Friday, 29 April 2022

With or without religion?

 Two quotes from Chesterton - accidentally encountered.

A religion is not the church a man goes to but the cosmos he lives in; ...
Wherever men are still theological there is still some chance of their being logical.

Every detail study leads us, for all our logic and capacity, into vast areas of the unknown.

I am doing an exercise trying to imagine letters to my children (and grandchildren) without being too specific or direct. Like a spider sailing into the air to find a node for her net, and weaving multiple shapes in which to catch the unwary prey, I am throwing out these lines of thought. Have any of our traditional words got the strength of a spider's web? 

Each node in the web holds a puzzle piece to be turned over. Are there any with straight edges? Do adjacent nodes have shapes that fit or matching colours? I have turned over 6 nodes so far: In the Beginning, The Human Situation, The Problem Space, Holiness, Trust, Instruction. They seem to get harder and harder. The number of keywords explodes. The number of synonyms too. Much that is unsuitable for children until their 50th birthday and perhaps not even then.

It is the cosmos I live in. I thought theological was bordering on the illogical, but with so many unknowns, so many gaps, we are far from being able to abandon theology. If God (pronouns: they, their, one, themself) did not exist, they would have to be invented.

שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה ׀ אֶחָֽד

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Turn it over and turn it over (again)

This could not fit my mood better as I try to form words from science and experience for my children's children. 

bn bg bg aomr Ben Bag Bag said
hpc bh vhpc bh dcla bh Turn it over and turn it over for all is in it
ubh tkzi vsib ublh bh And in it gaze and grow grey-haired and fade away in it
umnh la tzuy And from it do not be unnerved
wain lc mdh 'tobh himnhThat you have no better portion than this

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Psalms 78 - a question

 What's bugging me today? With war, social disruption, privacy laws that protect the rich from scrutiny even by the government, the attempted coding of 'trust' in the sphere of money, our fear for our planet and destruction by fire, I'm bugged by the difficulty of communicating with my children in any form of language - and it has to be metaphorical, for that's all that language is.

Asaph had the same problem and he had instruction to follow even if it was perplexing to them also. After all he as much as admits that their own generation didn't get it. But they could still try and find some common ground with their children.

I'm looking for a host of keywords and stories that we might begin to share. Things like creation, time, material, energy, birth, physics, light, science, metaphor, abundance, life, DNA, design, good and evil, relationships, puzzles, language, completeness, safety, courage, faithfulness, trust, truth, holiness, money, business, discipline, persistence, love, Yahweh, sanctus, sanctuary, Egypt, 

Stories and sayings, parables, riddles, ... so they might set up their folly in God, and not forget the prodigality of God, and observe his commandments, ...

Folly! Prodigality!

Interesting article from Bart Ehrman this morning. Essentially he asks: About what other form of knowledge or belief would we say that it is better that we should think the way we did when we were 16 than the way we think now?

We should never say this is anyone's ultimate expectation. It's an attempt to stultify growth. You can be sure that Asaph is not 16. 

So what does this set of religious stories give us that we can pass on?

מַשְׂכִּ֗יל לְאָ֫סָ֥ף
הַאֲזִ֣ינָה עַ֭מִּי תּוֹרָתִ֑י
הַטּ֥וּ אָ֝זְנְכֶ֗ם לְאִמְרֵי־פִֽי
1 An insight of Asaph.
Listen my people to my instruction.
Bend your ears to the sayings of my mouth.
אֶפְתְּחָ֣ה בְמָשָׁ֣ל פִּ֑י
אַבִּ֥יעָה חִ֝יד֗וֹת מִנִּי־קֶֽדֶם
2 I will open my mouth in a parable.
I will ferment riddles from of old,
אֲשֶׁ֣ר שָׁ֭מַעְנוּ וַנֵּדָעֵ֑ם
וַ֝אֲבוֹתֵ֗ינוּ סִפְּרוּ־לָֽנוּ
3 which we have heard and known,
and our ancestors recounted to us.
לֹ֤א נְכַחֵ֨ד ׀ מִבְּנֵיהֶ֗ם לְד֥וֹר אַחֲר֗וֹן מְֽ֭סַפְּרִים תְּהִלּ֣וֹת יְהוָ֑ה
וֶעֱזוּז֥וֹ וְ֝נִפְלְאוֹתָ֗יו אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָֽׂה
4 ♪C We will not conceal from their children in the generation to follow, recounting the praises of Yahweh,
and his strength and his wonders which he did.
וַיָּ֤קֶם עֵד֨וּת ׀ בְּֽיַעֲקֹ֗ב וְתוֹרָה֮ שָׂ֤ם בְּיִשְׂרָ֫אֵ֥ל
אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִ֭וָּה אֶת־אֲבוֹתֵ֑ינוּ
לְ֝הוֹדִיעָ֗ם לִבְנֵיהֶֽם
5 He raised a testimony in Jacob and he set up instruction in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors,
to make known to their children,
לְמַ֤עַן יֵדְע֨וּ ׀ דּ֣וֹר אַ֭חֲרוֹן בָּנִ֣ים יִוָּלֵ֑דוּ
יָ֝קֻ֗מוּ וִֽיסַפְּר֥וּ לִבְנֵיהֶֽם
6 so that the generation to follow will know. The children to be born,
will arise and recount to their children,
וְיָשִׂ֥ימוּ בֵֽאלֹהִ֗ים כִּ֫סְלָ֥ם
וְלֹ֣א יִ֭שְׁכְּחוּ מַֽעַלְלֵי־אֵ֑ל
וּמִצְוֺתָ֥יו יִנְצֹֽרוּ
7 so they might set up their folly in God,
and not forget the prodigality of God,
and observe his commandments,
וְלֹ֤א יִהְי֨וּ ׀ כַּאֲבוֹתָ֗ם דּוֹר֮ סוֹרֵ֪ר וּמֹ֫רֶ֥ה
דּ֭וֹר לֹא־הֵכִ֣ין לִבּ֑וֹ
וְלֹא־נֶאֶמְנָ֖ה אֶת־אֵ֣ל רוּחֽוֹ
8 and not become like their ancestors, a rebellious and provocative generation,
a generation not preparing its heart,
and whose spirit did not believe God.


