Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
The Schmooze

Broadcasts From Another World

Crossposted from Haaretz

Image by Tomer Appelbaum

Sounds from another world, at a very low volume and of terrible audio quality, welcome the visitor to Nino Bitton’s small apartment. They sound like broadcasts from an ancient Arab world, which has long since ceased to exist outside isolated enclaves like this Jerusalem living room. What are we listening to? “Algerian music from before you were born. I recorded it many years ago from Algerian radio. That’s my school,” says Bitton, regarding his favorite recordings.

Those recordings were made with great effort and even caused Bitton physical harm. In the 1960s and the 1970s, when he began his campaign to research Andalusian music in depth, Bitton discovered that, after the end of the Israel Radio broadcasts at midnight, he could hear Algerian radio. But in order to get a reception he had to go up to the roof and connect to the building antenna. So Bitton would go up to the roof every night and listen to songs. He fell from the roof four times. “I almost lost my life because of this music,” he says.

Read more at Haaretz.com

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    50th meeting of the Yiddish Open Mic Cafe

    Hybrid event in London and online.

    Aug 14, 2022

    1:30 pm ET · 

    Join audiences and participants from across the globe for this live celebration of Yiddish songs, poems, jokes, stories, games, serious and funny - all performed in Yiddish with English translation.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at editorial@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.