A cappella, which comes from the Latin for “instruments are too expensive,” is a style of music that has recently enjoyed an explosion in popularity and variety, and the Maccabeats have taken advantage of many of today’s cutting-edge techniques, technologies, and technicians in producing their recordings. A cappella also holds a cherished place in the Jewish tradition, having been extensively employed in both the synagogue and the home over the millennia due to an ancient prohibition against playing instruments on Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath. Many of the Maccabeats got their musical starts at the Shabbat tables and shuls, places where they still perform to this day. Additionally, many Jews observe two annual periods of reduced joy – sefirat ha’omer and bein ha’metzarim – during which they refrain from listening to any instrumental music.
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