Friday, February 6, 2015

Haik-Vantoura and Wikipedia

Well - I can't find either of the referenced articles and the comment below is ad hominem as far as I am concerned. It's a nasty way of saying she doesn't know what she's done and that she is out to lunch. It has zero information as to why she is out to lunch.
Note: There has been an attempted reconstruction of the original melody by Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura, on the basis of the shapes and positions of the marks and without any reference to existing melodies, as described in her book La musique de la Bible révélée and her records. That reconstruction assumes the signs represent the degrees of various musical scales, that is individual notes, which puts it at odds with all existing traditions where the signs invariably represent melodic motives. Musicologists have rejected her results as dubious and her methodology as flawed: cf. Dalia Cohen and Daniel Weill. "Progress in Deductive Research on the Original Performance of Tiberian Accents (Te'amim)." Proceedings of the Ninth World Conference of Jewish Studies, Division D, Vol. II (Jerusalem, 1986): 265-80; cf. also e.g. the review by P.T. Daniels, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 112, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1992), p. 499.
from Wikipedia as of the date of this post. Why do people allow such footnotes? At the very least a one line summary of dubious results and flawed methodology should be considered.

I like being out to lunch with such beauty. I also like being out to lunch with such determination. SHV was doing her work during and after the war, a refugee in the south of France because of her religion.

I cannot say that the traditional cantillation moves me in the same way as her theory does. But the conjunctive/disjunctive stuff has to be considered. The question is, is this really punctuation, or is the punctuation explanation a way of describing music for generations of the deaf?  My first requirement is not to memorize a bunch of rules but to examine the data. As I have noted, this will take a while, but as I discover what is missing from the puzzle pieces, I will share them. My method is similar to hers, take note of the statistics and the patterns and use the musical mind to inform the theory. I have significant advantages and much disadvantage over her. I have the computer and my data is growing piece by piece. I am a musician but not with her credentials. But I have computer programming and search skills that she would never have dreamed of.

The Merkha Kefula is rare. There are only 8 or so in the Bible. By luck I have one in my data at the moment. Here it is: רִ֦יב in Habakkuk 1:3b. The sign is a double merkha.
I had missed it so I just added it to the program. Without it, the leap is from C to G#, a bit awkward but not impossible. I have made it equivalent to the regular merkha. Now what can one do with all these signs except make them nearly impossible to hear. I must find the other 13 instances - I will eventually, and then we will see and hear if there is a special need for it, or whether it is a textual accident.

I don't think I can figure out how many columns to use to organize these ultra-confusing names, codes, and purposes of the signs! I refuse to believe that anything so lovely has to be so full of obfuscation. Here's yet another table, levels of disjunction and conjunction and the musical interpretation - can it be simplified. Next post hopefully.


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