Saturday, 16 April 2022

Looking back 12 years

 The old blogs are gone - Singing in the reign and Clayboy. The videos of Lamentations are gone - the YouTube subscriber deleted the account.

I thought I might try to write about my personal theology - there are 282 posts of mine labeled such - good grief. It's a book project.

12 years ago, translating Lamentations for perhaps the first time, it is the same me but I am not sure I recognize myself. I was more transparent then perhaps. Is opacity solidness Mr Lewis?

I am writing as I listen to the Easter vigil from Ely. I also heard today some of the 1725 St John Passion. Bach's extemporization on a chorale Himmel reiße is a knockout - more of his delight in structuring his music around the chorales. It was not in the version of the St John that I sang many times. And as evangelist twice before my vocal technique left me with my cancer treatments. But my language does not share these images fully. So at some point, I must write. I wonder if an SHV cantus firmus could survive such an accompaniment. Certainly the ancients were not working in a dominant-tonic model but some of those psalms could be used I think. Come on, real composers - take up my challenge and let me know.

Bass aria
Himmel reiße, Welt erbebe, fallt in meinen Trauerton,
sehet meine Qual und Angst, was ich, Jesu, mit dir leide!

Ja, ich zähle deine Schmerzen, o zerschlagner Gottessohn,
ich erwähle Golgatha für die schnöde Weltgebäude.

Werden auf den Kreuzeswegen deine Dornen ausgesät,
weil ich in Zufriedenheit mich in deine Wunden senke,
so erblick ich in dem Sterben, wenn ein stürmend Wetter weht,
diesen Ort, dahin ich mich täglich durch den Glauben lenke.

Soprano chorale
Jesu, deine Passion ist mir lauter Freude,
deine Wunden, Kron, und Hohn meines Herzens Weide.

Meine Seel auf Rosen geht, wenn ich dran gedenke, 
in dem Himmel eine Stätt mir deswegwn schenke!

Score is here.


Friday, 15 April 2022

Double Merkha

One sign is interpreted by Haïk-Vantoura as both a change in reciting note and an ornament. This is the thin edge of the wedge to obscure the clarity of the design and lead to all sorts of off the wall melismas. I think it is an unsupportable move on her part.

I have not interpreted the double merkha ֦ as anything except a typo for a galgal ֛ . It almost looks to me like a bug in my program! I recall thinking it was a typo for a merkha ֥  - but that's not what is in my rather obscurely written code from 10 years ago. The difference is a d following the c - rather than an f. I know better than to claim my program was is or will be bug free. Creation is not bug free either.

It affects the interpretation of only 14 verses: 1 Kings (twice) - 10:3, 20:29, 2 Chronicles (twice) - 9:2, 20:30, Exodus 5.15, Ezekiel 14.4, Ezra 7.25, Genesis 27.25, Habakkuk 1.3, Leviticus, 10.1, Nehemiah 3.38, Numbers (twice) 14:3, 32:42) and Zechariah 3.2.

Here is her explanation of her interpretation:

Archive version of The Music of the Bible Revealed  (SHV p278)

Well - maybe she's got a point. Though I would challenge anyone to sing the mode she has used for this example. The idea that it is a change in hand-signal is obscure to me.

If in these 14 instances, you want to compromise the design of the system, feel free to introduce a note above the change in reciting note - but be warned - it is a compromise and not a necessary one. My automated rendering is as follows:

Hab 1.3 interpreting the double merkha as a galgal 
Just move the d to f to interpret as a merkha


Saturday, 9 April 2022

1 Chron 16:23-33 compared with Psalms 96

Psalms 96 is a very well formed poetic structure as is demonstrated in the performance recorded here. You have to take the 5 minutes to listen in order to understand and hear what the structure is - it is so aurally obvious. 

The version of the psalm in 1 Chron 16 has a different versification and a different form. It begins by missing out verses 1a and 2a. 1 Chronicles does not mention the new song. Only Isaiah (42:10) mentions a new song once outside of the Psalms (6 times 33:3, 40:4, 96:1, 98:1, 144:9, 149:1).

1 Chr 16:23-33 Psalms 96

23 ♪C 
Sing to Yahweh all the earth.
1 ♪B Sing to Yahweh a new song.
Sing to Yahweh all the earth.

Publish from day to day his salvation.
2 ♪B Sing to Yahweh. Bless his name.
Publish from day to day his salvation.
24 Recount in the nations his glory,
to all the peoples his wonders.
3 Recount in the nations his glory,
to all the peoples his wonders.

25 For great is Yahweh and much to be praised,
and to be feared he is, above all gods.
4 ♪f For great is Yahweh and much to be praised.
He is to be feared above all gods.
26 ♪~ For all the gods of the peoples are good for nothing,
but Yahweh made the heavens.
5 ♪C For all the gods of the peoples are good for nothing,
but Yahweh made the heavens.

