A full-length musical setting of a sacred text comprising both dramatic and narrative elements, usually performed by operatic soloists with symphony orchestra on a large concert stage. In the twentieth century, the genre was expanded to include secular texts.
Piyyut (pl. piyyutim)
Hebrew liturgical texts of a poetic nature that embellish portions of the standard liturgy. Historically, piyyutim were written for specific sections of the liturgy, and typically used to elaborate it during certain holidays and/or life cycle ritual events. Though many poets (paytanim) lived and practiced their art in Christian Europe, the art form is generally considered to have reached its zenith in medieval Spain, where many piyyutim were composed either to existing Arabic melodies, or to newly composed melodies in a similar style.
A spontaneous attack, accompanied by destruction, the looting of property, and murder, perpetrated by one section of the population against another.
Lighthearted plays with music relating to the Book of Esther, which were performed annually on the holiday of Purim. Purimspiel were performed as part of the festivities and merriment in commemorating the Jews’ victory over Haman, the Persian king’s minister who, in the biblical account, planned their annihilation throughout the ancient Persian Empire. Celebration on Purim through music and drama dates back to Talmudic times, though the development of staged dramas incorporating both traces to the 16th–18th centuries in Europe. Purimspiel became the foundation for the development of Jewish theater and film.