Music and text don't go together easily. We are taught as children to speed read and we learned to go so fast we don't remember much at all.
There are techniques to slow us down, like poetry. But the speedy are impatient.
Our bodies are inference engines. We infer knowledge and information from pondering and being still as well as from going faster, higher, and stronger. Perhaps we should sit very still for a moment. We should come to a rest. We should enter into that rest.
Why should you stop there for a moment?
Because I love you.
Why did you rest on that word?
Because I love you.
OK, OK enough slop. What's to learn - get on with it.
Learn fast how to slow down. Look back at that first sentence and I will explain. It is a simple tune. We start on Mi (Doh Re Mi). Always on that note - take it as given. In a sense it is the real tonic. And for convenience I will let it be the note, E, two notes above Middle C on the piano, or the traditional lower and upper string note of the guitar.
Notice there are two classes of signals in that first line - those below the letters and those above the letters. Altogether there are 6 signs in the music.
The left-leaning slash \ (once below the text and once above)
The hat ^ (once below the text)
The asterisk or star * (once above the text)
The right-leaning slash / (once below the text)
and the vertical line | (once below the text)
If a sign is below the text, it indicates a change in the reciting note. If a sign is above the text it indicates an ornament of some sort.
In the above case the reciting notes are E (the default start - mi mi mi mi), then G \ (sharpen it if you like) then A, ^ a point of rest. The ornament leaves and returns to the reciting note. There are two ornaments on 'how-will' and they might be C-A, and G#-A, then the music changes note to an F# / and finally it returns to the E |.If a sign is below the text, it indicates a change in the reciting note. If a sign is above the text it indicates an ornament of some sort.
These signs are an encoding of the text to teach you how the music is formed. Now how did we get there - to this interpretation of the signs. I will try to give you some indication in my next post.
See the music page for the links to all 929 chapters of the Hebrew Bible.