27 ♪C Splendour and honour are in his presence. Strength and cheer are in his place. 6 Splendour and honour are in his presence,
strength and adornment in his sanctuary.
--------
28 Ascribe to Yahweh families of the peoples,
ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength.
7 Ascribe to Yahweh, families of the peoples.
Ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength.
29 Ascribe to Yahweh the glory of his name. ^
Bear a gift and come into his presence.
--------
8 Ascribe to Yahweh the glory of his name.
Bear a gift and come into his courts.
Worship Yahweh in the honour of holiness.
30 ♪C Let all the earth be brought to birth from his presence.
9 Worship Yahweh in the honour of holiness.
Let all the earth be brought to birth from his presence.

Indeed the world is established so it will not move.
10 Say to the nations, Yahweh reigns. Indeed the world is established so it will not move.
He will make the case for the peoples with uprightness.
--------
31 Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say in the nations, Yahweh reigns.
32 Let the sea thunder and its fullness.
11 Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice.
Let the sea thunder and its fullness.
Let the field be elated and all that are in it.
33 ♪f Then the trees of the forest will shout for joy, ^
12 Let the field exult and all that are in it.
Then all the trees of the forest will shout for joy,
from the presence of Yahweh, for he comes to judge the earth.
--------
13 in the presence of Yahweh, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in his faithfulness.
--------
I don't have an equivalent performance for 1 Chronicles. The score is here. The Chronicler is recounting the words in a narrational performance, definitely not the same melody or form as the psalm. Verses 23-28 and 30-32 all have similar shapes (e) C ... g#-e. Verses 29 and 33 have a mid point atnah. I have put a carriage return at the zaqef-qatan to line up the words for reference. So Where Psalm 96 (score here) is in three stanzas, (1-6, 7-10, 11-13), 1 Chron is in two marked groups. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

The Song of Moses

Moses sang, and so should we. What is the influence of this song on the prophets and the writings of the Hebrew Bible? Everyone in Christendom looks at the use of the Tanach in the NT. Better first to look at how the Torah influenced both Prophets and Writings and how these then teach us how to read Torah. Then those things that 'were written for our learning' can be learned well with the music.

A song needs a melody. This is the melody in the default mode. There are no available performances.


The song is a long one, 43 verses. Underlaying the music with English is a task but if one does the process, it will teach much about the shape of the tune and the tone of voice.

Here are words in English in a shape that should allow underlay where I have put the glosses as near as I could in the order of the Hebrew to allow maximum chance that the melody will match the words. Sometimes you can set the words easily in a different order in any case. English speech rhythms will differ from the Hebrew. I leave a / in the libretto for notes that can remain unused when the English is too short, and I allow many words on a single note when the English is too verbose. Of course one could imagine a metric version too using the melodic shapes suggested by the music.

