פרופ' יהודית פריגישי

    קורות חיים


    (name used in art and creative projects: JUDIT NIRAN)
    Bar Ilan University, Department of Music, Ramat Gan 52900 Israel
    Mailing address: POB 54038, TA 6154001


    Doctoral program in the History and Theory of Music, University of Pennsylvania, 1982-88 with Ph.D. received in 1989.

    Title of dissertation: “Béla Bartók and Hungarian nationalism: the development of Bartók’s social and political ideas at the turn of the century (1899-1903).” Advisor: Leonard B. Meyer.

    Graduate Studies in the History of Music without final degree, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, 1981-82, Professor: Michel Huglo.

    Master’s and Bachelor program in the History of Music and in Ethnomusicology, Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, 1975-78 with University Diploma in the History of Music and in Ethnomusicology received in 1981.

    Title of thesis: “The Approach to Rhythm in the Analytical Literature of the Second Half of the 20th Century.” Advisor: László Somfai. Principal professors: György Kurtág, András Szőllősy, György Kroó, László Dobszay, Ernő Lendvai.


    Oxford Seminar in Advanced Jewish Studies -- Between Sacred and Profane – Jewish Musical Cultures in Early Modern Europe (invitation for 2020 February-April); Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin, 2005-6; Israel Science Foundation, 2001-2005; Institute for Advanced Study, Collegium Budapest, 2000-2001; CIES and USIA, Fulbright for Israel, 1997-1998; Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, 1998, 1982-85; 1981-82: Associate of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Laboratoire des Langues et Civilisations à Tradition Orale, Paris, 1981-82 (under the direction of Simha Arom).


    Memorial Foundation: distinguished readers of the international panel to evaluate applications (2018-); Reader for submissions committee: JAMS (2018), IAS/CEU (2018); Organizer and creator of concept: “Gesture, Sound and Movement in Traditional Jewish Music and Dance,” Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, March 18, 2017; Nominating Committee: Kyoto Prize for Music, 2012-13; Participant: Balzan Research Project:Towards a global history of music, dir. Reinhard Strohm (2013-2017); Scholarly committee: 19th Congress of the International Musicological Society, 2012; Creator of concept and organizer: “Der Verkannte Komponist” [The Hidden Composer] – an International Conference on Mendelssohn, September 2009, Usedom-Berlin, Mendelssohn Zentrum at Potsdam.

    EDITORIAL BOARDS (selection)

    Studia Musicologica, Budapest, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Press, since 2006 till present; Egyházzene [Religious Music], Budapest –  an ERIH journal), since 2003 till present; Ethnomusicology Forum (Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group), 2003-2009.


    Since 1976, I have been conducting fieldwork among the traditional East-European Jewish communities in their original location in Eastern Europe as well as in Western Europe, the USA and Israel documenting primarily traditional Jewish liturgical chant and secondarily Jewish life stories in audio and video recordings. My archive constitutes the largest integral collection of the East-European Jewish liturgical service and the largest archive of the liturgical music of the Hungarian Jews. I was the only scholar to systematically research traditional Jewish music in Communist Europe after the Holocaust. The original tapes are in my private collection with CD ROM copies deposited at the National Sound Archive of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem and partially at the Sound Archive of the Institute for Musicology, Budapest. Hundreds of pages of transcriptions of this material are in my private archive waiting for publication.



    Bar-Ilan University (Associate Professor, Music Department, since 1998); Princeton University (Assistant Professor, 1990-1997); Brown University (Assistant Professor, 1988-1990); University of Pennsylvania (Part-time lecturer, 1985-86).

    Visiting (selection)

    Tel Aviv University (Buchman-Mehta School of Music, 2011-2017); Jewish Theological Seminary – University of Jewish Studies, Budapest (2000-); New York University – Abu Dhabi (2012-14); Ferenc Liszt University of Music, Budapest (1994, 2000-2001, 2014); Ron Shulamit Conservatory, Jerusalem (2007-2009); Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estética Musical, 2005); Lewinsky Pedagogical College (2004-5);  Central European University, Budapest (1999; 2003); ELTE University of Budapest (Judaic Studies Department, 1992, 1994, 2000).


    Courses in numerous topics of musicology and ethnomusicology; surveys of all periods of Western music history, seminars on composers (19th-20th-21st centuries), Jewish music, music and ritual, research methods of ethnomusicology and musicology, analysis with incorporation of the psychological aspect of listening, gesture studies, interdisciplinary courses with units in religious-, ritual- and performance studies, comparative literature, film and anthropology.


    Doctoral dissertations completed: Gergely Nógrádi (“Hungarian cantors at the beginning of the twentieth century – a study of archival recordings,” co-directed with Dr. Katalin Fenyves, submitted – defense scheduled); Mohammad Khalaf (“Arabic Fusion Music: Simon Shaheen's Compositions”, 2018); Hanan Awawdeh (“Model for the ritual of Arab wedding in Galilea from the perspective of the women’s role and songs,” 2017); Irad Atir (“Jews and Germans in Wagner operas,” 2014); Sara Laor (“The role of traditional songs in the elementary school curriculum,” co-adviser for three years, 2014); Olga Khavkin (“Grand opera or irony? – Old Russian Sources and their Meaning in Mussorgsky’s Opera ‘Khovanschina’,” 2011); Ron Atar (“Analysis of Béla Bartók’s performances to Selected Compositions,” 2007); Atara Isaacson (“Cantabile in the Romantic Piano Concerti with Emphasis on Schumann, Liszt, and Brahms,” 2007); Orit Wolf (“Beethoven as Heard by the Romantics: A Study of Romantic-Style Cadenzas Composed to Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto, Op. 58,” 2007); Ruth Goldstein (“Text as Music in Ravel’s selected compositions,” 2006).

