Miri Ben-Ari!

May 28, 2008 at 06:43 PM · I love miri ben ari. Anyone else here like her?

Here's a clip!

Replies (30)

May 29, 2008 at 03:03 AM · Not really a fan. Heard way better hip hop violinists who did not simply make it in the industry based on looks. Not to say Miri is in the industry because of her looks, but face it. She's a woman; it's hip hop. Hip hop isn't particularly known for NOT degrading women and NOT using sex to sell.

So, basically, with a rant in the middle, what I am trying to say is, I have heard better. Usually such ones being men and "unmarketable" women. My opinion, sorry.

May 29, 2008 at 07:00 AM · theres more hip violinists? I've only heard of her, paul dateh, and black violin...

Who are they? Do they have a cd? i'm very interested in learning about them...

May 29, 2008 at 12:13 PM · Two in particular that are doing well are these two brothers; their names elude me, but I will get that for you and also their CD information. But most of the hip hop violinists I know, are playing on the streets or in clubs because they are not marketable sexually or thuggishly (for men). But they are greatly talented. One of the men I am particularly in love with appeared on Showtime at the Apollo amateur night. So amazing. Watch some archived episodes and you will find many great hip hop violinists that are not marketable, but great nonetheless.

May 29, 2008 at 04:28 PM · yea i think ur talking about a group named black violin, they are pretty cool.

June 11, 2008 at 04:04 PM · im sorry but i want to keep rap and hip hop as far away from the violin as i can ,this country is being overrun with hip hop crap and i would like the violin to have some class

June 11, 2008 at 10:09 PM · I do not think this is de-classing the violin. the violin is just an instrument. it shouldn't be restricted to only playing brahms and other "classical" (in the broader sense, that is) music. I'm happy that people can see the possibilities the violin has and incorporates it into their own music.

That said, I am not a fan of this piece. Mostly to do with its structure. But that is just me.

June 12, 2008 at 05:49 AM · Dan,

and classical violinists say they're not close minded... tsk tsk tsk.. you should read the other thread: a MODERN violinist

June 15, 2008 at 11:03 PM · Daniel Bernard-Roumain...he's teaching at Mark O'Connor's fiddle camp this year...Miri Ben-Ari may not be the most innovative violinistic mind in pop music but she has been a great inspiration to my friend's daughter who was only marginally interested in her violin studies until I told her about Miri...that's worth something....

June 16, 2008 at 07:10 PM · hip hop=crap

June 16, 2008 at 10:53 PM ·

June 17, 2008 at 02:04 AM · Some hip hop is okay. There are some really talented rappers out there with some really incredible stuff to say. (I haven't listened to all of their stuff, but Bone Thugs have put out some really nice hits that have beautifuls beats and harmonies.)

It's just the industry in general is overrun by stereotypes, racial tensions, violence, and sex.

June 17, 2008 at 02:09 AM · I've never heard a hip hop song which I considered to be good poetry. Mostly childish rhymes and tired old cliches. Then again, I'm just an old fart who's just "not with the times".

June 17, 2008 at 02:12 AM · She is a good looking lady, though.

June 17, 2008 at 02:30 AM · yes i used to like a bit of hip hop and i know people involved in hip hop but its so out of control today i just dont even try to listen

June 17, 2008 at 03:20 AM · Yes, I have the same attitude. Hip hop is so overrun with negativity, I do not even try to listen to it anymore. Usually, I will listen to some old hip hop from back in the 80s or Will Smith, which is fun. But for the most part, I stick to clean music.

June 17, 2008 at 04:26 AM · who cares about the hip hop artists? its the music! Paganini was a self centered jerk, but his music is legendary. Heifetz was said to have been a sarcastic, cynical, man. But he was one of the most expressive talented violinists in of the 21st century. mariah carey is crazier than a loon, that doesn't mean shes not one of the best singers of our time! focus on the music these individuals make, not their personal lives.

June 17, 2008 at 01:33 PM · I don't think you can ever totally divorce music from the artist who makes that music...