הַאֲזִ֥ינוּ הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וַאֲדַבֵּ֑רָה
וְתִשְׁמַ֥ע הָאָ֖רֶץ אִמְרֵי־פִֽי ר
1 Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak,
and hear, O earth, the promises of my mouth.
a hazinu hwmiim vadbrh
vtwmy harx amri-pi r
12
10
h/azn\v h/wmim va/dbr\h
vt/wmy h/arx amr\i p\i
יַעֲרֹ֤ף כַּמָּטָר֙ לִקְחִ֔י תִּזַּ֥ל כַּטַּ֖ל אִמְרָתִ֑י
כִּשְׂעִירִ֣ם עֲלֵי־דֶ֔שֶׁא וְכִרְבִיבִ֖ים עֲלֵי־עֵֽשֶׂב ר
2 What I have received will seep in as rain. My promise will flow as dew,
as drizzle over verdant herbs, and as copious showers on field-grass.
b iyrof cm'tr lqki tizl c'tl amrti
cwyirim yli-dwa vcrbibim yli-ywb r
15
14
i/yrp c/m'tr lqk\i t/zl c/'tl amr\ti
c/wyr\m yl\i dwa vc/rbb\im yl\i ywb
כִּ֛י שֵׁ֥ם יְהוָ֖ה אֶקְרָ֑א
הָב֥וּ גֹ֖דֶל לֵאלֹהֵֽינוּ ר
3 ♪d For the name of Yahweh I proclaim.
Ascribe greatness to our God.
g ci wm ihvh aqra
hbu godl lalohinu r
6
9
ci wm ihvh a/qra
hb\v gdl l/alh\inv
הַצּוּר֙ תָּמִ֣ים פָּעֳל֔וֹ כִּ֥י כָל־דְּרָכָ֖יו מִשְׁפָּ֑ט
אֵ֤ל אֱמוּנָה֙ וְאֵ֣ין עָ֔וֶל צַדִּ֥יק וְיָשָׁ֖ר הֽוּא ר
4 The Rock, complete is his work, for all his ways are judgment.
A God of faithfulness, and there is no injustice. A righteous one, and upright is he.
d hxur tmim poylo ci cl-drciv mwp't
al amunh vain yvvl xdiq viwr hua r
14
15
h/xvr tmm pyl\v ci cl drc\iv m/wp't
al amvn\h v/ain yvl xdiq v/iwr hva
שִׁחֵ֥ת ל֛וֹ לֹ֖א בָּנָ֣יו מוּמָ֑ם
דּ֥וֹר עִקֵּ֖שׁ וּפְתַלְתֹּֽל ר
5 It became impaired for him. Not his children, their spot,
a generation devious and tortuous.
h wikt lo la bniv mumm
dor yiqw uptltol r
8
7
wkt l\v la bn\iv mvmm
dvr yqw v/ptl\tl
הֲ־לַיְהוָה֙ תִּגְמְלוּ־זֹ֔את עַ֥ם נָבָ֖ל וְלֹ֣א חָכָ֑ם
הֲלוֹא־הוּא֙ אָבִ֣יךָ קָּנֶ֔ךָ ה֥וּא עָֽשְׂךָ֖ וַֽיְכֹנְנֶֽךָ ר
6 Do you reward this to Yahweh, senseless people and unwise?
Is he not your father? He purchased you himself. He made you, and he established you.
v h-lihvh tgmlu-zat ym nbl vla kcm
hloa-hua abiç qnç hua ywç viconnç r
14
17
h l/ihvh t/gml\v zat ym nbl v/la kcm
h/lva hva ab\ic qn\c hva yw\c vi/cn\nc
זְכֹר֙ יְמ֣וֹת עוֹלָ֔ם בִּ֖ינוּ שְׁנ֣וֹת דּוֹר־וָד֑וֹר
שְׁאַ֤ל אָבִ֙יךָ֙ וְיַגֵּ֔דְךָ זְקֵנֶ֖יךָ וְיֹ֥אמְרוּ לָֽךְ ר
7 Remember the days of eras past. Understand the years of generation upon generation.
Ask your father and he will make it clear to you, your elders, and they will say to you:
z zcor imot yolm binu wnot dor-vdor
wal abiç vigdç zqniç viamru lç r
13
18
zcr im\vt yvlm bin\v wn\vt dvr v/dvr
wal ab\ic vi/gd\c zqn\ic vi/amr\v l\c
בְּהַנְחֵ֤ל עֶלְיוֹן֙ גּוֹיִ֔ם בְּהַפְרִיד֖וֹ בְּנֵ֣י אָדָ֑ם
יַצֵּב֙ גְּבֻלֹ֣ת עַמִּ֔ים לְמִסְפַּ֖ר בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל ר
8 When the Most High gave inheritance to nations, when he separated for himself the children of humanity,
he fixed the borders of the peoples for the record of the children of Israel.
k bhnkl ylion goiim bhprido bni adm
ixb gbulot ymim lmspr bni iwral r
15
16
bh/nkl ylivn gvi\m bh/prd\v bn\i adm
ixb gbl\t ym\im lm/spr bn\i iwral
כִּ֛י חֵ֥לֶק יְהֹוָ֖ה עַמּ֑וֹ
יַעֲקֹ֖ב חֶ֥בֶל נַחֲלָתֽוֹ ר
9 ♪d For Yahweh's chosen share is his people.
Jacob is the pledge of his inheritance.
't ci klq ihvh ymo
iyqob kbl nklto r
8
10
ci klq ihvh ym\v
iyqb kbl nkl\tv
יִמְצָאֵ֙הוּ֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִדְבָּ֔ר וּבְתֹ֖הוּ יְלֵ֣ל יְשִׁמֹ֑ן
יְסֹֽבְבֶ֙נְהוּ֙ יְב֣וֹנְנֵ֔הוּ יִצְּרֶ֖נְהוּ כְּאִישׁ֥וֹן עֵינֽוֹ ר
10 He found him in a wilderness land, in the disorder of the howling of wasteland,
he led him round about, he gave him discernment, he preserved him as a picture in his eye.
i imxahu barx mdbr ubtohu ill iwimon
isobbnhu ibonnhu iixrnhu caiwon yino r
17
17
i/mxa\hv b/arx mdbr vb/thv ill iwm\n
i/sbb\nhv i/bvn\nhv i/xr\nhv c/aiwvn yin\v
כְּנֶ֙שֶׁר֙ יָעִ֣יר קִנּ֔וֹ עַל־גּוֹזָלָ֖יו יְרַחֵ֑ף
יִפְרֹ֤שׂ כְּנָפָיו֙ יִקָּחֵ֔הוּ יִשָּׂאֵ֖הוּ עַל־אֶבְרָתֽוֹ ר
