Saturday, February 9, 2013

Psalm 96 - Words and Music

This video is really quite astonishing, [HT Jonathan Wheeler.] considering the melody and the ornamentation have been constructed from what was for 1000 years considered punctuation. (See my cheat sheet here.) The harmonies and instrumentation are not in the Hebrew text but are an imaginative reconstruction.
Notice the construction that shows an awareness of musical form. The text with pointing (but not the Letteris edition) is here.

This is the command:

Sing to יהוה a new song // sing to יהוה all the earth // sing to יהוה bless his name // publish from day to day his salvation // Recount his glory among the nations to all the peoples his wonders

The text does not divide in its recurrence pattern exactly as the music suggests, rather the last verse of each section links to the following section as if building the poem in a cascade.  This illustrates that much more is to be learned about the text of the Bible by singing it rather than punctuating it.

What is this new song? This is a theme already sounded in Psalms 33 and 40 and to be heard again in Psalms 98, 144, and 149. Note this phrase also in Revelation 5:9.

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