I watched the clip. Then I covered my eyes to try and focus solely on the music. If violin in art music is akin to the voice of an opera singer, well, the 'voice' of the violin here is wailing, which really turned me off the song.

Certainly not something I would listen to and really enjoy, but something different nonetheless.

June 17, 2008 at 02:31 PM · It's not because of the lives rap artists (if you can call some of them artists) lead that turns me off their music. It's their music! For example, I abhor 50 Cent's music, although I do admire how he survived death in his personal life. A lot of rappers have come from harsh life styles which is why their music can be so negative, nasty, and downright horrible for children (and the racial image of black people). Instead of leaving that life behind and creating a positive world for children and other people who are still in that situation, they take their baggage with them in their music. I am a black woman, and quite frankly, I do not appreciate the being called a hoe, candy, B#%#$%, the N-word, or gangsta. UNfortunately, in this genre of music, it is hard to separate the degraded image of the artists from their music. And sadly, when new artists such as Miri Ben Ari walks into the arena, they will be plagued by that bad image especially if they choose to associate with such artists who perpetuate that degraded image.

June 17, 2008 at 02:56 PM · And yes, Carlos those people are quite talented. And their music is genius--Heifetzed played the music of geniuses. Talent is always a question in the POP, RAP, and Hip HOp Genre. I can forgive a "flawed" artist if he or she creates a genius piece of work. ALthough, I would say Heifetz being cynical and sarcastic is no match for a rap artist degrading children's minds, themselves and/or a black woman's body. But okay.

June 17, 2008 at 08:24 PM · I'd like to throw in that a lot of people listen to rap who are not misogynistic civilization haters. I don't believe that Eminem actually ruins childrens' minds, principally because I myself listened to Eminem in my pre-teen years. Yes, that type of music can be (and mostly is) extremely offensive, and no, I don't particularly care for it anymore, and yes, there tends to be a correlation between listening to rap and crime etc., but it is not to say it is a 'poorer' form of music. It bugs me when people say that rap is inferior music in the same way that it bothers people on this board when other people say classical music is "snobby," or "too refined for me," or - god forbid - "relaxing."

Diatribe aside, Miri Ben Ari is a fine artist, as far as I can tell, and has found a perfectly fine niche, and deserves to be considered as such on her own terms, without any stigmas which we would like to attach to her. The video in question may or may not be to everybody's taste, but it's as much music as a Hungarian Dance. If it's too much to listen to her non-Guarneri tone, then pretend it's a different instrument which is supposed to have that tone.

Now that I have my thoughts collected a little more (sorry, the above seems to be some sort of muddle..), it seems that there are two or three statements in question.

1. Miri Ben Ari is a good/competent violinist.

2. The group Ben Ari plays with produces good music.

3. Miri Ben Ari and her group deserve at least as much consideration as any other violinist and/or hip/hop group.

I'll answer them one by one.

1. As far as I can tell, she has some sort of decent technique and plays in tune (although that my be synthesizing), even if she wears a funny hat and does some sort of funny dance/acting while playing.

2. Well, the music itself seems to be on no better or worse footing than every other folk/popular song/half of "sophisticated" music in that it follows a I-IV-V-I chord structure almost religiously. I guess you could even call it somewhat catchy.

3. Your call. Are you going to say she got into the industry because of her looks, and therefore is a prostitute and cannot be taken seriously? Or is it that, because she plays hip hop, she doesn't count as a violinist?

June 17, 2008 at 08:23 PM ·

June 17, 2008 at 09:15 PM · I think the discussion went somewhat away from Miri Ben Ari herself. She is okay. As I put in my first post, I just prefer other artists who are more talented. It's your choice to like Benari. I think if she could come from under the negative image that is the genre, she'd be an inspiration to many. That does not stop me from preferring other hip hop violinists.

