Saturday, 5 March 2022

The first musical example in Delitzsch Physiology and Music

This is a very disappointing section. There is great detail on pronunciation and so on in this book, but next to zero in the music section about the music itself. And precious little about accents. The images were clearly included as an afterthought without serious reflection as to how to present or process them.

In accordance with our topic, we were only concerned with the singing lecture that follows the accent signs of the Old Testament text. Excluded were the two recitative-like performances of the Psalms, the ordinary and the antiphonal one of Ps. 119, divided between the prayer leader and the congregation; excluding the peculiar melody of the 5th chapter of the Jeremiah Lamentations. These three sages are the same for each verse and are not tied to the accents. The musical element of Hebrew grammar is the accentuological one. The purpose of the three supplements is to give an idea of ​​this, for example. The beginning of Genesis was deliberately not chosen as a sample of the Pentateuchic cantillation: it is relatively monotonous because many accents are not used there. As a sample of the prophetic cantillation, Isaiah Cap. 1, but this is the prophetic pericope for the mourning Sabbath before the day of the destruction of Jerusalem, which is also exceptionally sung in the mourning tune of the Jeremiah lamentations. The above pieces of music give the three different intonations of the accents according to the usual ways. The teacher S. BAER was commissioned with the design with the assistance of Mainzer and Frankfurter Chazanim (presingers). Music Director Dr. LANGER encouraged me to publish these samples, which he considered to be national and full of character.

As usual, the musician and the grammarian communicate in their separate silos and cannot get the ideas across. In our day, music has often been criticized by the ordained preachers (though not always). During the pandemic, it was the musicians who could actually make the spiritual point through their virtual performance and from what we have seen, they have excelled in their work.

I could probably get more from the full text, but I think the reward is not worth the effort at the moment. I am not going to learn physiology in German after all. The copy I have been working on is very poor in its OCR in any case.

"The Intonation of the Accents in the Ashkenazi (German-Jewish) way"
(Page 1 Ex 13:17-18a.)

Page 2 of Exod. 13:17-22

Here is a limited 'zarqa-table' for two verses of this passage from Exodus. The image (one of two) reveals that either the text fails to include the zarqa or the zarqa is equivalent to revia in this example.  The zarqa is definitely in the text of the Aleppo Codex.  

The accents need analysis. Again following this transformation manually is slow and painstaking work. Usually I produce the music by automation, but here I am copying by hand and following the application of the accents to the text. This Torah portion is not as consistent as the haftarah in the prior post in the series.
Two verses 17 and 18 of the above showing the accents and their motifs.

Besides the apparent equivalence of the shape of zarqa darga and revia (bars 1, 3, 23), the mahpakh (bar 7) like the pazer in verse 21 (see above, Page 2 - middle second line) rises to a high g. This was obviously written for a tenor. The tessitura in the Haïk-Vantoura keys rarely rises that high. The mahpak (on derek below) simply changes the reciting note to the c. The pazer at the beginning of verse 21 is not such a reach: 
Exof.17:21 pazer and telisha qetana

The variation in interpretation of the munah, red circles in the above example, is a bit perplexing. One can see also how in the absence of the concept of current reciting note, that the underlay for the words would be highly subject to variation. There is no clear rhythmic concept in the bars of the traditional music, because the accents of the text do not correspond with the down beat.

Nonetheless, the potential for beauty is available for a well instructed singer of recitative in both the traditional trope and the trope with the variable reciting note concept. I have compared these in a previous post. There is more tonal variety in the Ashkenazi above than in Jacobson and there are several similarities and differences. I can see that comparing zarqa tables could be a suitable way of developing a thesis about the changes in these tropes over time and over geography.
The same two verses 17 and 18 using the Haïk-Vantoura deciphering key.

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