"There Is Hope"
Yitz commenting on "Who Can Say Who's Experiencing Deveykus?"
Smashed Hat wrote, "But who is creating new niggunim in the traditional styles that are as deep as the old ones? This worries me."
Ah, finally someone is bothered by this! BUT, THERE IS HOPE, and IMNSHO, there are not too many addresses for this. But by far, the top of the line is: the Modzitzer Rebbes. For 5 generations now, they have composed dozens of niggunim each and every year. As I've mentioned on my blog, each year there are usually between a dozen and a dozen-and-a-half niggunim for the Yamim Noraim alone.
The previous Rebbe, the Nachalas Dan, composed 19 new niggunim last year, before suffering a stroke which he was eventually niftar from. Baruch Hashem, they were recorded and sung for the Yamim Noraim.
This year, the Rebbe Shlita composed 10 new niggunim for Rosh Hashana, the 10th one was actually composed on Yom Tov, and he taught it to us at the Tish on the afternoon of the Second Day.
They usually compose another 10 or so throughout the rest of the year, for Yom Tov, simchos etc.
The newly-established music institute [Machon L'Musika] has collected over 3000 Modzitz niggunim, so far!
So come to a Tish in Bnei Brak, or at least go to the Modzitz Shtibel in Flatbush [Coney & L], where Reb Ben Zion Shenker davens. RBZ has composed several hundred niggunim himself!
A Simple Jew comments:
I spent some time last night on the Modzitz website listening to various niggunim. While I certainly can appreciate the beauty of melodies such as Modzitzer Waltz, I have a trouble getting past the instrumental accompaniment that strikes me as a bit antiquated. This is by no means a criticism of the niggunim themselves, Modzitz, or Ben Zion Shenker. I simply don't think the musical accompaniment do these niggunim justice. I also think Jews who were raised listening to secular popular music will find it difficult to listen only to this balad style recording.
When I hear the niggunim of Modzitz in a more "modern" context on Andy Statman's CDs it definitely helps me to appreciate them better. Perhaps you are correct when you say the very best way to experience them is live in Modzitz!