    Doctoral dissertations in progress: Kareeem Nubani (Sayed Darwish new style and its influence on modern Arab music, proposal accepted); Ron Rapaport (”Theresienstadt composers”, proposal in progress); Isabella Lisitsa (”French operetta in the twentieth century”, proposal in progress); Orsolya Korcsolán (“Sándor Kuti – life and works”, proposal in progress).

    Master’s thesis completed: Vered Zilberfarb (“Silence as musical motive in Morton Feldman’s art – an analysis of his The Viola in My Life I, 1970”, 2017); Tama Kessel (“Music and dance in Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’,” 2014); Emad Dlal (“The social context of Arab instrumental music in Israel – a case study,” co-advisor, 2012); Yoram Ilan (“Genres and styles of Yoni Rechter,” thesis au lieu Masters, 2011); Aviram Freiberg (“The horn and its transpositions in the works of Richard Strauss,” 2004); Zehava Fudem (“Tradition and invention in the melodies of selected High Holiday prayers,” 2003).


    Invitation for keynote lectures for 2019:

    Keynote Speaker for Música Analítica 2019: Porto International Symposium on the Analysis and Theory of Music.  CITAR, School of Arts, scheduled for March 21-23, 2018.

    Keynote speaker for Magnified and Sanctified: The Music of Jewish Prayer II –

    The 2nd International Conference on Jewish Liturgical Music, Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media, Germany, September 16-19, 2019

    Past lectures:

    “Writing on Water” – Lecture with round table in honor of the publication of my book -- with Ilse Josepha Lazaroms (Goethe University Frankfurt / Institute for Advanced Study CEU) and Michael Laurence Miller (Director, Nationalism Studies Program, CEU), Institute for Advanced Study/Center for Religious Studies/ Nationalism Studies Program, Central European University, Budapest, June 6, 2018.

    “Word, meaning, melody – About the learning process as the basis for the unity of word/meaning/melody in the performing style of East Ashkenazic prayer chant (Hungarian: Szó, jelentés, dallam ), Department of Assyriology and Hebrew - Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, 2018, May 29, https://www.facebook.com/events/214467022692795/

    “’The Fall of the House of Usher’ (1839) as a prose poem: Poe, Debussy and Bartók ” Apropoe—An interdisciplinary conference on Edgar Allan Poe, Bar Ilan University, January 10, 2018. https://www.haaretz.co.il/gallery/music/classicalmusic/.premium-1.5649429

    “Gesture, Sound and Movement in Traditional Jewish Music and Dance” -- one-day special session with Professor Walter Feldman, exhibit/screening of my photgraphs and film, two scholarly lectures and round table with Ryuichi Higuchi and Jacques Levy at the Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, March 18, 2017.

    “Béla Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin: Orientalist, Nationalist, or Social/Moral Drama (Chinese as Hungarian hero?)”, International Musicological Society, 20th Quinquennial Congress in Tokyo, March 21, 2017.

    “The strategy of cultural survival: what makes a Jewish melody Jewish? (Jewish music and gesture),” Yiddish Music – Historically Informed Performance Practice (YHIP) – an international conference, Weimar, 2016 July 19-22, lecture in closing session on July 22.

    “Spaces/Dreams” – screeing of my documentary film, ethnomusicological round table with leading ethnomusicolgist Simha Arom (France, CNRS) and writer András Forgách (Hungary), Balassi Institute/Hungarian Cultural Institute, Paris, February 16, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz6Zq0kCbcg

    “The battle between cultures with power and those without”, closing remarks and round table for “Places of Interaction,” Balzan foundation, British Academy, London, June 16-17, 2016.

    Jewish Prayer (in Hungarian: “A zsidó ima”) Budapest University (ELTE BTK), 2015 December 30, https://gloria.tv/audio/4bmbt1bojr3HCaH98gcm98Rkp.

     “The Limits of Scholarship: Questions of Ethics in the Research of Ritual Music,” Center for Arts and Culture/Jewish Studies Program, CEU Budapest, March 17, 2015.

    “The pitch and the sound: the story of Morton Feldman’s The Viola in My Life I (1970),” Tonality Since 1950, International Symposium, Basel University/ Swiss Science Foundation, May 23, 2014.

    “How did Bartók find his Voice: Turning Point in the First Great Works (1904-1914)”, Béla Bartók: From Youth to Early Maturity - International Symposium, Royal Library of Belgium, Brussels/Embassy of Hungary, November, 6-8, 2014.

    “The Paradox of Western Music,” Institute of New York University, Abu Dhabi, May 9, 2013.

    “The primeval image and the subconscious: listening to Western music”, Institute of Advanced Studies, CEU Budapest, April 26, 2013.

    “Mendelssohn’s (Jewish?) music,” Jewish Studies Program, CEU: Jewish Studies Lecture Series, Budapest, February 19, 2013.

    “Bartók’s pantomime The Miraculous Mandarin as transformation ritual,” Scholarly Research and Performance Practice in Bartók Studies: The Importance of the Dialogue” – International Musicological Colloquium to Celebrate to 50th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Budapest Bartók Archives, Szombathely, Hungary, July 16, 2011.

    “Psalmody: Genre or Concept?,” International Symposium Performing Psalms: Practices and Perspectives, CRFJ, Jerusalem, October, 2009.

    “The Music of Béla Bartók: ‘Curse-clatter’ or ‘Sunken Bell’?,” Keynote lecture – Lansdowne Lecturer, Bartók’s String Quartets – Tradition and Legacy, An International Conference, University of Victoria, British Columbia, September 2008.

    “Mendelssohn: a stranger to Classicism,” Der Verkannte Komponist (The Hidden Composer) – an Internation Conference of the Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum dedicated to Felix Mendelssohn, Usedom, Germany, September, 2009.

    “Fantasy and dream in Bartók’s Music,” Béla Bartók: La décennie 1915-1925 – Colloque Internationale, Genève et Lausanne, 2006.

