Thursday, June 19, 2014

Music and punctuation

If the te'amim were punctuation, one might expect the signs to be the same if the same words were used in differing passages. (Though admittedly, I hardly ever punctuate poetry and prose the same way.)

Nonetheless, recall Jeremiah 20:10 and its similarity to Psalm 31:14. The te'amim are not quite the same. Here is Psalm 31:14, a carefully constructed cadence at the close of the common words 'terror surrounding' part way through the first part of the verse and of course not in the prophetic mode but the psalms mode.

Here's Psalm 31:14a - read an F# in the key signature (default for the Psalms). The first three bars have three different reciting notes (C, F#, D#) per my interpretive process. (Compare Psalm 2 also alluded to in Jeremiah 10 as noted in the earlier post.)
 כִּ֤י שָׁמַ֨עְתִּי ׀ דִּבַּ֥ת רַבִּים֮ מָג֪וֹר מִסָּ֫בִ֥יב בְּהִוָּסְדָ֣ם יַ֣חַד עָלַ֑י 
For I have heard the defamation of many,
terror surrounding,
they have reasoned together over me
And here's Jeremiah 20:10a - there is some similarity and some difference in ornamentation. It is all on one reciting note (B)
 If you read the first part of Jeremiah 20, you will note that he calls his adversary magormisaviv- suitable to be translated exactly as the rendering in verse 10 of course - not like the KJV! I guess this is calling the head of security a 'walking disaster' or the like.

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