However, I will say that Rap and Hip Hop may not ruin ALL children's minds, but we mustn't forget--almost 80% of young men in jail are black. 70% of the people who listen to rap and hip hop are white, and have confessed to forming sad conclusions about black people due to listening to bad rap artists i.e. Don Imus who called black women Nappy Headed Hoes and then come to find out that a rap artist had a song called "Nappy Headed Hoes." So, in my opinion, a child's mind is ruined if he says, "All black people like to say N&%!@ and hoe. And all black people are gangstas and thugs," because that is what is said in certain rap artists music. I will stress though. I do not believe all rap artists are horrible. I just believe the good ones are overshadowed by the bad. And rap music is not inferior to other forms of music. When it was created, it was a genius revolution within the black community, and I believe it can still be an amazing and fun genre, if it weren't being strangled by racial tensions and other horrible issues that effects and affects black people and the society in which they live.

But, of course, all of that is just my opinion, backed up by experience.

June 17, 2008 at 10:19 PM · You'll love this. Here's a tune that I've read historians call one of the first rap songs. It's by somebody called Lightnin' Rod, from some kind of group named The Last Poets. By the way, Jimi Hendrix is playing the guitar in this. I love what he does, especially when the words are about the airplane crash - the plane rising and settling back down makes your stomach kind of rise and fall :) But not surprisingly, it's about a pimp and a ho ;) http://youtube.com/watch?v=AQLzHZgjUXw


OOPS! That's a very short version which doesn't have the plane crash or the whole story. Maybe you can find the full version on itunes or someplace. Probably around 10 min long.

June 18, 2008 at 04:00 AM · OMG!

Jasmine, did you actually SAY this?

"However, I will say that Rap and Hip Hop may not ruin ALL children's minds, but we mustn't forget--almost 80% of young men in jail are black. 70% of the people who listen to rap and hip hop are white, and have confessed to forming sad conclusions about black people due to listening to bad rap artists i.e. Don Imus who called black women Nappy Headed Hoes and then come to find out that a rap artist had a song called "Nappy Headed Hoes."

Jasmine, I'm curious to know WHERE you got that 80% race statistic. Seriously. Name your sources. And no 2, most the people in MY planet that listen to hip hop say it makes them want to dance. Simple as that. I'll admit some rap music is just plain illogical, but I do NOT think you should generalize. What about Lauren Hill? Sugarhill gang? Black Violin? plus, have you ever heard of CHRISTIAN hip hop? MaryMary? Kirk Franklin? Toby Mac. Come on fiddlers! lets get to know the other side of the music spectrum.

June 18, 2008 at 05:29 PM · Once again, like I said, not all hip hop is bad. I love Will Smith, Outkast, Black Eyed Peas (POP and Hip HOp) Lauren Hill, Jazzy Jazz, and other wholesome rap and hip hop artists. But in the black community, rap music in general creates a problem. The above said does not just come from my mouth, it comes from my eyes, my body, my soul. Because I have lived in the communities where I have felt the pain caused by gangstas and their gangsta rap. When you experience poverty and violence, it's a little hard not to generalize.

The above statistics can be found on any kind of census forum. It is no secret that tons of black young men occupy jail cells. One theory is because of the people we choose to call role models in our society; another theory is because of society itself, but I won't go there. Plain and simple. But Carlos, I wlll once again stress that I do not feel all rap is bad. There are some talented people out there, just like the ones you mentioned. But until those talented ones start to rise over the bad, the negative will always plug my ears and cover my eyes.

June 19, 2008 at 01:50 AM · Information from the Jail Population Statistics report on the Bureau of justice website.

African American: 45.17% (quite a bit less than 80)

White 38.71% (not bad considering they don't listen to hip hop)

Hispanic 16.12% (maybe we should all switch to Mariachi. They have fiddlers too.)

I have the URL if you're interested.

June 19, 2008 at 05:20 AM · I thought she said YOUNG men in prison, not all men.

June 19, 2008 at 06:02 AM · Sounds like Marty's trying to keep them in prison somehow. Tough on crime.

June 19, 2008 at 06:30 AM · "the devil (hiphop) made me do it..."

My rendition of a modern day Flip Wilson. :)

June 19, 2008 at 07:05 AM · that's right.

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