Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Psalm 32 - Singing the Psalter

shows the missing silluq in the WLC
I have spent few days developing a version of Psalm 32 in English. There are significant differences from the version that Suzanne Haik Vantoura developed. Her version uses the Letteris edition of the Hebrew text. This edition differs from the Aleppo codex which she likely never saw.  Also available to me is the electronic edition of the Westminster Leningrad codex. This too disagrees with Letteris - but it is also defective in part. An obvious defect is the missing silluq at the end of verse 2. This is missing in the electronic version but (I hope) not in the facsimile.  But - alas - here (right image) is the missing bit extracted from the large facsimile pdf online here. (Grateful for the TOC here.)
shows the silluq - short vertical stroke - where expected

And here (left) is the Aleppo codex with the silluq clearly shown.

Isn't it amazing that one can do textual criticism from one's office at home!

There are bigger problems with this psalm and I have not pursued them all in detail. It is possible that the Aleppo codex may be wrong - who really knows. It is almost 1000 years later than the last time these songs could have been sung in the temple.

Here is my music for a few verses. Some of the problems are evident. Compare vs 3 - mine (computer generated from the Leningrad data) goes up - hers goes down. And in verse 4 (not shown for shv) it gets worse.  What does Aleppo say - is it closer to WLC?  I am glad to say it agrees with the WLC - yea!!!  Enough pictures - you can see it for yourself here. And if you want to critique my score - leave me a comment and I will send it to you.