by Michala Biondi

She Saved Their Songs

Johanna L. Spector (1915–2008) was a renowned ethnomusicologist who captured the traditional cantillation and folk tunes of Jewish immigrant groups soon after they arrived in the newly formed State of Israel — before exposure to foreign melodies influenced each group’s native music. Spector’s papers, tapes and film footage, archived at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, are now being processed, and parts of the collection will be released starting this summer.

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