans bewaar in die Suid-Afrikaanse Joodse Musiekversameling (SAJMV). Die ontsluiting van die betekenisse wat hierdie bundel verteenwoordig vereis navorsing en interpretasie. Daar bestaan egter ‘n leemte in historiese navorsing ten opsigte van Suid-Afrikaanse kantors, asook van die kantoriale bundel as genre. Hierdie studie word benader vanuit die hoek van parateks, oftewel teks-elemente wat die hoofteks vergesel, maar uitsluit. Ek pas hierdie teorie toe vanuit drie perspektiewe. Die eerste perspektief is histories. Hier voorsien ek ‘n bondige agtergrond van Joodse liturgiese musiek en van die kantoriale bundel as genre. Verder beskryf ek die paratekste van vyf gepubliseerde kantoriale bundels uit die SAJMV. Die tweede perspektief is biografies van aard. Met behulp van Kirschner se bundel-parateks volg ek die kantor se spore vanaf die Tuine Sinagoge in Suid-Afrika na Pole en Moldovia. Derdens beskryf ek die verskillende tipes parateks van Kirschner se bundel. Sommige elemente van parateks is voor die hand liggend, terwyl ander elemente net deur middel van interpretasie verstaan kan word. Ten einde hierdie doel te bereik, voer ek ‘n paleografie uit waarin ek Kirschner se inhoudsopgawe ontsyfer, transkribeer, vertaal en kontekstualiseer. Hierdie bundel verteenwoordig die versameling, notering en verspreiding van ‘n spesifieke kantoraat. Dit stel dit Joodse musiek wat in terme van ideologie, ligging en tydvak geïsoleer is, beskikbaar aan ‘n wyer gehoor vandag. Op persoonlike vlak verteenwoordig Kirschner se bundel die oorblyfsels van ‘n lewe.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105053
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