11 As an eagle rouses its nest over its fledglings brooding,
spreading its wings, taking them, lifting them up on its pinions,
ia cnwr iyir qino yl-gozliv irkf
iprow cnpiv iiqkhu iiwahu yl-abrto r
14
18
c/nwr i/yr qn\v yl gvzl\iv i/rkp
i/prw cnp\iv i/qk\hv i/wa\hv yl abr\tv
יְהוָ֖ה בָּדָ֣ד יַנְחֶ֑נּוּ
וְאֵ֥ין עִמּ֖וֹ אֵ֥ל נֵכָֽר ר
12 Yahweh unassisted guided him,
and there was no alien god with him.
ib ihvh bdd inknu
vain yimo al ncr r
7
8
ihvh bdd i/nk\nv
v/ain ym\v al ncr
יַרְכִּבֵ֙הוּ֙ עַל־בָּ֣מֳתֵי אָ֔רֶץ וַיֹּאכַ֖ל תְּנוּבֹ֣ת שָׂדָ֑י
וַיֵּנִקֵ֤הֽוּ דְבַשׁ֙ מִסֶּ֔לַע וְשֶׁ֖מֶן מֵחַלְמִ֥ישׁ צֽוּר ר
13 He made him ride over the high places of the land and they ate the profit of the fields,
and he made him suckle honey from cliff and oil from flinty rock,
ig ircibhu yl-bmoti arx viacl tnubot wdii
viniqhu dbw msly vwmn mklmiw xur r
18
18
i/rcb\hv yl bm\ti arx vi/acl t/nvb\t wd\i
v/inq\hv dbw m/sly v/wmn m/klmw xvr
חֶמְאַ֨ת בָּקָ֜ר וַחֲלֵ֣ב צֹ֗אן עִם־חֵ֨לֶב כָּרִ֜ים וְאֵילִ֤ים בְּנֵֽי־בָשָׁן֙ וְעַתּוּדִ֔ים עִם־חֵ֖לֶב כִּלְי֣וֹת חִטָּ֑ה
וְדַם־עֵנָ֖ב תִּשְׁתֶּה־חָֽמֶר ס
14 Clotted cream of herd, and milk of sheep, with milk of meadows, and rams of the children of Bashan, and goats with milk of kidneys, wheat,
and the red blood of grapes, you did imbibe.
id kmat bqr vklb xan ym-klb crim vailim bni-bwn vytudim ym-klb cliot ki'th
vdm-ynb twth-kmr s
30
9
kma\t bqr v/klb xan ym klb cr\im v/ail\im bn\i bwn v/ytvd\im ym klb cli\vt k'th
v/dm ynb t/wth kmr
וַיִּשְׁמַ֤ן יְשֻׁרוּן֙ וַיִּבְעָ֔ט שָׁמַ֖נְתָּ עָבִ֣יתָ כָּשִׂ֑יתָ
וַיִּטֹּשׁ֙ אֱל֣וֹהַ עָשָׂ֔הוּ וַיְנַבֵּ֖ל צ֥וּר יְשֻׁעָתֽוֹ ס
15 But Jeshurun was dense and kicked. Dense you were, thickened you were, covered,
and he abandoned God his maker and was senseless with the Rock of his salvation.
'tv viwmn iwurun viby't wmnt ybit cwit
vii'tow aloh ywhu vinbl xur iwuyto s
18
18
vi/wmn iwrvn vi/by't wmn\t yb\it cw\it
vi/'tw alvh ywh\v vi/nbl xvr iwy\tv
יַקְנִאֻ֖הוּ בְּזָרִ֑ים
בְּתוֹעֵבֹ֖ת יַכְעִיסֻֽהוּ ס
16 They made him jealous with strangers,
with abominations they grieved him.
'tz iqniauhu bzrim
btoybot icyisuhu s
7
9
i/qna\hv b/zr\im
b/tvyb\t i/cys\hv
יִזְבְּח֗וּ לַשֵּׁדִים֙ לֹ֣א אֱלֹ֔הַ אֱלֹהִ֖ים לֹ֣א יְדָע֑וּם
חֲדָשִׁים֙ מִקָּרֹ֣ב בָּ֔אוּ לֹ֥א שְׂעָר֖וּם אֲבֹתֵיכֶֽם ס
17 They offered to demons, not God, gods they did not know,
new coming from within, not the sweep of your ancestors.
iz izbku lwdim la aloh alohim la idyum
kdwim mqrob bau la wyrum aboticm s
17
17
i/zbk\v l/wd\im la alh alh\im la idy\vm
kdw\im m/qrb ba\v la wyr\vm ab\ticm
צ֥וּר יְלָדְךָ֖ תֶּ֑שִׁי
וַתִּשְׁכַּ֖ח אֵ֥ל מְחֹלְלֶֽךָ ס
18 ♪f Of the Rock that begot you, you were unmindful,
and you forgot God who birthed you.
ik xur ildç twi
vtwck al mkollç s
6
9
xvr ild\c t/wi
vt/wck al m/kl\lc
וַיַּ֥רְא יְהוָ֖ה וַיִּנְאָ֑ץ
מִכַּ֥עַס בָּנָ֖יו וּבְנֹתָֽיו ס
19 And Yahweh saw, and he is spurning,
from grief his sons and his daughters.
i't vira ihvh vinax
mcys bniv ubnotiv s
7
9
vi/ra ihvh vi/nax
m/cys bn\iv v/bn\tiv
וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אַסְתִּ֤ירָה פָנַי֙ מֵהֶ֔ם אֶרְאֶ֖ה מָ֣ה אַחֲרִיתָ֑ם
כִּ֣י ד֤וֹר תַּהְפֻּכֹת֙ הֵ֔מָּה בָּנִ֖ים לֹא־אֵמֻ֥ן בָּֽם ס
20 And he said, I will hide my face from them. I see what their aftermath will be,
for a wayward generation they are, children without faithfulness in them.
c viamr astirh pnii mhm arah mh akritm
ci dor thpucot hmh bnim la-amun bm s
17
13
vi/amr a/str\h pn\i m/hm a/rah mh akr\itm
ci dvr t/hpc\t hm\h bn\im la amn b\m
הֵ֚ם קִנְא֣וּנִי בְלֹא־אֵ֔ל כִּעֲס֖וּנִי בְּהַבְלֵיהֶ֑ם
וַאֲנִי֙ אַקְנִיאֵ֣ם בְּלֹא־עָ֔ם בְּג֥וֹי נָבָ֖ל אַכְעִיסֵֽם ס
21 ♪C They have made me jealous with not god. They have grieved me in their futility.
And I, I will make them jealous with not a people, with a senseless nation I will grieve them.
ca hm qinauni bla-al ciysuni bhblihm
vani aqniam bla-ym bgoi nbl acyism s
15
18
