Beyond the Music:
a new commentary on
Jewish musicology, arts, and culture
by Matthew Austerklein
This substack is about what is beyond and behind the music we hear. Our musical practices and preferences are more than simple matters of taste. Rather they reveal a rich polyphony of psychological, political, social, and theological intuitions which animate our lives.
Matt's research and writings explore the religious meaning of the cantorate and of Jewish musical forms, both past and present. His doctoral dissertation studies the professionalization of Ashkenazi cantors in early modern Europe (1500-1800), an era of profound musical experimentation and transgression. Matt's other research interests include the secular music of Solomon Sulzer, and the intersections of music, communal, structure, and theology in contemporary Jewish music and community. Matt is active in bridging research and communal narrative, and leads a number of projects which preserve, question, and celebrate Jewish music.