    “’When music and words were one…’ – on the concept of East-European Jewish prayer chant,” Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 2006.

    “Emotional description versus structural analysis in our understanding music,” “The concept of ’sound’ in Jewish prayer,” and ”Modal strategies in Jewish chant,” Lecture series, Freie Universität, Berlin, 2006-2007.

    “Split Oeuvre: Bartók’s Journey in the Night,” Bartók’s Orbit – International Conference, Budapest, Bartók Archive of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 2006.

    “The narrative of Bartók’s large’scale forms: the case of Music for Strings, Percussions and Celesta”, Lecture series, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estética Musical), 2005.

    “East-European prayer music?”, lecture-discussion with André Hajdu, World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, 2005.

    “The Third String Quartet of Béla Bartók,” Keynote lecture at the Pleanary session of the Annual Meeting of the Society of Music Theory, Boston, 2005.

    “Bartók versus Janáček: When Bartók sings…,” Janáček Festival at Bard University, 2003.

    “Styles of East-Ashkenazi Jewish Liturgical Music: Between Written and Oral,” Celebrating Jewish Music at Yale – A Conference of Jewish Music at Yale University, 2003.

    “György Kurtág, Samuel Beckett: What is the Word, op. 30b (1990/91),” The First International Conference on György Kurtág, Hungary, 2001.

    “Béla Bartók’s Modernism,” Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem, 1999.

    “Béla Bartók: East and West,” Distingushed lecture of the Fulbright Foundation and the Embassy of the Republic of Hungary, June 1999.

    “Analysis and Context: Philosophical Considerations,” Opening Address and Keynote Lecture of the Congress of the European Society of Ethnomusicology, Jerusalem 1998.


    Various programs on music at the Hungarian Radio, lectures and lecture series at state and cultural organizations: Fulbright Foundation (Tel Aviv), Embassy of the Republic of Hungary (Israel), New Jersey Council of the Humanities, Centers of Jewish Life (Princeton, Budapest), Felicia Blumenthal Music Center (Tel Aviv), Rabbinical Seminary (Budapest), Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.), Europe-Institute (Budapest), etc.


    Workshops with Ori Kam (Jerusalem Quartet) at the JMC’s Young Strings Programme of The Jerusalem Music Center, July 22, 2018; Dramaturg-advisor for the performance of Béla Bartók’s opera, Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Israel Opera, Tel-Aviv (December, 2010); scholarly advisor and participant in the short film “Rooster -- Szól a kakas már”, directed by Eti Peleg; moderator of the discussion of Hungarian writers Péter Esterházy, György Konrád, and György Spiró, Hungarian Embassy at the Jerusalem Book Fair, February 2009; creator and director of workshops for writers in the framework of the Shaindy Rudoff Creative Writing Program of Bar Ilan University, July 2008, February 2009; conducting the public rehearsal with the Lafayette String Quartet of “György Kurtág’s Officium breve”, Tradition and Legacy, University of Victoria, British Columbia, September 2008; Musical composition based on my poetic translations: Lliam Paterson, The 8th door , for six amplified voices and orchestra, premiere: Glasgow, March 30, 2017.



    Creation of the soundscape for the “Synagogue” of the “Jewish Town” complex of the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland (http://www.polin.pl/en). The sound material is a major step in the dissemination of traditional Jewish prayer chant

     (נוסח תפילה). It contains over an hour of historical material from my original field recordings. Opening of the museum: November 2014, played continually.


    Béla Bartók and turn-of-the-century Budapest, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998 (375 pages, 11 b/w photographs, 48 music examples). Second and paperback edition: September 2000.

    Writing on Water – The Sound of Jewish Prayer, Budapest: Central European University Press, 2018.

    Jelek a vízen [The Hungarian language variant of the above], Budapest: Libri, 2014.


    (Chapters in English and selection of chapters in other languages)

    “Psalmody as musical concept in Jewish prayer chant,” [in English] Escaping to Philosophy – Essays in memory of Tamás Staller [Menekülés a bölcseletbe – tanulmányok Staller Tamás emlékére, ed. Endre Kiss (Budapest: Jewish Theological Seminary, ORZSE, 2018), 17-36.

    “The Soundscape of the the Kazinczy Street Orthodox Synagogue,” (in Hungarian: „A Kazinczy utcai zsinagóga hangtere”) Festschrift for Alfred Schoener [Schöner Alfréd hetven éves], (Budapest: Jewish Tehological Seminary, 2018), 113-124.

    “The Macro-and Micro-Lives of Sounds in Morton Feldman’s ‘The Viola in My Life I’,” Tonality Since 1950, eds. Felix Wörner, Ullrich Scheideler and Philip Rupprecht (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2017), 167-188.

    “How Barbaric Is Bartók’s forte? About the Performance of Bartók’s Fast Movements for Piano and Strings, with Emphasis on the First Movement of the Fifth String Quartet,” The String Quartets of Béla Bartók: Tradition and Legacy in Analytical Perspective, ed. Dániel Péter Biró and Harald Krebs (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 200-243.

    “Jewish melodies from the ‘end of the world’,” (In Hungarian) Jews of Carpathia: History and Heritage since the Era of Dualism till Our Days [Zsidók Kárpátalján: történelem és örökség a dualizmus korától napjainkig], eds. Viktória Bányai, Csilla Fedinec, Szonja Ráhel Komoróczy (Budapest: Aposztróf, 2013), 319-327, 399-400.

    “Is there such a Thing as Hungarian-Jewish music?,” Majority - Minority: the Experience of Hungarianness and Jewishness in the  past two centuries (Budapest: Balassi Institute Publication, 2012), 122-147.

    “The personal style of the East-European prayer leader” [In Hebrew: סגנון אישי של בעל תפילה מזרח-אירופי], Garment and Core: Jews and their Musical Experiences, eds. E. Avitsur, M. Ritzarev, E. Seroussi (Ramat Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press, 2012), 203-216.

    “Music for Sacred Text”, The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, ed. in chief, Gershon D. Hundert (published for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research by New Heaven: Yale University Press, 2008), vol. II: 1222-1225. http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Music/Music_for_Sacred_Texts

    “Béla Bartók,” Encyclopedia entry in Scribner Library of Modern Europe: Europe Since 1914 - Encyclopedia of the Age of War and Reconstruction, ed. Jay Winter and John Merriman (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2006).

    “The unbearable lightness of ethnomusicological complete editions: the style of the ba’al tefillah in the East European Jewish service,” Studies in the Sources and the Interpretation of Music. Essays in Honor of László Somfai on His 70th Birthday, ed. László Vikárius and Vera Lampert (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2005), 7-18.

    “Free rhythm and measured rhythm,” A Hearing Heart: Jubilee Volume in Honor of Avigdor Herzog (Duchan 16), ed. Itzhak Recanati (Jerusalem: Renanot – The Jewish Music Institute, 2005), 59-77.

    "מקצב חפשי" ו"משקליות" -- הטרנסקריפציה (תעתיק) והחוויה המוסיקלית,"  לב שומע: ספר היובל לאביגדור הרצוג - דוכן ט"ז: מאסף למוסיקה יהודית -- רקנטי, יצחק ש`; צוקר, יוסף [ער`], (ירושלים: רננות: המכון למוסיקה יהודית, תשס"ו, 2005)

    “Bartók’s view of musical tradition: What is integrated in what?” The Past in the Present, ed. László Dobszay (Budapest: Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, 2003), 461-472.

    “Musicians of Traditional Religious Jewish Life” and “Jewish Musicians in the Secular Domain in Hungary,” chapters in: The Jews of Hungary: History, Society and Culture, ed. Anna Szemere (Bet Hatefutsoth, The Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, 2002), 88-92, 252-256.

    “The Verbunkos and Bartók’s Modern Style: The case of Duke Bluebeard’s Castle,” in Bartók Perspectives, ed. Elliott Antokoletz, Victoria Fischer and Benjamin Suchoff (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 140-151; reprinted in The Ashgate Library of Essays in Opera Studies series – Opera After 1900, ed. Margaret Notley, London and Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2010, 2nd edition: New York: Routledge, 2016), 140-151.

     “Hungary,” Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, vol. 8. eds. Timothy Rice, James Porter and Chris Goertzen (New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc. 2000), 736-751 (Note: the section “Pop and Rock Music” is written by Barbara Rose Lange).

    “The Effect of the Holocaust on the Study of East-European Jewish Music,” The Holocaust in Hungary: Fifty Years Later, eds. Randolph L. Braham and Attila Pók, (New York – Budapest: The Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, The Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 1997), 229-639.

    “The Aesthetic of the Hungarian Folk Music Revival Movement,” Retuning Culture. Musical Changes in Central and Eastern Europe, ed. Mark Slobin (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1996), 54-75.

    “The stylistic strata of Haggadah-recitation” (in Hungarian), The bound of Tradition: Studies in Hungarian Jewish Folklore, ed. Ildikó Kriza (Budapest: Akadémiai, 1990), 165-176.


    “Music and sacred text – an overview of the Ashkenazic prayer chant” (in Hungarian), Egyházzene [Religious Music – an UN ERIH journal], vol. XXIII (2015/2016), 121-130.

    “Psalmody: Concept or Genre?,” Journal of Synagogue Music, vol. 39, No. 2. (September 2014), 2-15.

    “Scholarship on East-European Jewish Music after the Holocaust,” The Hungarian Quarterly, vol. LIV, no. 209. (2014), 150-163.

     “A rift never to be healed – the music of the traditional and reform service” Jüdische Musik –  Studien und Quellen zur jüdischen Musikkultur, vol. 12. (Special issue: in Jüdische Musik als Dialog der Kulturen und ihre Vermittlungsdimensionen, ed. Jascha Nemtsov, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2013), 71-102.

    “Who is the Girl in Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin? A Case Study of Mimi’s Deleted Scene and Its Dramatic Meaning,”Studia Musicologica, vol. 53, nos. 1-3. (2012), 241-274.

     “’To be left behind’: Mendelssohn’s withdrawal of the promise of sacred music,” (in Hungarian) Religious musicmemorial issue for László Dobszay, vol. 18, no. 4. (2010/2011), 389–396.

    “Historical versus anthropological approach in the study of East-European Jewish prayer chant,” (in Hungarian) Yearbook of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Budapest, ed. Alfred Schöner (Budapest, OR-ZSE, 2008), 101-128.

    “Surface musical process versus background structure: two instances of last-minute corrections in Bartók’s works,” Annales Suisses de Musicologie/Schweizer Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft, Neue Folge 27 (2007), 39-62.

    “The ‘ugliness’ of Jewish prayer – voice quality as the expression of identity,” Musicology (An International Journal of the Institute of Musicology of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, 2007/7), 99-118.

    “The sound of the synagogue: magic and transcendence,” Paragana – Internationale Zeitschrift für Historische Anthropologie – special issue: Klanganthropologie: Performativität – Imagination – Narration, vol. 16, no. 2. (2007), 151-163.

    “Bartók’s non-classical narrative: Sonata for Violin and Piano, No. 2 (1922),” International Journal of Musicology, vol. 9. (2005), 267-289.

    “Bence Szabolcsi's Unfinished Work: Jewish Identity and Cultural Ideology in Communist Hungary,” The Musical Quarterly, vol. 88, no. 4. (December 2005), 496-522; doi: 10.1093/musqtl/gdk002; http://mq.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/gdk002.