hm qna\vni bl\a al cys\vni b/hbl\ihm
v/ani a/qn\iam bl\a ym b/gvi nbl a/cys\m
כִּי־אֵשׁ֙ קָדְחָ֣ה בְאַפִּ֔י וַתִּיקַ֖ד עַד־שְׁא֣וֹל תַּחְתִּ֑ית
וַתֹּ֤אכַל אֶ֙רֶץ֙ וִֽיבֻלָ֔הּ וַתְּלַהֵ֖ט מוֹסְדֵ֥י הָרִֽים ס
22 For fire is incandescent in my anger and is a burning mass to the lowest grave,
and it devours earth and her produce and will blaze the foundations of the hills.
cb ci-aw qdkh bapi vtiqd yd-waol tktit
vtacl arx vibulh vtlh't mosdi hrim s
15
16
ci aw qdk\h b/ap\i vt/iqd yd wavl tkt\it
vt/acl arx v/ibl\h vt/lh't mv/sd\i hr\im
אַסְפֶּ֥ה עָלֵ֖ימוֹ רָע֑וֹת
חִצַּ֖י אֲכַלֶּה־בָּֽם ס
23 I will snatch away over them, evils.
My arrows I will consume in them.
cg asph ylimo ryot
kixii aclh-bm s
7
7
a/sph yl\imv ry\vt
kx\i a/clh b\m
מְזֵ֥י רָעָ֛ב וּלְחֻ֥מֵי רֶ֖שֶׁף וְקֶ֣טֶב מְרִירִ֑י
וְשֶׁן־בְּהֵמוֹת֙ אֲשַׁלַּח־בָּ֔ם עִם־חֲמַ֖ת זֹחֲלֵ֥י עָפָֽר ס
24 Gaunt of famine and battling fire-brands and bitter canker,
and the tooth of the beasts I will send among them with the poison of perturbing dust.
cd mzi ryb ulkumi rwf vq'tb mriri
vwn-bhmot awlk-bm ym-kmt zokli ypr s
15
18
mz\i ryb v/lkm\i rwp v/q'tb mrr\i
v/wn bhm\vt a/wlk b\m ym km\t zkl\i ypr
מִחוּץ֙ תְּשַׁכֶּל־חֶ֔רֶב וּמֵחֲדָרִ֖ים אֵימָ֑ה
גַּם־בָּחוּר֙ גַּם־בְּתוּלָ֔ה יוֹנֵ֖ק עִם־אִ֥ישׁ שֵׂיבָֽה ס
25 From the streets, the bereavement of the sword, and from rooms within, horror,
both youths in their prime and virgins suckling with the grey-haired.
ch mkux twcl-krb umkdrim aimh
gm-bkur gm-btulh ionq ym-aiw wibh s
14
14
m/kvx t/wcl krb vm/kdr\im aim\h
gm bkr gm btvlh iv/nq ym aiw wib\h
אָמַ֖רְתִּי אַפְאֵיהֶ֑ם
אַשְׁבִּ֥יתָה מֵאֱנ֖וֹשׁ זִכְרָֽם ס
26 I said, I will quarter them.
I will eradicate from among mortals their remembrance,
cv amrti apaihm
awbith manow zcrm s
6
9
amr\ti a/pah\m
a/wbt\h m/anvw zcr\m
לוּלֵ֗י כַּ֤עַס אוֹיֵב֙ אָג֔וּר פֶּֽן־יְנַכְּר֖וּ צָרֵ֑ימוֹ
פֶּן־יֹֽאמְרוּ֙ יָדֵ֣ינוּ רָ֔מָה וְלֹ֥א יְהוָ֖ה פָּעַ֥ל כָּל־זֹֽאת ס
27 Were it not the grief of the enemy, that I stood in awe of,
lest their foes recognize, lest they say, Our hand is high, and Yahweh has not worked all this.
cz luli cys aoib agur pn-incru xrimo
pn-iamru idinu rmh vla ihvh pyl cl-zat s
15
17
lvl\i cys ab a/gvr pn i/ncr\v xr\imv
pn i/amr\v id\inv rm\h v/la ihvh pyl cl zat
כִּי־ג֛וֹי אֹבַ֥ד עֵצ֖וֹת הֵ֑מָּה
וְאֵ֥ין בָּהֶ֖ם תְּבוּנָֽה ס
28 For a nation, perishing of advice, are they,
and there is no understanding among them.
ck ci-goi aobd yxot hmh
vain bhm tbunh s
8
8
ci gvi abd yx\vt hm\h
v/ain b/hm t/bvn\h
ל֥וּ חָכְמ֖וּ יַשְׂכִּ֣ילוּ זֹ֑את
יָבִ֖ינוּ לְאַחֲרִיתָֽם ס
29 ♪f If only they were wise, they had this insight,
they would discern their aftermath.
c't lu kcmu iwcilu zat
ibinu lakritm s
7
9
lv kcm\v i/wcl\v zat
i/bin\v l/akr\itm
אֵיכָ֞ה יִרְדֹּ֤ף אֶחָד֙ אֶ֔לֶף וּשְׁנַ֖יִם יָנִ֣יסוּ רְבָבָ֑ה
אִם־לֹא֙ כִּי־צוּרָ֣ם מְכָרָ֔ם וַֽיהוָ֖ה הִסְגִּירָֽם ס
30 How does one pursue a thousand and two cause tens of thousands to withdraw,
if not because their Rock had sold them and Yahweh had imprisoned them.
l aich irdof akd alf uwniim inisu rbbh
am-la ci-xurm mcrm vihvh hsgirm s
16
13
aic\h i/rdp akd alp v/wn\im i/nis\v rbb\h
am la ci xvr\m mcr\m v/ihvh h/sgr\m
כִּ֛י לֹ֥א כְצוּרֵ֖נוּ צוּרָ֑ם
וְאֹיְבֵ֖ינוּ פְּלִילִֽים ס
31 ♪d For not as our Rock is their rock,
and our enemies are intercessors.
la ci la cxurnu xurm
vaoibinu plilim s
8
8
ci la c/xvr\nv xvr\m
v/aib\inv pll\im
כִּֽי־מִגֶּ֤פֶן סְדֹם֙ גַּפְנָ֔ם וּמִשַּׁדְמֹ֖ת עֲמֹרָ֑ה
עֲנָבֵ֙מוֹ֙ עִנְּבֵי־ר֔וֹשׁ אַשְׁכְּלֹ֥ת מְרֹרֹ֖ת לָֽמוֹ ס
32 For from the vine of Sodom are their vines and from the fields of Gomorrah,
their grapes are grapes of want, clusters of bitterness to them.
lb ci-mgpn sdom gpnm umwdmot ymorh
ynbimo yinbi-raw awclot mrorot lmo s
14
16
ci m/gpn sdm gpn\m vm/wd\mt ymrh
ynb\mv ynb\i rvw awcl\t mrr\t l\mv
חֲמַ֥ת תַּנִּינִ֖ם יֵינָ֑ם
וְרֹ֥אשׁ פְּתָנִ֖ים אַכְזָֽר ס
33 The poison of dragons their wine,
