Reviving Cultural Roots through Music: Exploring the Impact of Moroccan Music on the Moroccan Jewish Community in the Diaspora


  • Montassir Hmala CRMEF, MEKNES
  • Mourad El Fahli Department of Languages, Communication and Sciences of Education National Graduate School of Arts and Crafts (ENSAM) Mohammed V University in Rabat



Diaspora, Moroccan Jewish community, Tamaghrabit, Identity, individual and collective narratives.


Throughout history, music has served as a significant medium for recording diverse narratives and expressing the needs, aspirations, and experiences of individuals and groups. This article examines the multifaceted roles of music within the context of diaspora, focusing specifically on the Moroccan Jewish community. By delving into the experiences of five prominent Moroccan Jewish artists who are members of this community, this study sheds light on the profound ways in which Moroccan music bridges the past and present, reconnects individuals and groups with their sociocultural roots, and firmly affirms both individual and collective identities. Drawing from a qualitative research approach that leverages semi-structured interviews with these prominent Moroccan Jewish artists, this research uncovers how Moroccan music, in its various forms, operates as a powerful tool for asserting identity, transmitting and preserving culture, and ensuring generational continuity within the diaspora. The content analysis of these interviews identifies five main themes that elucidate the intricate roles of music in this context: cultural and emotional connection, cognitive connection, the significance of sonic narratives, the role of textual and linguistic narratives, and the importance of Andalusian and Malhoune music.

Author Biographies

  • Montassir Hmala, CRMEF, MEKNES

    Teacher trainer at the CRMEF of Meknes, department of English language

  • Mourad El Fahli, Department of Languages, Communication and Sciences of Education National Graduate School of Arts and Crafts (ENSAM) Mohammed V University in Rabat

    Associate Professor of English and Communication Studies


Alfonso, I. D. (2013). Melodies from the past, melodies from the present: Music and identity in the Cuban diaspora. Hispanic Research Journal, 14(3), 256-27.

Bohlman, P. V. (2002). World music: A very short introduction. OUP Oxford

Creswell, J. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among the five approaches. Sage.

Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2018). Qualitative inquiry and research method: Choosing among five approaches. Sage.

Elo, S., & Kyngäs, H. (2008). The qualitative content analysis process. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62(1), 107-115.

Etikan, I., Musa, S. A., & Alkassim, R. S. (2016). Comparison of convenience sampling and purposive sampling. American Journal of Theoretical and Applied Statistics, 5(1), 1-4.

Giffhorn, J. (2009). Postmodernism and musicology – A methodical misunderestimation. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology. 34

Issa, D. (2023). Fairouz and the Arab diaspora: Music and identity in the UK and Qatar. I.B. Tauris

Kerman, J. (1985). Contemplating music: Challenges to musicology. Harvard University Press.

Kotarba, J. A. (2013). Understanding society through popular music. Routledge.

Kramer, L. (2011). Interpreting music. University of California Press.

Kumar, R. (2014). Kumar, R. (2018). Research methodology: A step-by-step guide for beginners. Sage.

Lidskog, R. (2016). The role of music in ethnic identity formation in diaspora: A research review. International Social Science Journal, 66(219-220), 23-38.

Manson, I. (2003). The African diaspora: A musical perspective. Routledge.

Maroc. Ma. (2013, March 20). HM King Mohammed VI sent a message to participants in the inauguration ceremony of renovated synagogue "Slat Alfassiyine" in Fes.

Merriam, A, P. (1964). The Anthropology of music. Northwestern University Press.

Nettl, B. (2005). The study of ethnomusicology: Thirty-one issues and concepts. University of Illinois Press.

Post, G, C. (2018). Ethnomusicology: A contemporary reader, Volume II. Routledge

Rice. T. (2014). Ethnomusicology: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press.

Rommen, T. (2007). " Mek some noise": Gospel music and the ethics of style in Trinidad (Vol. 11). University of California Press.

Salomon, T. (2015). Theorizing diaspora and music. Lidé M?sta, 17(2), 201-219.

Shelemay, K. K. (2006). Music, memory and history: In memory of Stuart Feder. In Ethnomusicology Forum 15 (1), 17-37.

Slobin, M. (1994). Music in diaspora: The view from Euro-America. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 3(3), 243-251.

Tongco, M. D. C. (2007). Purposive sampling as a tool for informant selection. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 5, 147-158.

Volgsten, U., & Pripp, O. (2016). Music, memory, and affect attunement: Connecting Kurdish diaspora in Stockholm. Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, 8(2), 144-164.

Zheng, S. (2010). Claiming diaspora: Music, transnationalism, and cultural politics in Asian/Chinese America. Oxford University Press, USA.







Similar Articles

1-10 of 227

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.