Music in Israel

Music in Israel is an integral part of national identity. Beginning in the days of the pioneers, Hebrew songs and public sing-along’s (Shira beTsibur) were encouraged and supported by the establishment. This view of music as nation-building continues to this day. Jewish immigrants from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere brought with them their musical traditions, melding and moulding them into a new Israeli sound.

Since 1980, the number of Israeli groups has multiplied, with hundreds of groups singing in all modern styles. Leading performers have included the internationally acclaimed dance music singer Ofra Haza, Berry Sakharof, often referred to as “The Prince of Israeli Rock”; Rami Fortis, the groups “Efo HaYeled?” (Where is the Child?), “Ethnix”, “Teapacks”, “Tislam”, “Mashina”, “Zikney Tzfat” (The Elders of Safad), “Rockfour”, “HaMakhshefot” (The Witches), “Mofa Ha’arnavot Shel Dr. Kasper”(Dr. kasper’s Rabbits Show) and Monica Sex.

Singers who mix rock and pop elements with the traditional songs of the Land of Israel are usually achieving tremendous popularity and considered as leading acts in Israeli music today, singers such as Rita, Shlomo Artzi, Achinoam Nini, Dana Berger, Evyatar Banai, Harel Skaat, Ninet Tayeb, Shiri Maimon, Dana International, Sharon Haziz, Mika Karni Roni Duani, David D’or, Metropolin and many more. Most of these artists also like to mix some elements of electronic sounds of Dance music, so you can find style influences of pop icons such as Madonna and Kylie Minogue in Israeli music as well. In addition, Psychedelic trance is popular in Israel, and some Israeli trance artists have gained international recognition, among them Alien Project, Astrix, Astral Projection, Maor Levi, and Infected Mushroom. Offer Nissim is one of the most internationally acclaimed contemporary house music producers.

Israeli immigrant communities from Arab countries have over the last 50 years created a blended musical style that combines Turkish, Greek, Arabic, and Israeli elements. As opposed to the New Hebrew Style, which was the conscious creation of Eastern European immigrants trying to define their new Israeli identity; this style is truly spontaneous and indigenous. Initially met with hostility by the mainstream cultural institutions of Israel, it has now become a major force in Israeli culture.