and the venom of vicious adders.
lg kmt tninim iinm
vraw ptnim aczr s
7
8
km\t tnin\m iin\m
v/raw ptn\im aczr
הֲלֹא־ה֖וּא כָּמֻ֣ס עִמָּדִ֑י
חָתֻ֖ם בְּאוֹצְרֹתָֽי ס
34 Is not it stocked with me?
sealed in my treasuries?
ld hloa-hua cmus yimdi
ktum baoxrotii s
7
7
h/la hva cms ym\di
ktm b/avxr\ti
לִ֤י נָקָם֙ וְשִׁלֵּ֔ם לְעֵ֖ת תָּמ֣וּט רַגְלָ֑ם
כִּ֤י קָרוֹב֙ י֣וֹם אֵידָ֔ם וְחָ֖שׁ עֲתִדֹ֥ת לָֽמוֹ ס
35 ♪C Of me is vengeance and repayment. In due time their foot will be moved,
for near is the day of their misfortune, and what is impending for them hurries.
lh li nqm vwilm lyt tmu't rglm
ci qrob iom aidm vkw ytidot lmo s
12
14
l\i nqm v/wlm l/yt t/mv't rgl\m
ci qrb ivm aid\m v/kw ytd\t l\mv
כִּֽי־יָדִ֤ין יְהוָה֙ עַמּ֔וֹ וְעַל־עֲבָדָ֖יו יִתְנֶחָ֑ם
כִּ֤י יִרְאֶה֙ כִּי־אָ֣זְלַת יָ֔ד וְאֶ֖פֶס עָצ֥וּר וְעָזֽוּב ס
36 For Yahweh will make the case for his people and his servants he will comfort,
because he sees that depleted is the means, and terminated, what is coerced and forsaken.
lv ci-idin ihvh ymo vyl-ybdiv itnkm
ci irah ci-azlt id vaps yxur vyzub s
14
16
ci i/din ihvh ym\v v/yl ybd\iv it/nkm
ci i/rah ci azl\t id v/aps yxr v/yzb
וְאָמַ֖ר אֵ֣י אֱלֹהֵ֑ימוֹ
צ֖וּר חָסָ֥יוּ בֽוֹ ס
37 And he said, Where are their gods,
the rock in which they take refuge,
lz vamr ai alohimo
xur ksiiu bo s
8
6
v/amr ai alh\imv
xvr ks\iv b\v
אֲשֶׁ֨ר חֵ֤לֶב זְבָחֵ֙ימוֹ֙ יֹאכֵ֔לוּ יִשְׁתּ֖וּ יֵ֣ין נְסִיכָ֑ם
יָק֙וּמוּ֙ וְיַעְזְרֻכֶ֔ם יְהִ֥י עֲלֵיכֶ֖ם סִתְרָֽה ס
38 that the milk of their offerings ate and imbibed the wine of their libations?
Let them arise and help you and be to you a hiding place.
lk awr klb zbkimo iaclu iwtu iin nsicm
iqumu viyzrucm ihi ylicm strh s
17
16
awr klb zbk\imv i/acl\v i/wt\v iin nsc\m
i/qvm\v vi/yzr\cm i/hi yl\icm str\h
רְא֣וּ ׀ עַתָּ֗ה כִּ֣י אֲנִ֤י אֲנִי֙ ה֔וּא וְאֵ֥ין אֱלֹהִ֖ים עִמָּדִ֑י
אֲנִ֧י אָמִ֣ית וַאֲחַיֶּ֗ה מָחַ֙צְתִּי֙ וַאֲנִ֣י אֶרְפָּ֔א וְאֵ֥ין מִיָּדִ֖י מַצִּֽיל ר
39 See now that I, I am he, and there is no god with me.
I, I put to death, and I make alive. I wound and I, I heal. and there is none to deliver out of my hand.
l't rau yth ci ani ani hua vain alohim yimdi
ani amit vakiih mkxti vani arpa vain midi mxil r
18
24
ra\v yth ci ani ani hva v/ain alh\im ym\di
ani a/mit va/kih mkx\ti v/ani a/rpa v/ain m/id\i m/xl
כִּֽי־אֶשָּׂ֥א אֶל־שָׁמַ֖יִם יָדִ֑י
וְאָמַ֕רְתִּי חַ֥י אָנֹכִ֖י לְעֹלָֽם ר
40 For I lift up to the heavens my hand,
then I say, I am life forever.
m ci-awa al-wmiim idi
vamrti ki anoci lyolm r
7
12
ci a/wa al wmim id\i
v/amr\ti ki anci l/ylm
אִם־שַׁנּוֹתִי֙ בְּרַ֣ק חַרְבִּ֔י וְתֹאחֵ֥ז בְּמִשְׁפָּ֖ט יָדִ֑י
אָשִׁ֤יב נָקָם֙ לְצָרָ֔י וְלִמְשַׂנְאַ֖י אֲשַׁלֵּֽם ר
41 If I whet my glittering sword and my hand hold fast in the judgment,
I will return vengeance to my foes, and those that hate me I will repay.
ma am-wnoti brq krbi vtakz bmwp't idi
awib nqm lxrii vlmwnaii awlm r
16
15
am wn\vti brq krb\i vt/akz bm/wp't id\i
a/wb nqm l/xr\i vlm/wna\i a/wlm
אַשְׁכִּ֤יר חִצַּי֙ מִדָּ֔ם וְחַרְבִּ֖י תֹּאכַ֣ל בָּשָׂ֑ר
מִדַּ֤ם חָלָל֙ וְשִׁבְיָ֔ה מֵרֹ֖אשׁ פַּרְע֥וֹת אוֹיֵֽב ר
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood and my sword will devour flesh,
from the blood of one who is profaned, and captives from the head of the premiers of the enemy.
mb awcir kixii mdm vkrbi tacl bwr
mdm kll vwbih mraw pryot aoib r
13
14
a/wcr kx\i m/dm v/krb\i t/acl bwr
m/dm kll v/wbh m/raw pry\vt ab
הַרְנִ֤ינוּ גוֹיִם֙ עַמּ֔וֹ כִּ֥י דַם־עֲבָדָ֖יו יִקּ֑וֹם
וְנָקָם֙ יָשִׁ֣יב לְצָרָ֔יו וְכִפֶּ֥ר אַדְמָת֖וֹ עַמּֽוֹ ש
43 Shout for joy, nations, his people, for the blood of his servants he will avenge,
and vengeance he will return to his foes, but he will cover over his own ground, his people.
mg hrninu goiim ymo ci dm-ybdiv iiqom
vnqm iwib lxriv vcipr admto ymo w
14
17
h/rnn\v gvi\m ym\v ci dm ybd\iv i/qvm
v/nqm i/wb l/xr\iv v/cpr adm\tv ym\v

