The significance of Meier Leon’s “Yigdal” melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody in eighteenth-century London

This essay begins with a brief introductory exploration of some of the musical interinfluences between synagogue and church that have been manifested over the centuries. That is followed by a short biography and assessment of the Jewish singer and composer Meier Leon in the context of the musical life, and the Jewish life, of London in the second half of the eighteenth century. Commentaries are then offered on the meaning and significance of the Yigdal hymn in general and of the specific musical setting attributed to Leon. Observations regarding the circumstances of the transformation of this syn agogue melody into a church setting for the text of Thomas Olivers’s hymn The God of Abraham Praise lead to an analytical comparison of the two ver sions. The essay concludes with some thoughts about how this phenomenon may be seen as a precedent for the transfer of Jewish and Israeli melodies into

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