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Music of Israel

Modern Israeli music is heavily influenced by its constituents, which include Palestinians (see Palestinian music) and Jewish immigrants (see Jewish music) from more than 120 countries around the world have brought their own musical traditions, making Israel a global melting pot.

Israeli music is an integral part of society. Many of the most popular songs are called Shierei Eretz Israel Hay'shana Ve Hatova (Songs of the Good Old Land of Israel), and are Hebrew songs set to Russian and Slavic melodies. The youth and kibbutz movements have played a major role in Israeli musical development, and in the popularization of many of these songs.

The first few years after Israel's creation saw an attempt at forging a unique Israeli cultural identity by melding the constituent cultures. This failed, however, as the disparate musical traditions did not blend well together. After 1948, explicit policy encouraged Hebrew language songs instead of Ladino or Yiddish ones. Hebrew is thus the language of choice for most Israeli musicians, though many also include an occasional song or album in Yiddish or Ladino.

From the 1930s to the 50s, Yemenite Jews made up most of the musical stars. Bacha Zefira, Shoshana Damari and Esther Gamlielit were some of the most famous singers, due to Yemen's long history as a center for the preservation of Jewish traditions. Yemenite Jews remain popular, and performers like Ofra Haza and Gali Atari have some international fame.

Sephardic Jews have also played a major part in Israeli popular song. Sephardic musicians include Yehoram Gaon, Emil Zrihan, Jo Amar, Haim Louk and Ruth Yaakov.

Modern singer-songwriter traditions have produced an Israeli tradition, with musicians like Chava Alberstein modelling themselves after Americans Joan Baez and Pete Seeger. The 1980s and 90s saw a wave of roots revival and fusion musicians arrise, fusing Iranian, Turkish, Greek and Moroccan traditions with rock and roll, pop music and jazz. Habrera Hativeet is perhaps the most influential of these groups; they began performing in the 70s and have included influences ranging from American blues to African folk music and Hassidic songs. Even more recently, hip hop has made some inroads into mainstream Israeli audiences.

Israel is also one of the leading creators of Goa trance.