Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Series on Early Genesis

 This series of lectures scheduled over the next several weeks has a great deal of promise. It has been developed by a friend for high school usage and reworked into a series of lectures for the parish of St Barnabas, Victoria. I have really enjoyed the first two here and here. There is a brief intro here.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Psalms 99

This performance of Psalms 99 is quite a change from the robust performances of Psalms 96 and 98. (See this post for a full list of available performances.)

So here is the raw data. Note that the performer has chosen the augmented fourth yet she does not observe it in the revia mugresh, that ornament that so commonly follows the rest on the subdominant. She emphasizes the thoughtful undercurrent in the poem. We are not dealing with a tame lion. I thought Haïk-Vantoura used the default mode as I coded in the score below. (But see her original score here which Lamandier is singing from - and it is clearly both not the default mode and it sharpens the subdominant only for the atnah. Curious. I doubt I could have coded her note heads with Musescore. They do not represent duration but accent interpretation.)

Psalms 99 Fn Min Max Syll
יְהוָ֣ה מָ֭לָךְ יִרְגְּז֣וּ עַמִּ֑ים
יֹשֵׁ֥ב כְּ֝רוּבִ֗ים תָּנ֥וּט הָאָֽרֶץ
1 Yahweh reigns. Let peoples shudder.
He sits on the cherubim. Let the earth be displaced.
3e 4B 9
10
יְ֭הוָה בְּצִיּ֣וֹן גָּד֑וֹל
וְרָ֥ם ה֝֗וּא עַל־כָּל־הָֽעַמִּֽים
2 Yahweh is great in Zion,
and he is himself exalted over all the peoples.
g 3e 4B 7
8
יוֹד֣וּ שִׁ֭מְךָ גָּד֥וֹל וְנוֹרָ֗א קָד֥וֹשׁ הֽוּא 3 Let them confess your great and fearful name. He is holy.
3e 4B 12
וְעֹ֥ז מֶלֶךְ֮ מִשְׁפָּ֪ט אָ֫הֵ֥ב
אַ֭תָּה כּוֹנַ֣נְתָּ מֵישָׁרִ֑ים
מִשְׁפָּ֥ט וּ֝צְדָקָ֗ה בְּיַעֲקֹ֤ב ׀ אַתָּ֬ה עָשִֽׂיתָ
4 And the king's strength loves judgment.
You yourself establish uprightness.
Judgment and righteousness in Jacob, you yourself make.

3d 4C 8
8
14
רֽוֹמְמ֡וּ יְה֘וָ֤ה אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ וְֽ֭הִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לַהֲדֹ֥ם רַגְלָ֗יו קָד֥וֹשׁ הֽוּא 5 Exalt Yahweh our God, and worship at his footstool. He is holy.

3e 4C 21
מֹ֘שֶׁ֤ה וְאַהֲרֹ֨ן ׀ בְּֽכֹהֲנָ֗יו וּ֭שְׁמוּאֵל בְּקֹרְאֵ֣י שְׁמ֑וֹ
קֹרִ֥אים אֶל־יְ֝הוָ֗ה וְה֣וּא יַעֲנֵֽם
6 Moses and Aaron among his priests and Samuel among those calling on his name.
They called on Yahweh and he himself answered them.
~ 3e 4C 18
11
בְּעַמּ֣וּד עָ֭נָן יְדַבֵּ֣ר אֲלֵיהֶ֑ם
שָׁמְר֥וּ עֵ֝דֹתָ֗יו וְחֹ֣ק נָֽתַן־לָֽמוֹ
7 In the pillar of cloud he spoke to them.
They kept his testimonies and the statute he gave them.
3e 4B 11
11
יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵינוּ֮ אַתָּ֪ה עֲנִ֫יתָ֥ם
אֵ֣ל נֹ֭שֵׂא הָיִ֣יתָ לָהֶ֑ם
וְ֝נֹקֵ֗ם עַל־עֲלִילוֹתָֽם
8 Yahweh our God, you yourself answered them.
A God of forbearance you were to them,
but avenging their wantonness.
3d 4B 11
8
8
רֽוֹמְמ֡וּ יְה֘וָ֤ה אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ וְ֭הִֽשְׁתַּחֲווּ לְהַ֣ר קָדְשׁ֑וֹ
כִּֽי־קָ֝ד֗וֹשׁ יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
9 Exalt Yahweh our God and worship at his holy hill,
for Yahweh our God is holy.
3e 4C 17
8

Shudder, recall Psalms 4. Tate translates avenge as punish. I cannot fathom this. Yet another Hebrew root abused. But he gives a good recount of the opinions of many. That is the nature of scholarship. How will we who are not scholars observe and hear this psalm in a liturgical context? Because we are not likely to prosper in worship if we only hear the opinions of others, however learned they may be.

The key word behind this psalm is holy. Each of the preceding three psalms has qdw (holy) at least once. This psalm has it 4 times. Twice it is qdow hua He is holy. This phrase where the antecedent of the pronoun is Yahweh is unique to this Psalm. The phrase is used with the pronoun in other contexts, but there the antecedent is some consecrated thing or geographic feature, not Yahweh specifically.

