Saturday, March 5, 2016

There is no point in hurrying

I have an outline of my introduction to the music of the Bible - but it is half cooked.  At 115 pages or so and growing, it tells the scriptural story in selected music. I am aiming for 150 pages max for this book. I keep finding more stuff that could be included, some to tell the story in the Bible, and some to tell the story of how people try to explain the accents.

Listen to the first paragraph of this review of Daniel Meir Weil The Masoretic Chant of the Hebrew Bible.
Never before have I found a book so hard to review. The learned author spent years researching the most complex material, and probably even more time working our an original theory to account for all the ramifications. The result is a methodical, challenging, but frustrating illustration of the perils of scholarship: how a conscientious researcher, while doing his best to explain everything, can still baffle his readers and lose them.
Well, I was reading an unreadable copy of part of Weil's thesis and I was lost. I also thought that it would not be worth the effort to try and understand what he is talking about. So I am glad to hear that others get lost in his work too.

Breakthroughs in teaching are hard, I guess.  I suppose one might want to impress others by making it difficult to understand. Not too good an idea, I think. I hope I can avoid this. I will begin in a few days with a short presentation at the University of Victoria, then I will present my appendix (an updated copy of an earlier essay written over the last 2 years.)  I will post the appendix here.

Thus book is at least 8 months out - maybe more, to let it cook adequately. I am happy to have helpers - readers, and those who suggest where I have holes in the text. Let me know... twitter handle is @drmacdonald.

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