My research at the Herzog August Bibliothek investigates the interplay of Jewish-Christian cross-cultural aural exchanges in Northwestern Europe around 1700. By scrutinizing Christian and Jewish written narratives concerning Jewish aurality, I delve into how these exchanges were perceived and portrayed. Specifically, I focus on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century publications by Christian Hebraists, who examined musical practices to contemplate the suitability of Church music post-Reformation, often suggesting that Jewish neighbors held unique insights into ancient musical traditions found in the Hebrew Bible. Additionally, I analyze translations and commentaries on the works of Jewish scholars intended for Christian audiences, alongside the direct study of contemporary Jewish culture by Christian scholars, which frequently includes depictions of Jewish musical customs. My research project proposes that Jewish musical activities in European urban spaces and Christian narratives about Jewish aurality in the early modern world imply meaningful exchanges between Jews and Christians north of the Alps, even if highly mediated by prejudice, and political and religious agendas.

Northwestern University Bienen School of Music