I am surprised by this, even though it is my software that pointed it out to me. Tate takes the pronoun as applying to the name in verse 3. Certainly plausible. That make the phrase in verse 5 unique in the Bible. Though perhaps even here, qdw could apply to the footstool. Verse 9 is unambiguous as to the source of the holy, whatever object we might apply it to.

So where does such mystery lead us? Perhaps to a love of judgment, the establishment of uprightness and righteousness, in forbearance. Perhaps to seeing out and imitating the character of this God. No slight thing.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Psalms 98

 So where are we in the Psalms? When I was translating I never lost track of where I was, but now that I'm just reading and pretending to analyse the music a bit, I am not keeping track!

I have not set Psalms 98 - but there is a performance here. Interesting for a number of reasons. 

  • First there are several places where the Letteris edition jumps down to the tonic and the WLC, the text I used from 1000 years earlier, stays on the higher reciting note. 
  • Then the ornaments and the freedom of interpretation the singers give them for the sake of rhythm. 
  • And finally, I see a place where my program inserted an extra syllable. Software doesn't always get it right. (In this case it was not the logic but the data. There must have been an extra space in the word 'ha rx' when this file was created. Fixed sometime in the past few months. I have replaced the pdf and the xml in the music support files directory.)
  • This psalm feels like Psalms 96 but does not have quite as obvious a musical structure. The 9 verses easily divide by 3. 

All the music files are available from the links on the music page. But if you are using them as a shortcut to your first transcription, I would recommend checking them for such alternatives. 

  • We don't know how many spurious silluqs have been inserted for pronunciation of short syllables in later editions, 
  • Ornaments are free to interpret within constraints, 
  • And the transcription may not be 100%. Check it out.
  • The optimum source is the Aleppo Codex. But think musically.

Psalms 98 Fn Min Max Syll
מִזְמ֡וֹר שִׁ֤ירוּ לַֽיהוָ֨ה ׀ שִׁ֣יר חָ֭דָשׁ כִּֽי־נִפְלָא֣וֹת עָשָׂ֑ה
הוֹשִֽׁיעָה־לּ֥וֹ יְ֝מִינ֗וֹ וּזְר֥וֹעַ קָדְשֽׁוֹ
1 A psalm. Sing to Yahweh a new song, for wonders he has done.
His right hand brought salvation for him and his holy arm.
3e 4C 15
12
הוֹדִ֣יעַ יְ֭הוָה יְשׁוּעָת֑וֹ
לְעֵינֵ֥י הַ֝גּוֹיִ֗ם גִּלָּ֥ה צִדְקָתֽוֹ
2 Yahweh has made known his salvation.
In the sight of the nations, he has uncovered his righteousness.
3e 4B 9
11
זָ֘כַ֤ר חַסְדּ֨וֹ ׀ וֶֽאֱֽמוּנָתוֹ֮ לְבֵ֪ית יִשְׂרָ֫אֵ֥ל
רָא֥וּ כָל־אַפְסֵי־אָ֑רֶץ
אֵ֝֗ת יְשׁוּעַ֥ת אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
3 He remembered his mercy and his faithfulness for the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth saw,
the salvation of our God.

~ 3d 4C 14
6
8
הָרִ֣יעוּ לַֽ֭יהוָה כָּל־הָאָ֑רֶץ
פִּצְח֖וּ וְרַנְּנ֣וּ וְזַמֵּֽרוּ
4 Raise a shout to Yahweh all the earth.
Erupt and shout for joy and sing a psalm.
3e 4B 9
9
זַמְּר֣וּ לַיהוָ֣ה בְּכִנּ֑וֹר
בְּ֝כִנּ֗וֹר וְק֣וֹל זִמְרָֽה
5 Sing a psalm to Yahweh on the harp,
on the harp and voice, a psalm.
3e 4B 7
7
בַּ֭חֲצֹ֣צְרוֹת וְק֣וֹל שׁוֹפָ֑ר
הָ֝רִ֗יעוּ לִפְנֵ֤י ׀ הַמֶּ֬לֶךְ יְהוָֽה
6 With the trumpets and the voice of a shophar,
raise a shout in the presence of Yahweh the king.

g 3e 4C 8
10
יִרְעַ֣ם הַ֭יָּם וּמְלֹא֑וֹ
תֵּ֝בֵ֗ל וְיֹ֣שְׁבֵי בָֽהּ
7 Let the sea thunder and its fullness,
the world and those sitting in her.
3e 4B 7
6
נְהָר֥וֹת יִמְחֲאוּ־כָ֑ף
יַ֝֗חַד הָרִ֥ים יְרַנֵּֽנוּ
8 Rivers clap a lapping palm.
Hills as one shout for joy.
3e 4A 7
8
לִֽפְֽנֵי יְהוָ֗ה כִּ֥י בָא֮ לִשְׁפֹּ֪ט הָ֫אָ֥רֶץ
יִשְׁפֹּֽט־תֵּבֵ֥ל בְּצֶ֑דֶק
וְ֝עַמִּ֗ים בְּמֵישָׁרִֽים
9 In the presence of Yahweh, for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in uprightness.
3d 4A 11
7
7

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Psalms 136

 David C. Mitchell writes in what I call his '16 reasons paper'. (It's a good read. Link below.)

