Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The verses of Psalm 119 that lack any cadence

Psalm 119 is 176 verses long. It is an 8 fold alphabetic acrostic celebrating the poet's love of Torah under 8 repeating synonyms. The poet recognizes his own weakness. There are no secondary cadences in the Psalm and there are 27 verses with no primary cadence yet several of these could use one and perhaps in some editions of the Hebrew they have one.

This raises the obvious questions that have been with us for some time. How reliable are these accents? They are at least as reliable as the music they portray make them more transparent as to the sense they give to the text. So far that appears to be a significant step toward clarity.

Here they are with very abbreviated music. Without even reading the words, I can imagine that those that start above the e (tonic) are completing a comment on the prior verse or verses. Those that start and end on e are statements in themselves that are complete but the poet wants us not to stop until we have read the whole verse.
119:2g f# f# e4
119:4g f# f# e4
119:5g f# f# e4
119:12e g f# f# e5
119:14e g f# B e1
119:17e g e f# e f# e1
119:24e e g f# e1
119:26e B g e f# e1
119:33e B g f# f# e4
119:34g f# e f# e1
119:36e g B e1
119:44e g f# f# e5
119:46e B g f# B e1
119:47e e f# B e1
119:48e e e g f# f# e1
119:52C g f# e e1
119:54g e f# B e1
119:57e g f# f# e5
119:64e B g f# f# e4
119:68e f# f# e1
119:103e B g f# e1
119:112e B g f# f# e4
119:124e g f# f# e5
119:130e g f# f# e5
119:140e g f# e f# e1
119:144g f# f# e4
119:145e B g f# f# e4

I am sure you would like me to put them all together in one score - alas that might be a bit tedious and then we would just ask more questions about what preceded and followed them. Here is the whole score for Psalm 119.



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