    “Rupture, empathy, peripheries and multitudes: splinters of Jewish identities and music,” Emergences: The Journal for the Study of Media and Composite Cultures, vol. 13, no. 1/2. (2003), 9-31. DOI: 10.1080/1045722042000308219.

    “Gyula Csapó: Handshake after Shot,” Perspectives of New Music, vol. 41, no. 2. (2003), 166-175.

    “The unique character of Ashkenazi synagogal music,” Kenishta – Studies of the Synagogue World, ed. Joseph Tabory (Bar Ilan University Press, Ramat Gan), vol. 2. (2003), 147-166, http://www.biupress.co.il/website/index.asp?category=138; Published only in Hebrew:

    " אופיה הייחודי של המוסיקה בבית הכנסת האשכנזי מחווה לא"צ אידלסון,"  כנישתא -מחקרים על בית הכנסת ועולמו , כרך 2 (2003), עריכה: יוסף תבורי

    “The Jewish service in Communist Hungary: a personal journey,” Music and Society Under Communism – a special volume of the British Journal of Ethnomusicology, vol. 11, no. 1. (2002): 141-157.

    “György Kurtág’s ‘Samuel Beckett: What is the Word’, op. 30b (1990/91),” Studia Musicologica, vol. 23, nos. 3-4. (2002), 397-409.

    “The variety of musical styles in the Ashkenazi service,” Jewish Studies Yearbook (Budapest, 2002), 31-50.

    “Orality as Religious Ideal –The Music of East-European Jewish Prayer,” Yuval 7 - Studies in Honor of Israel Adler (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2001), 113-153.

    “The Practice of Music as an Expression of Religious Philosophy among the East-Ashkenazi Jews,” Shofar, vol. 18, no. 4. (Summer 2000), 3-24.  

    “In search of meaning in context: Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle,” Current Musicology, vol. 70. (Fall 2000): 5-31. https://doi.org/10.7916/D86M35JG

    Essay-review: “Béla Bartók: Composition, Concepts, and Autograph Sources, by László Somfai,” Journal of the American Musicological Society, vol. 52, no. 2. (Summer 1999), 324-334.

    “Transcription de la pulsation, de la métrique et du ‘rythme libre’,” [Transcription of pulsation, metric and ‘free rhythm’] Cahiers de musiques traditionelles: Noter la musique, vol. 12.  (1999), 55-73. https://ethnomusicologie.revues.org/677

    “Sacred and Secular – what music can teach us about Jewish thought,” Cardozo Law Review, vol. 20. (May-July 1999), 1673-1681.

    “Organicism and folklorism in the writings of Schoenberg, Webern and Bartók,” International Journal of Musicology, vol. 6. (1998), 317-356.

    “Béla Bartók and the Concept of Nation and Volk in Modern Hungary,” The Musical Quarterly, vol. 78, no. 2. (Summer 1994), 255-287.

    “Religious philosophy and aesthetic experience in the liturgical music of the East-Ashkenazi Jews,” (in Italian) Danubio, special issue: Una civiltà musicale, vol. 3. (1994), 197-211.

    “Jews and Hungarians in Modern Hungarian Musical Culture,” Studies in Contemporary Jewry, vol. IX. (1993), 40-60.

    “Preliminary thoughts toward the study of music without clear beat: the example of ‘flowing rhythm’ in Jewish nusah,” Asian Music, vol. XXIV, no. 2. (Spring-Summer 1993), 59-88.

    “The unique musical style of Eastern-European Jewry,” (in Hungarian) Proceedings of the Jewish Studies Department of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, no. 4. (March 1992), 1-22.

    “Between Rubato and Rigid Rhythm: A Particular Type of Rhythmical Asymmetry as Reflected in Bartók’s Writings on Folk Music,” Studia Musicologica, vol. XXIV. (1982), 327-37.

    “Modulation as an Integral Part of the Modal System in Jewish Music,” Musica Judaica, vol. V, no. 1. (1982-83), 53-71.

    “Invention individuelle et tradition collective dans la musique juive de Hongrie,” Orbis Musicae, vol. VIII. (1982-83), 71-86.

    “The Approach to Rhythm in the Analytical Literature of the Second Half of the 20th Century,” (in Hugarian) Musicological Studies, vol. IV. (1981), 151-59.

     “La musique traditionnelle des Juifs hongrois” (with Peter Laki), Revue des Etudes Juives, vol. CXL, fasc. 3-4. (1981), 505-8.

     “Free-Form Recitative and Strophic Structure in the Hallel Psalms” (with Peter Laki), Orbis Musicae, vol. VII. (1979-80), 43-80.

    “Variantenklassifikation einer Volksliedweise” (with Peter Laki), Studia Musicologica, vol. XX. (1978), 309-17; Ethnographia, vol. LXXXIX, no. 4. (1978), 510-17.


    “Transmission and rupture: the emergence of Ashkenazi prayer chant in the modern era” Jewish Musical Cultures in Europe: 1500-1750, ed. Diana Matut (Brill Academic Publishers, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers)

    “Musical reading of the sacred texts in Jewish Antiquity,” (The History and Theory of the Music of the Middle East, publication project of Enhordes/European Union).

    “The unique character of East-Ashkenazic prayer chant,” Yiddish Music – Historically Informed Performance Practice (YHIP), first volume of the projected series: Jews, Judaism and the Arts (Brill Publishing, editors: Alan Bern, Andreas Schmitges and Diana Matut)

    „The mind’s polyphony: the children’s perception of prayer singing among the East-Ashkenazim” Festschrift for Tamás Lichtmann (projected for 2019 to be published possibly by (Brill Academic Publishers)



    Israeli Music Life” (in Hungarian: „Telefon és hisztéria --  Gondolatok az izraeli zenei életről”) Múlt és Jövő – Journal of Jewish Culture, (New Series: 2018/2-3, 239-244.

