Prof. Alon Schab

Music Building (1005), Room 16
תחומי עניין

Professor Alon Schab has joined the music department at Bar-Ilan University in 2023. He specializes in English music from the 17th century, early music performance practice, and critical editing. In addition to these areas, he also focuses on the “Sulzerian” tradition of 19th-century Ashkenazi music, the local music scene during the British Mandate period, and the history of rock music.

שעות קבלה
Meeting by appointment
    קורות חיים

    Professor Alon Schab earned his undergraduate degree in musical performance (recorder) and composition at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, where he also pursued a second degree in composition. He obtained his doctorate in musicology at Trinity College, Dublin, focusing on the compositional technique of Henry Purcell. In the summer of 2023, he was a fellow at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, UK.

    Professor Schab served as a faculty member in the music department at the University of Haifa, and he was the chairman of the Israeli Society for Musicology from 2019 to 2022. Since 2016, he has been a member of the Purcell Society's editorial committee.

    In 2010, Professor Schab was involved in the discovery of the Israeliten manuscript, which is also the earliest known source of Schubert's setting of Psalm 92.


    I am a historical musicologist who cannot resist analysis, an analyst committed to historical research. Therefore, my research yields two main types of scholarly fruit. The first type is in the form of critical editions (musical scores) that offer an investigation of sources. For example, reconstructing the most accurate version of a composition based on the examination of dozens of manuscripts in which it has been preserved. The second type includes articles that delve into the creative process – how the composers composed their pieces, what they did before and after, why they chose one instrument over another, what revisions they made to the composition, and why.

    My excitement is palpable every time I step into a library, and my heart races every time I enter an archive. People like me, who become addicted to studying handwritten works of composers from over 300 years ago and reading books from 400 years ago, must find a way to turn their research into a profession. There is no greater satisfaction than bringing back to life works that have been lost or forgotten for decades or centuries. I take great pride in the pieces I have reintroduced to the concert hall, and I hope to continue discovering forgotten works that still have the power to move an audience.

    Just as Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is a highly successful product of principles learned in biology, chemistry, physics, and neuroscience departments, the laws of Newtonian mechanics are ultimately the creation of a creative and original individual who operated in a specific historical context and was influenced by social, economic, and personal incentives. One cannot separate Newton’s thoughts from the literature he read, the music he heard, and the people who surrounded him. In humanities faculties, people study human beings and learn to appreciate thinking, creativity, problem-solving, and, in many cases, uncover the past. In my opinion, belonging to the Faculty of Humanities is like belonging to an elite detective unit.


    Specifically in the Department of Music, first and foremost, we have an outstanding selection of researchers and scholars who are also remarkable creators. They provide students with an extremely diverse (and multidimensional) view of music – from different eras, different styles, different cultures. The department is comprised of people whose deep love for music arises from both curiosity about it and the desire to use music as a means to touch people's hearts and souls. If you can choose to spend three years (or much more) among such people and learn from them the ways of observation and creation, it is probably the best possible choice one can make.


    istory of Western Music (3)

    Research Planning and Organization

    History of Popular Music

    John Dowland: Man, Music, and Myth




    1. Alon Schab, A Performer’s Guide to Transcribing, Editing, and Arranging Early Music (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2022).
    2. Alon Schab, The Sonatas of Henry Purcell: Rhetoric and Reversal (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2018).


    1. Alon Schab and Eran Shalev, ‘The Singer-Songwriter and the Americanization of Israeli Rock’, Kriot Israeliot 4 (2023), 81–111.
    2. Alon Schab and Eran Shalev, ‘‘The American Invasion’: The Rock Opera and the Beginnings of Rock Music in Early 70’s Israel’, Journal of Israeli History (2023)
    3. Alon Schab, ‘The Concept Album and the Early Music Revival’, Journal of Musicological Research 40/4 (2021), 323–348.
    4. From Composer to Myth: Henry Purcell and the Making of Orpheus Britannicus, 1696–1706 [in Hebrew] Historia 45 (2020), 27–54.
    5. Alon Schab, ‘Purcell Performances in Palestine under the British Mandate’, Early Music 47/4 (November 2019), 533–550.
    6. Alon Schab, ‘Dowland’s Lachrimae: A Passionate Interpretation’, The Musical Times (Summer 2016), 17–35.
    7. Alon Schab and David Rees, ‘A New Source for Schubert’s Hebrew Psalm 92’, Nineteenth Century Music Review 13/1 (June 2016), 71–81.
    8. Alon Schab, ‘Revisiting the Known and Unknown Misprints in Purcell’s Dioclesian’, Music & Letters 91/3 (2010): 343–56.
    9. Alon Schab, ‘Distress’d Sources? A critical consideration of the authority of Purcell’s Ayres for the Theatre’, Early Music (November 2009): 633–45.


    Last Updated Date : 11/02/2024