Someone speaking casually mentioned to me that Sefardim don't listen to live music at all at any time of the year, but will listen to recorded music because "that's not music."
Is this true? Is this brought down anywhere in halacha?
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In Kisur Yalkut Yosef Siman 651, Rabbi Yishak Yosef discusses the laws of music. Recorded religious music (which doesn't include indecency or kalut rosh), even with instruments, you can be mekil to listen to it. However, ANY type of live music is forbidden, unless at a seudat misvah/holiday. You are allowed to listen to acappella, as long as there is no kalut rosh.