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Gil Aldema

Gil Aldema has acquired a unique position in the field of vocal arrangements of Hebrew songs…especially prominent was his ability to create a musical tapestry that expanded the contours of the original composition and gave the song a new dimension of sound. The composers, the creators of Hebrew song, whose tunes he arranged, such as Mordechai Zaira, David Zahavi, Daniel Samborsky, Emanuel Amiran, Moshe Vilenski, Sasha Argov, Naomi Shemer and many others, saw him as a faithful and preferred interpreter of their songs. Not only did he enrich the musical texture with harmonies, but he also spun the threads of the tune into a musical tapestry, bountiful and pleasing. Gil was also blessed with a unique talent for creating medleys of songs according to subject or artist which were enthusiastically received by performers and listeners alike.
Eliyahu HaKohen on Gil Aldema, from "A Vocal Array: Arrangements for the choir by Gil Aldema" [Tel Aviv: Modan, 2000]
The composer, arranger and musician Gil Aldema was born on 17.9.1928 in the Borochov neighborhood of Givatayim, the son of Abraham and Zahava Aldema (Eisenstein).  The Aldema family house served, among other things, as a stage for evenings of song and dance, and performances of the best productions of the Tel Aviv theatres, "HaBima", "HaOhel" and "HaMatate" were put on in the courtyard. The names of the three Aldema children reflected the environment in the house: Ron (gladness) Gil (delight) and Ditsa (joy). In his childhood, Aldema played piano and violin and studied harmony under the composer Paul Ben-Haim. He composed his first song in 1947 when he was serving in the Palmach to the words of Haim Hefer ("The Height of Fun"). Afterwards, he supplemented his studies in conducting and composition at The Academy of Music in Jerusalem and then continued on to Mannes College of Music in New York. In the 50's he served as a teacher and music counselor in the youth village, Hadassim. In this framework he composed music and songs for the village holiday ceremonies and his songs become well known all over the country. In 1960, he received a position at the Israel Broadcasting Authority, first in radio and then in television. He was involved with editing and production, musical arrangements, conducting and the musical management of programs and the many recordings of Hebrew songs. During that time, Aldema joined the "Rinat" choir, conducted by Gary Bertini and at the advice of Hanoch Ron, he established a musical group with those members of "Rinat" who read notes called, "The Renanim Group".   
In 2011, Aldema donated his archive to the Music Collection of the National Library.
At an event in honor of the transfer of the Aldema collection to the National Library, the head of the Music Collection and Sound Archive, Dr. Gila Flam, read a letter from the musicologist and critic, Hanoch Ron, sent in honor of the evening:
 "I, the child, having finished my obligatory schooling at the School of Music in Tel Aviv, was drafted into the IDF where I was placed as Head Education Officer, and was made responsible for the whole issue of song and music in the IDF. In this role, I was the commanding officer of all the existing teams and all the cultural interfaces…Sasha Argov, Moshe Vilenski, Yossi Spivak and those are just a few examples. They gave me songs even before the ink on the page had dried.  And then, one day I received a letter from someone I didn't know, and I quote: "My name is Gil Aldema. I am a young Israeli composer. I teach music for a living, in a place you certainly don't know called the Hadassim Youth Village, not so far from Tel Aviv. There I am responsible for arranging the ceremony for the harvest holiday on Shavuoth. I write music for the texts of the songs, written by my friend in the village (who is also the literature teacher), Michael Kashtan. Here is one of the songs that I wrote. It was very well receive during the ceremony. It  has not yet been published and is called, "Love is Pleasant" and I would be happy if you could teach it and to distribute it…'
"And now he is writing to me," Dr. Flam concluded, "that you are holding an event called "Love is Pleasant" and the song comes full circle…"


השיר היומי
השיר היומי
השירים המובאים כאן הם מבחר קטן מתוך אלפי שירים, פיוטים, תפילות ויצירות מוזיקה אחרות שניתן להאזין להן באתר מרכז המוזיקה של הספרייה הלאומית. שימור השירים והנגשתם נעשו בסיוע קרן לגסי הריטג'.