Immunim I is a guide to authentic cantorial improvisation in the Jewish modes. Knowledge of the modes and the ability to apply them to the liturgy is a skill essential for the pulpit hazzan. In this study guide the musical motives which characterize the modes are defined and exercises are provided to help the reader practice applying them to liturgical texts.
Examples are drawn from the master, classical cantorial works of Eastern, Central, and Western Europe: Sulzer, Baer,
Lewandowski, Wodak, Deutsch, Birnbaum, Gerowitch, Ogutch, and Lachmann. The text thoroughly explains the modes and their usage including the Adonai Malach, Ahavah Rabbah, and Magen Avot Modes, the Ukrainian Dorian Hexachord, S’lichah Manner, and ‘Amidah Pentatonic Aspects.
In this update to the 1997 edition, all musical examples have been re-engraved, simplified in some instances, and rendered with Sephardic transliteration and accents. A music theory glossary has been added.
“This book is a huge asset to any serious hazzan. Teaching “authentic Ashkenazi prayer-improvisation” is a hard skill to pin down clearly, and that’s why students need a book like this. It gives concrete examples, concrete exercises, and a wealth of clear, easy-to-read samples from the writings of many great hazzanim and composers. Hats off (kippot off?) to Charles Davidson and his research! Who else could have assembled such a work?”
~ Hazzan Joel Caplan
“This book clearly presents concepts which experienced hazzanim know instinctively but have not yet articulated.”
~ Raymond Goldstein, Jerusalem
“I am providing your three books to my CICA students as their basic nusach texts. There has not been anything like them.”
~Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi, Anshe Emet Synagogue, Chicago, IL
“Charles Davidson’s masterful teaching of musical rules pertaining to Jewish liturgy is concise and practical. His meticulous explanations of dinei t’fillah (laws of worship) illuminate the sacred texts and deepen understanding and
appreciation of the Ashkenazic prayer modes.” ~ Cantor Faith Steinsnyder