    “The ‘travels’ of klezmer music”, (in Hungarian) Szombat – Journal of the Hungarian Jewish Cultural Society, vol. 30/6 (Summer 1918), 24-28.

    “In memory of Avrohom Tsvi Erbst” (in Hungarian) Szombat, April 2018 (internet edition only): http://www.szombat.org/hagyomany-tortenelem/hari-bacsi

    Essay-review: “Communism, Jewishness and literature: about András Forgách’s memoir volume” Past and Present [Múlt és jövő] – Journal of Jewish life and literature (2016/4), 72-79.

    “In memory of Péter Esterházy,” (in Hungarian) Past and Present [Múlt és Jövő], Journal of Jewish life and literature, 2016/3, 16-17.

    “Férfi-e a Kékszakállú herceg?” [Is Prince Bluebeard a man? -- toward a critique of feminist interpretations,” (in Hungarian), Magazine of the Franz Liszt Academy, http://issuu.com/zeneakademia/docs/zeneakademia-koncertmagazin-2016-sz/1?e=9380876/36525137

    “The concept of “piyyut” in the Ashkenazic music tradition,” http://www.piyut.org.il/english/, 2015.

    “Loneliness and love”, in Béla Bartók: Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, ed. Gergely Fazekas (Publication of the Hungarian State Opera, 2009), Hungarian: 28-35, English: 81-87.

    “Israel Adler with the assistance of Lea Shalem, Hebrew Notated Manuscript Sources up to circa 1840.  A Descriptive and Thematic Catalogue with a Checklist of Printed Sources. B IX1 of the Repertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM) (Munchen: C. Henle Verlag, 1989),” The Jewish Quarterly Review, vol. LXXXIV, Nos. 2-3. (1993-1994), 308-311.

    “Béla Bartók – ‘O Castelo do Barba Azul’ and ‘O Mandarim Maravilhoso’”, Publication of Fundação das Descobertas (Lisboa, 1994), 6-19.

    “Bálint Sárosi, Folk Music. Hungarian Musical Idiom (Budapest: Corvina, 1986) and György Martin, Hungarian Folk Dances (Budapest: Corvina, 1988) and nos Manga, Hungarian Folk Songs and Folk Instruments (Budapest: Corvina, 1988),” Ethnomusicology (1991), 428-432.

    “Chemjo Vinaver, Anthology of Hassidic Music (Jerusalem: The Jewish Music Research Centre, 1985),” Ethnomusicology (1989), 360-363.

    “The art of Charles Bruck – advocate of avant-garde music,” (based on original interviews), Muzsika (Budapest, July 1977), 15-20.


    Album of 2 CDs with recordings and photos from my fieldwork with essay and poetry

    Dream and magic in the music of Béla Bartók

    Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin

    The aesthetics of East-European Jewish chant

    The melodic structure of the Asheknazic “nusah tefillah”

    Shabbat Shacharit in the practice of the East European Jews — critical edition


    “For your birthday” – poetry volume, completed, unpublished.

    “Behind the Words: Silence“ [A szavakon túl: csend] (short story, Hungarian), Lettre International – Hungarian edition, vol. 92. (2014), Spring, 22-23.

    “The courtyard” [“Az udvar”] – (short story, English and Hungarian) accompanying my photo exhibits/installations (see below).

    “Nothing but lead,” in Lányok, anyák – Elmeséletlen női történetek [Daughters, Mothers -- Holocaust remembrances], ed. Katalin Pécsi (Budapest: Novella kiadó, 2013), 20-24. German edition: 2017. https://www.facebook.com/pages/L%C3%A1nyok-any%C3%A1k/503101736400979,

    “Panim…ponem…” (poems and short stories, English, German translation by Dan Pelleg), Requiem – Zu einer Skulptur von Alexander Polzin (Berlin: Matthes und Seitz, 1911), 24-33.

    “Megesik néha, hogy halálos felhőben” [It happens sometimes that in the fading cloud…] (short story, Hungarian), Dzsungel a szívben – Lányok és anyák antológiája [Jungle in the heart – an anthology of daughters and mothers) (Budapest: Jaffa, 2010), 97-106.

    “Four fragments and two images from a Radnóti Album” (poems and visual art in memoriam Miklós Radnóti, Hungarian), Múlt és Jövő [Past and present, Journal of Jewish Culture], 2009/4, 68-74.

    “Im Grunewald” (short story, German), Lettre International, “Berlin auf der Cauch” – special triple issue dedicated to the fall of the Berlin Wall, No. 86. (Herbst, 2009), 55-58. Published also in “Jüdische Welten” of Drei Raben - Három Holló. Zeitschrift für ungarische Literatur, 7 Jahrgang, Heft 11, Mai 2007, 81-86; “Berlin, 2006,” Múlt és Jövő [Past and present, Journal of Jewish Culture], special issue: „Why Berlin?”, 2006/4, 45-52.

    “If you were here” (poems) Voices Israel 2009, Vol. 35, ed. Helen Bar-Lev, 231, including the poem that won honorable mention: “Letter to Firoozeh Khazrai”, 161.

    “Három karcolat Osvátnak (a Nyugat zenei cikkeiről) [Three essays to Osvát – the musical articles of Nyugat]” (creative non-fiction, Hungarian), Múlt és Jövő, 2008-4, 116-121.

    “A női test súlya” [The weight of the woman body] (short story, Hungarian), Szomjas oázis – antológia a női testről [Thirsty oasis – Anthology about the woman body] (Budapest: Jaffa, 2007), 297-314.

    “Vörös és narancs” [Red and orange] (short story, Hungarian), Éjszakai Állatkert – antológia a női szexualitásról [Night zoo – Antology of woman sexuality] (Budapest: Jonathan Miller, 2005), 371-386.