There is evidence of a history of musical development within the poetic te‘amim alone. A glance at Psalm 136 shows its cantillation is quite different from its neighbour, Psalm 137. Psalm 136 is practically devoid of supralinear symbols; only two tsinnors in 26 verses. But Psalm 137 is replete with them. The cadences of Psalm 136 are invariably etnaḥ and silluq in each verse. But Psalm 137 cadences not only on etnaḥ and silluq, but also on revia and tifḥa and tsinnor and oleh ve-yored. And Psalm 137 features sign-pairs— revia mugrash and oleh ve-yored—totally absent from Psalm 136.

Let's look at that music and see / hear if we agree. 136 is here. 137 is here

Psalms 136 has a chorus for every verse. It is without ornamentation as he notes except for the two verses. The ornament allows the singer to leap to the high reciting note in each case. Clearly this psalm is meant for antiphonal robust singing. It is simple but not necessarily more primitive. I disagree with Mitchell's thesis that it is therefore older. It's not impossible that it is older, but the music does not support this argument.

Psalms 137 has been set in a mode I would find hard to sing, with the raised 4th. This was Haïk-Vantoura's choice and the soprano Esther Lamandier would certainly have been able to sing it. The bass performer does not use this mode, and he is singing from the Letteris edition, a late (19th century) copy of the text. I rarely use this mode and certainly not when the augmented triad is as pronounced as it is in this song. But the setting is florid in that there are many ornaments. And the psalm is the most troubled and troubling of psalms. Why should its music, still constrained by the subdominant and tonic, not be different and not include some tricola - which would be unsuitable for antiphonal singing?

No performance is available for 136 - but really easy to hear as you read the music. One performance  is available in mp3 or wmv format from the performances post.

Mitchell's paper is available here. An old version (from my 4-year-old phase) of psalm 37 is here.

Psalms 136 Fn Min Max Syll
הוֹד֣וּ לַיהוָ֣ה כִּי־ט֑וֹב
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
1 Give thanks to Yahweh because it is good,
because forever is his kindness.
3e 4B 6
6
ה֭וֹדוּ לֵֽאלֹהֵ֣י הָאֱלֹהִ֑ים
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
2 Give thanks to the God of gods,
because forever is his kindness.
g 3e 4B 9
6
ה֭וֹדוּ לַאֲדֹנֵ֣י הָאֲדֹנִ֑ים
כִּ֖י לְעֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
because forever is his kindness,
g 3e 4B 10
6
לְעֹ֘שֵׂ֤ה נִפְלָא֣וֹת גְּדֹל֣וֹת לְבַדּ֑וֹ
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
4 for alone doing great wonders,
because forever is his kindness.
3e 4C 12
6
לְעֹשֵׂ֣ה הַ֭שָּׁמַיִם בִּתְבוּנָ֑ה
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
5 For making the heavens with understanding,
because forever is his kindness.
3e 4B 9
6
לְרֹקַ֣ע הָ֭אָרֶץ עַל־הַמָּ֑יִם
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
6 For expanding the earth over the waters,
because forever is his kindness.
3e 4B 10
6
לְ֭עֹשֵׂה אוֹרִ֣ים גְּדֹלִ֑ים
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
7 for making the great lights,
because forever is his kindness.
g 3e 4B 8
6
אֶת־הַ֭שֶּׁמֶשׁ לְמֶמְשֶׁ֣לֶת בַּיּ֑וֹם
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
8 Even the sun to govern by day,
because forever is his kindness.
3e 4B 10
6
אֶת־הַיָּרֵ֣חַ וְ֭כוֹכָבִים לְמֶמְשְׁל֣וֹת בַּלָּ֑יְלָה
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
9 Even the moon and stars to govern by night,
because forever is his kindness.
3e 4B 16
6
לְמַכֵּ֣ה מִ֭צְרַיִם בִּבְכוֹרֵיהֶ֑ם
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
10 For striking the firstborn of Egypt,
because forever is his kindness.
3e 4B 9
6
וַיּוֹצֵ֣א יִ֭שְׂרָאֵל מִתּוֹכָ֑ם
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
11 And he brought Israel out from their midst,
because forever is his kindness.
3e 4B 9
6
בְּיָ֣ד חֲ֭זָקָה וּבִזְר֣וֹעַ נְטוּיָ֑ה
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
12 With a courageous hand and by an arm stretched out,
because forever is his kindness.
3e 4B 12
6
לְגֹזֵ֣ר יַם־ס֭וּף לִגְזָרִ֑ים
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
13 For parting the sea of reeds into parts,
because forever is his kindness.
3e 4B 8
6
וְהֶעֱבִ֣יר יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל בְּתוֹכ֑וֹ
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
14 And made Israel pass through in the midst of it,
because forever is his kindness.
3e 4B 10
6
וְנִ֘עֵ֤ר פַּרְעֹ֣ה וְחֵיל֣וֹ בְיַם־ס֑וּף
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
15 And tossed Pharaoh and his force into the sea of reeds,
because forever is his kindness.
3e 4C 11
6
לְמוֹלִ֣יךְ עַ֭מּוֹ בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
16 For walking with his people in the wilderness,
because forever is his kindness,
3e 4B 8
6
לְ֭מַכֵּה מְלָכִ֣ים גְּדֹלִ֑ים
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
17 and he struck great kings,
because forever is his kindness,
g 3e 4B 9
6
וַֽ֭יַּהֲרֹג מְלָכִ֣ים אַדִּירִ֑ים
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
18 and he slew majestic kings,
because forever is his kindness,
g 3e 4B 10
6
לְ֭סִיחוֹן מֶ֣לֶךְ הָאֱמֹרִ֑י
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
19 so Sihon, king of the Amorites,
because forever is his kindness,
g 3e 4B 9
6
וּ֭לְעוֹג מֶ֣לֶךְ הַבָּשָׁ֑ן
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
20 and so Og, king of fruitful Bashan,
because forever is his kindness.
g 3e 4B 7
6
וְנָתַ֣ן אַרְצָ֣ם לְנַחֲלָ֑ה
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
21 And gave their lands as inheritance,
because forever is his kindness,
3e 4B 9
6
נַ֭חֲלָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל עַבְדּ֑וֹ
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
22 the inheritance of Israel his servant,
because forever is his kindness,
g 3e 4B 9
6
שֶׁ֭בְּשִׁפְלֵנוּ זָ֣כַר לָ֑נוּ
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
23 our abasement he remembered for us,
because forever is his kindness.
g 3e 4B 8
6
וַיִּפְרְקֵ֥נוּ מִצָּרֵ֑ינוּ
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
24 And rends us from our troubles,
because forever is his kindness.
3e 4B 9
6
נֹתֵ֣ן לֶ֭חֶם לְכָל־בָּשָׂ֑ר
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
25 Giving bread to all flesh,
because forever is his kindness,
3e 4B 8
6
ה֭וֹדוּ לְאֵ֣ל הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
26 give thanks to the God of Heaven,
because forever is his kindness.
g 3e 4B 8
6

Monday, April 12, 2021

Psalms 118

 Long Psalm, short psalm. When we were learning to sing psalms to Anglican chant or plainsong, I used to remember when there were several psalms appointed for the day, or a particularly long psalm. I wasn't always happy to see a long psalm. How long does it take us to learn to live rather than looking forward to the time that is not yet when we can get back to doing something else?

There are still some long psalms where I can say to myself, 'been here before'. But I think I could be more patient even with English poetry and not be in such a hurry.

For some reason, I never posted a score of Psalms 118, though it is in my book as an example of a psalm that can be used liturgically. It was 2016 and this is among the early setting of the underlay for a passage. As you can see, being a long psalm, and conscious that lunch is in the oven, the liturgist has shortened the psalm to be a reasonable length. (This is very useful if it will be poorly sung.)

Psalms 118, for Easter Day, all years, part 1

Psalms 118, for Easter Day, all years, part 2
This is the day. It is 50 days long. This is the one day that Herbert writes of in his poem, Easter.

Here is the whole psalm. I may have made changes to the translation since I did the underlay.
Psalms 118 Fn Min Max Syll
הוֹד֣וּ לַיהוָ֣ה כִּי־ט֑וֹב
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
1 Give thanks to Yahweh for it is good,
for his kindness is forever.
3e 4B 6
6
יֹֽאמַר־נָ֥א יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
2 May Israel say,
For his kindness is forever.
3e 4B 6
6
יֹֽאמְרוּ־נָ֥א בֵֽית־אַהֲרֹ֑ן
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
3 May the house of Aaron say,
For his kindness is forever.
3e 4B 6
6
יֹֽאמְרוּ־נָ֭א יִרְאֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
4 May those who fear Yahweh say,
For his kindness is forever.

3e 4B 6
6
מִֽן־הַ֭מֵּצַ֥ר קָרָ֣אתִי יָּ֑הּ
עָנָ֖נִי בַמֶּרְחָ֣ב יָֽהּ
5 From the trouble I called Yah.
Yah answered me in a spacious room.
3e 4B 8
7
יְהוָ֣ה לִ֭י לֹ֣א אִירָ֑א
מַה־יַּעֲשֶׂ֖ה לִ֣י אָדָֽם
6 Yahweh for me - I will not fear.
What will an earthling do to me?
3e 4B 6
7
יְהוָ֣ה לִ֭י בְּעֹזְרָ֑י
וַ֝אֲנִ֗י אֶרְאֶ֥ה בְשֹׂנְאָֽי
7 Yahweh is for me with those helping me,
and I myself will see with those hating me.

3e 4B 6
8
ט֗וֹב לַחֲס֥וֹת בַּיהוָ֑ה
מִ֝בְּטֹ֗חַ בָּאָדָֽם
8 Good it is to take refuge in Yahweh,
over trusting in an earthling.
~ 3e 4A 6
6
ט֗וֹב לַחֲס֥וֹת בַּיהוָ֑ה
מִ֝בְּטֹ֗חַ בִּנְדִיבִֽים
9 Good it is to take refuge in Yahweh,
over trusting in princes.

~ 3e 4A 6
6
כָּל־גּוֹיִ֥ם סְבָב֑וּנִי
בְּשֵׁ֥ם יְ֝הוָ֗ה כִּ֣י אֲמִילַֽם
10 All nations surrounded me.
In the name of Yahweh - for I will have them cut down.
3e 4B 7
8
סַבּ֥וּנִי גַם־סְבָב֑וּנִי
בְּשֵׁ֥ם יְ֝הוָ֗ה כִּ֣י אֲמִילַֽם
11 They surrounded me yea surrounded me.
In the name of Yahweh - for I will have them cut down.
3e 4B 8
8
סַבּ֤וּנִי כִדְבוֹרִ֗ים דֹּ֭עֲכוּ כְּאֵ֣שׁ קוֹצִ֑ים
בְּשֵׁ֥ם יְ֝הוָ֗ה כִּ֣י אֲמִילַֽם
12 They surrounded me like a swarm of bees; they are extinguished like a fire of brambles.
In the name of Yahweh - for I will have them cut down.

3e 4C 13
8
דַּחֹ֣ה דְחִיתַ֣נִי לִנְפֹּ֑ל
וַ֖יהוָ֣ה עֲזָרָֽנִי
13 Pushing you push me to fall,
but Yahweh has helped me.

3e 4B 8
6
עָזִּ֣י וְזִמְרָ֣ת יָ֑הּ
וַֽיְהִי־לִ֝֗י לִֽישׁוּעָֽה
14 My strength and psalm is Yah,
and he has become my salvation.
3e 4B 6
6
ק֤וֹל ׀ רִנָּ֬ה וִֽישׁוּעָ֗ה בְּאָהֳלֵ֥י צַדִּיקִ֑ים
יְמִ֥ין יְ֝הוָה עֹ֣שָׂה חָֽיִל
15 A voice of a shout and salvation in the tents of righteous ones,
the right hand of Yahweh making weal,
C 3e 4C 13
8
יְמִ֣ין יְ֭הוָה רוֹמֵמָ֑ה
יְמִ֥ין יְ֝הוָה עֹ֣שָׂה חָֽיִל
16 the right hand of Yahweh celebrated,
the right hand of Yahweh making weal.

3e 4B 7
8
לֹֽא־אָמ֥וּת כִּי־אֶֽחְיֶ֑ה
וַ֝אֲסַפֵּ֗ר מַֽעֲשֵׂ֥י יָֽהּ
17 I will not die for I will live,
and recount the deeds of Yah.
3e 4A 5
8
יַסֹּ֣ר יִסְּרַ֣נִּי יָּ֑הּ
וְ֝לַמָּ֗וֶת לֹ֣א נְתָנָֽנִי
18 To chasten Yah chastened me,
but to death he did not give me over.

3e 4B 6
9
פִּתְחוּ־לִ֥י שַׁעֲרֵי־צֶ֑דֶק
אָֽבֹא־בָ֝ם אוֹדֶ֥ה יָֽהּ
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness.
I will go into them. I will give thanks to Yah.

3e 4A 7
6
זֶֽה־הַשַּׁ֥עַר לַיהוָ֑ה
צַ֝דִּיקִ֗ים יָבֹ֥אוּ בֽוֹ
20 This is the gate of Yahweh.
Righteous ones will go into it.
3e 4A 6
6
א֭וֹדְךָ כִּ֣י עֲנִיתָ֑נִי
וַתְּהִי־לִ֝֗י לִֽישׁוּעָֽה
21 I will thank you for you have answered me,
and you are my salvation.

g 3e 4B 7
6
אֶ֭בֶן מָאֲס֣וּ הַבּוֹנִ֑ים
הָ֝יְתָ֗ה לְרֹ֣אשׁ פִּנָּֽה
22 A stone the builders refused,
becomes the head of the corner.
g 3e 4B 8
6
מֵאֵ֣ת יְ֭הוָה הָ֣יְתָה זֹּ֑את
הִ֖יא נִפְלָ֣את בְּעֵינֵֽינוּ
23 From Yahweh is this.
It is wonderful in our eyes.
3e 4B 7
7
זֶה־הַ֭יּוֹם עָשָׂ֣ה יְהוָ֑ה
נָגִ֖ילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָ֣ה בֽוֹ
24 This is the day Yahweh made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

3e 4B 7
8
אָנָּ֣א יְ֭הוָה הוֹשִׁ֘יעָ֥ה נָּ֑א
אָֽנָּ֥א יְ֝הוָ֗ה הַצְלִ֘יחָ֥ה נָּֽא
25 Beseeching Yahweh may you save.
Beseeching Yahweh may you send prosperity.
3e 4B 8
8
בָּר֣וּךְ הַ֭בָּא בְּשֵׁ֣ם יְהוָ֑ה
בֵּ֝רַֽכְנוּכֶ֗ם מִבֵּ֥ית יְהוָֽה
26 Blessed is the one coming in the name of Yahweh.
We have blessed you from the house of Yahweh.

3e 4B 8
8
אֵ֤ל ׀ יְהוָה֮ וַיָּ֪אֶר־לָ֥נוּ אִסְרוּ־חַ֥ג בַּעֲבֹתִ֑ים
עַד־קַ֝רְנ֗וֹת הַמִּזְבֵּֽחַ
27 Yahweh is God and will show us light. Bind a festive sacrifice with the cords,
even to the horns of the altar.
C 3d 4C 15
7
אֵלִ֣י אַתָּ֣ה וְאוֹדֶ֑ךָּ
אֱ֝לֹהַ֗י אֲרוֹמְמֶֽךָּ
28 My God you are - I will thank you.
My God, I will exalt you.
3e 4B 8
7
הוֹד֣וּ לַיהוָ֣ה כִּי־ט֑וֹב
כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ
29 Give thanks to Yahweh for it is good,
for his kindness is forever.
3e 4B 6
6

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Psalms 33

This was an experimental piece and I had never put it to a score. So here is the psalm for my today.

 2012 was the last time I posted about this psalm - the only psalm between 3 and 41 without an inscription. This makes it stand out in Book 1 as important - not only that but it is celebrated by Psalms 34. (All acrostic psalms celebrate the immediately preceding non-acrostic psalm.)

This psalm anticipates later themes in the Psalter. There's a conversation beginning here with Ken Schenck on reading the whole Bible. Ken is among the most disciplined teachers I have come across. This psalm made me think about how we read the Biblical Story.

Psalms 33 Fn Min Max Syll
רַנְּנ֣וּ צַ֭דִּיקִים בַּֽיהוָ֑ה
לַ֝יְשָׁרִ֗ים נָאוָ֥ה תְהִלָּֽה
1 Shout for joy, righteous ones, in Yahweh.
To the upright praise is lovely.
3e 4B 7
8
הוֹד֣וּ לַיהוָ֣ה בְּכִנּ֑וֹר
בְּנֵ֥בֶל עָ֝שׂ֗וֹר זַמְּרוּ־לֽוֹ
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on a harp.
On a ten-stringed lute sing a psalm to him.
3e 4B 7
7
שִֽׁירוּ־ל֭וֹ שִׁ֣יר חָדָ֑שׁ
הֵיטִ֥יבוּ נַ֝גֵּ֗ן בִּתְרוּעָֽה
3 Sing to him a new song.
Well-practiced, perform with jubilation.

3e 4B 5
8
כִּֽי־יָשָׁ֥ר דְּבַר־יְהוָ֑ה
וְכָל־מַ֝עֲשֵׂ֗הוּ בֶּאֱמוּנָֽה
4 For upright is the word of Yahweh,
and all he makes is in faithfulness.
3e 4A 6
10
אֹ֭הֵב צְדָקָ֣ה וּמִשְׁפָּ֑ט
חֶ֥סֶד יְ֝הוָ֗ה מָלְאָ֥ה הָאָֽרֶץ
5 loving righteousness and judgment.
The earth is full of the mercy of Yahweh.

g 3e 4B 8
9
בִּדְבַ֣ר יְ֭הוָה שָׁמַ֣יִם נַעֲשׂ֑וּ
וּבְר֥וּחַ פִּ֝֗יו כָּל־צְבָאָֽם
6 In the word of Yahweh the heavens are made,
and in the wind of his mouth all their hosts,
3e 4B 9
8
כֹּנֵ֣ס כַּ֭נֵּד מֵ֣י הַיָּ֑ם
נֹתֵ֖ן בְּאֹצָר֣וֹת תְּהוֹמֽוֹת
7 garnering as a heap the waters of the sea,
giving abysses in treasuries.

3e 4B 7
9
יִֽירְא֣וּ מֵ֭יְהוָה כָּל־הָאָ֑רֶץ
מִמֶּ֥נּוּ יָ֝ג֗וּרוּ כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֥י תֵבֵֽל
8 From Yahweh all the earth will fear.
From him let all those sitting in the world be in awe.
3e 4B 9
11
כִּ֤י ה֣וּא אָמַ֣ר וַיֶּ֑הִי
הֽוּא־צִ֝וָּ֗ה וַֽיַּעֲמֹֽד
9 For he himself promises and it is,
he himself commands and it stands.

C 3e 4C 7
7
יְֽהוָ֗ה הֵפִ֥יר עֲצַת־גּוֹיִ֑ם
הֵ֝נִ֗יא מַחְשְׁב֥וֹת עַמִּֽים
10 Yahweh frustrates the counsel of nations.
He hinders the devices of peoples.
3e 4A 8
7
עֲצַ֣ת יְ֭הוָה לְעוֹלָ֣ם תַּעֲמֹ֑ד
מַחְשְׁב֥וֹת לִ֝בּ֗וֹ לְדֹ֣ר וָדֹֽר
11 The counsel of Yahweh forever will stand,
the devices of his heart from generation to generation.
3e 4B 10
9
אַשְׁרֵ֣י הַ֭גּוֹי אֲשֶׁר־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֑יו
הָעָ֓ם ׀ בָּחַ֖ר לְנַחֲלָ֣ה לֽוֹ
12 Happy the nation whose God is Yahweh,
the people chosen as his inheritance.

3e 4B 12
9
מִ֭שָּׁמַיִם הִבִּ֣יט יְהוָ֑ה
רָ֝אָ֗ה אֶֽת־כָּל־בְּנֵ֥י הָאָדָֽם
13 From the heavens Yahweh takes note.
He sees all the human children.
g 3e 4B 7
9
מִֽמְּכוֹן־שִׁבְתּ֥וֹ הִשְׁגִּ֑יחַ
אֶ֖ל כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֣י הָאָֽרֶץ
14 From his established seat he peers,
at all those sitting on the earth.
3e 4B 7
7
הַיֹּצֵ֣ר יַ֣חַד לִבָּ֑ם
הַ֝מֵּבִ֗ין אֶל־כָּל־מַעֲשֵׂיהֶֽם
15 He fashioned together their heart.
He understands all their deeds.

3e 4B 7
9
אֵֽין־הַ֭מֶּלֶךְ נוֹשָׁ֣ע בְּרָב־חָ֑יִל
גִּ֝בּ֗וֹר לֹֽא־יִנָּצֵ֥ל בְּרָב־כֹּֽחַ
16 There is no king victorious by abundant force.
One who prevails is not delivered by abundant power.
3e 4B 10
9
שֶׁ֣קֶר הַ֭סּוּס לִתְשׁוּעָ֑ה
וּבְרֹ֥ב חֵ֝יל֗וֹ לֹ֣א יְמַלֵּֽט
17 A false hope is the horse in victory,
and in his abundant force he will not escape.

B 3e 4B 7
8
הִנֵּ֤ה עֵ֣ין יְ֭הוָה אֶל־יְרֵאָ֑יו
לַֽמְיַחֲלִ֥ים לְחַסְדּֽוֹ
18 Note this: the eye of Yahweh is on those who fear him,
on those in hope of his mercy,
3e 4C 9
7
לְהַצִּ֣יל מִמָּ֣וֶת נַפְשָׁ֑ם
וּ֝לְחַיּוֹתָ֗ם בָּרָעָֽב
19 to deliver from death their being,
and to keep them alive in scarcity.

3e 4B 8
7
נַ֭פְשֵׁנוּ חִכְּתָ֣ה לַֽיהוָ֑ה
עֶזְרֵ֖נוּ וּמָגִנֵּ֣נוּ הֽוּא
20 Our being tarries for Yahweh.
He is our help and our shield.
g 3e 4B 7
9
כִּי־ב֭וֹ יִשְׂמַ֣ח לִבֵּ֑נוּ
כִּ֤י בְשֵׁ֖ם קָדְשׁ֣וֹ בָטָֽחְנוּ
21 For in him our heart will be glad,
for in his holy name we have trusted.
3e 4C 6
8
יְהִֽי־חַסְדְּךָ֣ יְהוָ֣ה עָלֵ֑ינוּ
כַּ֝אֲשֶׁ֗ר יִחַ֥לְנוּ לָֽךְ
22 Let your mercy Yahweh be on us,
for it is of you that we hope.
3e 4B 10
7

Friday, April 9, 2021

Musical compositions 2019-2021 - pandemic composing

Here are the arrangements I have made of the deciphering of the te'amim from July 2019 to March 2021. [extended for completeness to include some earlier work] (See the previous post for the original work on this interpretation of the te'amim.)

The Performances are mostly mechanical. 3 have been performed live, 1 Samuel 17 as a lesson long ago - 2015?, Isaiah 12 and Psalms 145. Psalms 96 and 100 are pending performance(*). If you would like to perform any of these liturgically or in concert, please let me know. Tweet me at drmacdonald.

Liturgical arrangements and other shorter pieces
Title Performance Genre Instr Language Comments
Kyrie eleison Missa Brevis chorus SATB Greek Based on: Ps 6:3
Sanctus chorus SATB Latin Isa 6:3
Benedictus chorus SATB Latin Psa 118:25
Agnus Dei chorus SATB Latin Isa 53:7,12b
Magnificat 1Sa 2 chorus SSATB English Evensong Canticle
David and the Philistine 1Sa 17 trio 3 voices English Year B Season after Pentecost 
Elegy 2Sa 1:19-27 quintet strings Hebrew Elegy
A baby is born Isa 9:1 carol SATB, percussion English or Hebrew Christmas is coming
You will draw water Isa 12 chorus soprano SATB, congregation English Isaiah 12 as a psalm
The Spirit of Yahweh Isa 61 solo Mezzo harp English
Jeremiah 28 Jer 28:5-9 rebuke SATB English Year A 5th Sunday after Pentecost
Story Jonah story SATB harp English That great tale
Shout for Joy Psa 33 chorus SATB harp Hebrew Score
To Jeduthun Psa 39 solo Voice, violin, harp English To Jeduthun
Psalms 65 Psa 65 air solo English Psalms 65
Psalms 69 Psa 69 locrian solo Hebrew Psalms 69
Sing to Yahweh a New Song* Psa 96:1-13 unison voices English Score
Sing to Yahweh a New Song Psa 96:1-13 chorus tenor TTBB English Christmas all years, Year C proper 4
Jubilate* Psa 100:1-5 motet voices English Mattins Canticle
Jubilate unison voices English
Give thanks to Yahweh Psa 118:1 unison voices English Easter, all years
Psalms 145 Psa 145:8-14 acrostic SSATB English Psalms 145
Genesis 22 Gen 22:1-14 test SAAB English RCL Easter Vigil
Let him kiss me Song  1:1-2:7 chorus SATB Hebrew Song 1
Aleph Lam 1:1-4 chorus SATB, orchestra or organ + timpani English Lamentations
A time Eccl 3:1-15 chorus SATB, strings English Time

Unleashing Leviathan, an oratorio in 7 sections, (39 elements) 
Documented with score here
The first day Gen 1:1-5 recit soprano, harp, unison chorus Hebrew Gen 1:1-5
The heavens recount the glory of God recit, chorus soprano, SATB English Psa 19:1-7
The man from Uz recit, chorus tenor, SATB English Job 1:1,19-22
You have seduced me recit bass, harp Hebrew or English Jer 20:7
Perish! day when I was born recit tenor, harp English Job 3:3
Let it be darkness duet bass, harp English Jer 20:14-17
Let it be darkness duet tenor, harp English Job 3:4-8
An oracle chorale SATB, organ English Psa 110:1,2, 5-7
The second day Gen 1:6-8 recit soprano, harp, unison chorus Hebrew Gen 1:6-8
Lullaby for an Infant Humanity aria soprano, alto, SATB, harp, percussion English Pro 8:1-4,22-24,27,29-32, 34-35
And Yahweh answered Job chorus soprano, SATB, harp English Job 38:1-2
Where were you chorus SATB, harp English Job 38:4-7
Hallelujah, I will thank Yahweh chorale SATB, organ English Psa 111:1-3
Hallelujah, A happy person fears Yahweh chorale SATB, organ English Psa 112:1-3
The third day Gen 1:9-13 recit soprano, harp, unison chorus Hebrew Gen 1:9-13
The earth aria alto, SATB, harp English Psa 24
And Yahweh answered Job recit soprano, harp Hebrew or English Job 38:1
Or who screened in Ocean chorus SATB, harp English Job 38:8-11
Praise, servants of Yahweh chorale SATB, organ English Psa 113
The fourth day Gen 1:14-19 recit soprano, harp, unison chorus Hebrew Gen 1:14-19
For I see your heavens aria tenor, organ, harp English Psa 8:4-7
The Pleiades, Orion, and the Great Bear chorus SATB, organ English Job 38:31-32
The heavens’ heavens chorus SATB, organ English Psa 113:16
The fifth day Gen 1:20-23 recit soprano, harp, unison chorus Hebrew Gen 1:20-23
Am I the sea or a dragon? chorus SATB, harp English Job 7:12
Behemoth chorus SATB, organ English Job 40:15-19
Redemption chorale SATB, organ English Psa 114:1-3a
Not to us, Yahweh chorale SATB, organ English Psa 115:1
The sixth day Gen 1:24-31 recit soprano, harp, unison chorus Hebrew Gen 1:24-31
I saw the land + Genesis duet soprano bass, harp English and Hebrew Jer 4:23-27
What is this humanity + Psalm 8 trio ATB, harp English Psa 144:3
What is this humanity + Psalm 8 trio ATB, harp English Job 7:17,19
Leviathan chorus SATB, harp English Job 41
Yahweh heard aria soprano SATB, harp English Psa 116
The seventh day Gen 2:1-3 recit soprano, harp, unison chorus Hebrew Gen 2:1-3
to the Sabbath aria alto SATB, harp English Psa 92
Praise, all nations aria soprano SATB, wood block English Psa 117
Praise, all breath-bearing chorale SATB, harp, wood block, organ, trumpet, timpani English Psa 150