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Where did the popular tune for the Yom Kippur piyyut, מראה כהן, come from? Who wrote it? When did it originate? Where is it from? Does the tune have a name other than "that marei kohen tune"?

Note I'm asking for the music, not the words of the piyyut.

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Would the down-voter care to explain the down vote? – Charles Koppelman Aug 9 '12 at 18:12
No idea where the tune came from, but I believe that it was written in the times of biet sheni. – soandos Aug 9 '12 at 18:22
This tune usually sticks in my head from Y"K through Sukkoth. It is now stuck in my head more than a month early, and I blame you. :) – Seth J Aug 9 '12 at 20:14
@SethJ You're welcome! :-p It goes well to Lecha Dodi. – Charles Koppelman Aug 9 '12 at 21:27
@CharlesKoppelman That's awesome! What do you say at the end of each line? Just lai dai dai dai? – Daniel Aug 22 '13 at 16:11
up vote 12 down vote accepted

I was a little boy at home when my father Yigal Calek ny"v composed Mareh Cohen - there's a very interesting 'composer's inspiration' story to go with it too... Anyway, so yes, pretty much "at the source" ;)

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Yoel Calek, thank you for this answer which is a primary source indeed! I look forward to seeing you around. – Double AA Dec 6 '12 at 5:30
care to share the story on a public forum? I'd be fascinated! – Charles Koppelman Dec 6 '12 at 16:06

After a bit more searching, it looks like Yigal Calek of the London School of Jewish Song may be the original composer as late as 1971.

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I didn't log in to the second link and listen to the tune. Did you confirm that it is the same one? – Menachem Aug 10 '12 at 1:18
@Menachem no, but the first calls it the "Yigal Calek" niggun. I assumed he only did one version, but I could be wrong. – Charles Koppelman Aug 10 '12 at 15:12
This is a youtube video of a chazzan performing a medley of Yigal Calek tunes. At 4:07, he begins Mareh Kohen. – Fred Sep 24 '12 at 1:54
@Fred Nice! Thanks! – Charles Koppelman Sep 24 '12 at 21:21

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