    “Rivers underneath” (short story with graphic images, English, private edition, 2002).


    „Rejtett fény”/”Hidden light”/” אור גנוז”, Photographs of Judit Niran and Gergely Kósa, 2B Gallery, Budapest, 2018, June 12-30, with concert by János Bali, János Ávéd, Ernő Hock, 2018, June 17.

    Signs... Where did the women disappear? [Jelek... Hová lettek a nők?]“, -- March 2018, Gallery K28, Budapest.

    “Spaces, Dreams/Terek, álmok”, photo exhibit and installation, film, transparent image, poetry volume, FUGA Galery, Budapest, 2014 September.

    „Writing on Water”/“Jelek a vízen,” (with short story) Ateliers des Arts, Budapest, July 2013.

    Further exhibitions with variants: Central European University, Budapest, Gellner Room Exhibition Space, 2018, June 6-September 30; as part of the session “Gesture and eternity,” Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, March, 2017; variant as “Falak és vizek – párbeszéd, Bálint Hungarian Jewish Community Center, Budapest, April-May 2016 [vernissage: with original compositions composed for the event by János Bali; Yedidia, Jerusalem, March-June 2014 [Vernissage with short stories by Shoshanna London Sapir and Judith Sudylovski].


    ”Two postcards – treated paper, collage,” MailArt Clubgallery of Újlipótváros [Újlipótvárosi Klubgaléria], Budapest,  May 17 – June 15

    »your home my home our home«, Ein partizipatorisches Kunstprojekt, organized and created by Panka Chirer-Geyer, Bartóksaal, Donauhalle, Donaueschingen, 2016 November (two photographs).

    “Berlin –  S Bahn,” Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 2006; Sirály Café and Theatre, Budapest, 2007.


    „Spaces, Dreams/Terek, álmok”, short film (14 minutes)

    Prepared originally as installation for the exhibit “Spaces, Dreams/Terek, álmok”;

    Other screenings: Paris, 2016; Tokyo, 2017; CEU Budapest 2018; Gallery 2B, Budapest, 2018.

    “Fleeting resonances…,” theatrical collage composed of documentary audio and video recordings from my archive, with music by Ben Niran. Performances: Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 2006; Theater im Gewölbe, Die Bühne im Cranach-Haus zu Weimar, 2006; Sirály Theatre Budapest, 2007-2008; Felicja Blumental Music Center, Tel Aviv, 2008; Haniyon Theatre, The Fifteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, August, 2009.


    Goode, Stephen. “Two cities afire with creativity,” The Washington Times, Aug 2, 1998, B6.

    Whittall, Arnold. “Between Brno and Budapest”, The Musical Times, Vol. 139, No. 1863, Summer, 1998, 57-60.

    Fosler-Lussier, Danielle . [Book title] Notes, Second Series, Vol. 55, No. 3, 1999, 676-677. Neubauer, John. “Overtones of Culture”, Comparative Literature, Vol. 51, No. 3, 1999, 243-254.

    Erdely, Stephen. [Book title], Slavic Review, Vol. 58, No. 3, 1999, 671-672);

    Beller, Steven. [Book title], The American Historical Review, Vol. 104, No. 4, 1999, 1411-1412.

    Pasler, Jann [Book title], Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Vol. 125, No. 2, 2000, 314-322.

    Szegedy-Maszák, Mihály. [Book title], Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, T. 41, Fasc. 4, 2000, 457-465.

    Schneider, David E. [Book title], Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 53, No. 1, 2000, 183-191.

    Vikárius, László. “Another Door to Bluebeard’s Castle,” The Hungarian Quarterly 42/163, 2001, 127–35.

    Csengery, Kristóf. “Ojlem háemesz”,  Pannonhalmi Szemle [The Pannonhalma Observer],  XXII/4, 2014, 119-121.

    Várnai, Pál. „Pál Várnai with Judit Frigyesi”, Szombat, 2014, 18-20, see also http://www.szombat.org/kultura-muveszetek/jelek-a-vizen-2.

    Zoltán, Gábor. „Ex libris”, Élet és Irodalom, February 6, 2015,

    Heller, Ágnes. Olvasónapló [Reading Diary], Budapest: Múlt és Jövő kiadó, 2015, 145-151.

    Breuer, Peter. “Peter Bauer with Judit Niran Frigyesi,” http://www.breuerpress.com/2014/09/19/niran-frigyesi-judittal-beszelgetett-breuer-peter/#more-50218.

    Sturovics, Andrea. “When letter turns to melody”, http://pilpul.net/komoly/amikor-betubol-lesz-dallam.

    Forgách, András. Judit Niran in conversation with András Forgách”, September 24, 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33K5QS0GnuE.

    Heller, Ágnes. “Judit Niran in conversation with philosopher Ágnes Heller”, April 1, 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIt8wHuyg.

    Simha Arom, András Forgách. “Judit Niran and Simha Arom with András Forgách”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz6Zq0kCbcg

    Norman Ravvin. “Jewish prayer in a sad and beautiful city,” The Canadian Jewish News (November 5, 2018 - 27 Cheshvan 5779): http://www.cjnews.com/culture/books-and-authors/jewish-prayer-in-a-sad-and-beautiful-city

    Dalferth, U. Ingolf (Danforth Professor of Philosophy of Religion Claremont Graduate Univeristy). “Writing on water,” Theologische Literaturzeitung -- Monatsschrift für das Gesamte Gebiet der Theologie und Religionwissenschaft: Buch des Monats: Dezember 2018: http://www.thlz.com/buch_des_monats.php




    Literary evening and concert (Kristóf Csengery, Balázs Déri, György Kurtág, Balázs Dukay), FUGA Galery, September 17, 2014; ELTE University, Religious Studies Center, Hungarian Hebraistic Society, October 15, 2014; Institute for History [Történellemtudományi Intézet, with Attila Pók], March 2, 2015; Jewish Theological Seminary (with Tamás Lichtmann), Budapest, February 11, 2016; Poetry reading: “Memorial Evening for the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII and the liberation of death camps“, Bet Avi-Chai, May 13, 2015, Compositions dedicated to my book: János Bali (Stadler V 60; Szén-patak; Blaha, first performanceApril 21, 2016.



