Popular music in Israel has recently seen a surge in the use of Arabic in music made by Israeli-Jewish musicians. Most of these, although descendants of immigrants from Arab countries, never acquired Arabic at home or in school, owing to national ideology which sought to label Arabic as the language of the non-Jewish other. This article reveals and contextualises this recent trend, offering a typology of the ways in which musicians engage with Arabic, their motivations for doing so and the challenges that they face. Discussing musicians who approach Arabic as Jewish heritage, as an aesthetic repository, or even as mere sound, we identify these mobilisations of Arabic as postvernacular uses of language, which often privilege its non-semantic qualities. Observed in the context of Israeli-Arab enmity, this trend appears to have emerged surprisingly not in spite of, but partly because of, the decline in peace prospects.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019 Cambridge University Press.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies