Saturday, December 3, 2011

Music exposes the meaningless

I was brought to a musical standstill - a muting of all instruments, by Psalm 7:8.  There is no way to compose an opera of recitation when you don't know who is speaking and about what. What appeal is being made in this verse on whose behalf?

My current experimental thesis is that the psalms are collected in the shadow of the exile. Does that help to supply a character to the tribes? I searched my available texts and found an article that reconstructs a new text: The textual problems of Psalm 7, Jacob Leveen, Cambridge.  He suggests, among many emendations, reading אֱלֹהִים gods for לְאֻמִּים tribes. I don't think that will help the music much. The help to the assembly of the tribes seems more immediate in any age whether of David or of post-exile or even of today with our current tribal conflicts.

OK - so back to the imagining of a leit-motif for the tribes...