    "Frigyesi's work is a tour-de-force that in a single volume attemtps (and to this reviewer's mind largely succeeds) to present the frame of mind and character of a whole generation of Hungarians that included the now internationally known composer Béla Bartók as well as the literary critic George Lukacs, the great Hungarian poet Endre Ady and many others." Stephen Goode, The Washington Times

    "Outstanding. . . a significant achievement not only in Bartók research, but for its special perspective and its wealth of information and documentation regard-ing Hungarian culture and its relation to the broader European modern scene." Elliott Antokoletz, author of The Music of Béla Bartók

    "Béla Bartók and Turn-of-the-Century Budapest is an imaginative and powerful reinterpretation of Bartók’s aesthetic achievement, which is presented as integrally related to its historical milieu in early twentieth-century Hungary. This is neither a conventional biography of Bartók, nor a systematic analysis of his musical oeuvre. Rather, it is a sustained interpretation of the meaning of Bartók’s modernism and folklorism, within the context of Hungarian modernism. Few scholars besides Frigyesi, in or out of Hungary, possess the combination of skills necessary to write such a book and it will be a standard treatment of the subject for many years to come." Mary Gluck, author of Georg Lukacs and His Generation


    "A schism has long divided scholars studying the music of Béla Bartók: Anglo-American's have tended to an analytic, music-theoretical approach, Hungarians to a historical and critical one. In this study, Judit Frigyesi bridges the divide. . . . Frigyesi offers new cultural insights into even the most familiar and oft-quoted of Bartók's statements about music.“ Danielle Fosler-Lussier, Notes


    “Reading Judit Niran’s book is a unique intellectual, emotional and spiritual experience. She combines the scientist’s erudition and analytical approach, deep empathy, and a nuanced, eye-opening and moving poetic language. Through her writing, she is able to probe into layers of reality which are inaccessible to reason or emotion alone.” Michael Mertes, author and translator, political advisor and representative to Helmut Kohl, 1987-98, EU 2006-10, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, 2011-14.

    “Jews sometimes refer to the place where we go when we die as oylem haemes, the true world. This book is a fragment of that true world, a love song to the tough, fragile, difficult and real people who remembered the melodies Judit Niran Frigyesi sought to capture decades ago. It balances memory and loss almost perfectly. For me, it was a bit of comfort amidst the whirlwind.” Jonathan Boyarin, Thomas and Diann Mann Professor of Modern Jewish Studies, Cornell University

    “Judit Niran’s book is beyond the scope of questions. I mean by this that although one could speak about it like a work of literature, of visual art, of documentation, ethnography or musicological discourse, at every point of the writing, its author penetrates her themes -- or rather dimensions or spheres -- so deeply that there remains no space for everyday journalistic questions… There is a special atmosphere around this text. It is as if an air of the sacred would hover over its lines.” András Forgách, writer, Budapest

    Frigyesis Buch ist ein eindrückliches Mahnmal gegen das Verharmlosen, Verschwinden, Verdrängen und Vergessen des Betens. Sie hält in Erinnerung, was beim Beten auf dem Spiel steht – nicht nur beim Gebetsgesang des osteuropäischen Judentums, von dem sie handelt, sondern bei jedem rechten Beten: die Menschlichkeit der Menschen in der Fülle des Leben. Ingolf U. Dalferth, Clairemont University

     “I just finished your exquisite book. Every sentence and passage is a gem. The overall experience is magical. You take me by the hand and lead me into this hidden, mysterious, vanished world, exploring the nuances of trying to penetrate and grasp it at the same time as you are watching it disappear. You convey the aching preciousness of this Jewish past, which is both your own heritage and our people’s. But beyond the subject matter is your astonishing voice. You hit a perfect pitch between your story and the object of your inquiry. Your voice is intimate, comfortable, it feels like sitting with a friend who is telling you her story, and you don’t want to miss a word. The pictures add a dimension of mystery and transcendence. It was such a joy to read and most of the time my mouth was hanging open because I couldn’t believe how beautiful your words were. Many times I wanted to leap up and show a passage to someone. To reach for my cellphone and take a picture of a page and send it to a friend and say: ‘Look! Look at this!’” Shoshana London Sappir, translator, writer, editor, Jerusalem

    “Frigyesi’s Writing on Water is a meditation on lost culture, on the meaning of music in our lives, and on the unique predicaments of postwar Jewish life in central and Eastern Europe. Music, for many people, is a source of joy and interest that is not connected to deeper study or comprehension. Jewish prayer, and especially the notion of kavunes (total devotion and concentration), for the secular-minded, presents challenge. In the book, an old prayer leader is quoted saying ‘I daven differently every time. Because prayer is not enjoyment. It is kavunes. What matters is the intensity with which you live through the words.’ Frigyesi follows this goal in her approach to her material in Writing on Water. It is this approach that sets her book apart from a typical scholarly or ethnographic work that no one but a specialist would read. She is deeply committed to the people she came to know through her interviews and to the musical and religious culture she portrays. Her portrait of changing Jewish life in central Europe is so richly conveyed that it feels like a gift, a discovery of things unappreciated and unseen.” Norman Ravvin, The Canadian Jewish News, November 5, 2018 - 27 Cheshvan 5779 (abridged), see also: http://www.cjnews.com/culture/books-and-authors/jewish-prayer-in-a-sad-and-beautiful-city

    תאריך עדכון אחרון : 11/02/2024