Monday, 4 April 2022

The ancient musician, an imagination of a story

Imagine yourself back in several eras - say the height of the Solomonic temple c 950 BCE, then during the exile in Babylon c 550 BCE, then after the destruction of the second temple c 110 CE, then during the age of the family of ben Asher c 900 CE, then as a scribe in the 19th century. 

Suppose for instance that your task is to copy these words.

מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִ֑ד יְהוָ֥ה רֹ֝עִ֗י לֹ֣א אֶחְסָֽר
בִּנְא֣וֹת דֶּ֭שֶׁא יַרְבִּיצֵ֑נִי עַל־מֵ֖י מְנֻח֣וֹת יְנַהֲלֵֽנִי
נַפְשִׁ֥י יְשׁוֹבֵ֑ב יַֽנְחֵ֥נִי בְמַעְגְּלֵי־צֶ֝֗דֶק לְמַ֣עַן שְׁמֽוֹ
גַּ֤ם כִּֽי־אֵלֵ֨ךְ בְּגֵ֪יא צַלְמָ֡וֶת לֹא־אִ֘ירָ֤א רָ֗ע כִּי־אַתָּ֥ה עִמָּדִ֑י שִׁבְטְךָ֥ וּ֝מִשְׁעַנְתֶּ֗ךָ הֵ֣מָּה יְנַֽחֲמֻֽנִי
תַּעֲרֹ֬ךְ לְפָנַ֨י ׀ שֻׁלְחָ֗ן נֶ֥גֶד צֹרְרָ֑י דִּשַּׁ֖נְתָּ בַשֶּׁ֥מֶן רֹ֝אשִׁ֗י כּוֹסִ֥י רְוָיָֽה
אַ֤ךְ ׀ ט֤וֹב וָחֶ֣סֶד יִ֭רְדְּפוּנִי כָּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיָּ֑י וְשַׁבְתִּ֥י בְּבֵית־יְ֝הוָ֗ה לְאֹ֣רֶךְ יָמִֽים

You are in the scroll of the psalms, everything is ready for your pen and your thought process. But that text won't do for the period. There would be no vowel markings - so remove them:
מזמ֥ור לדו֑ד יהו֥ה ר֝ע֗י ל֣א אחסֽר
בנא֣ות ד֭שׁא ירביצ֑ני עלמ֖י מנח֣ות ינהלֽני
נפשׁ֥י ישׁוב֑ב יֽנח֥ני במעגליצ֝֗דק למ֣ען שׁמֽו
ג֤ם כֽיאל֨ך בג֪יא צלמ֡ות לאא֘יר֤א ר֗ע כיאת֥ה עמד֑י שׁבטך֥ ו֝משׁענת֗ך ה֣מה ינֽחמֽני
תער֬ך לפנ֨י שׁלח֗ן נ֥גד צרר֑י דשׁ֖נת בשׁ֥מן ר֝אשׁ֗י כוס֥י רויֽה
א֤ך ט֤וב וח֣סד י֭רדפוני כלימ֣י חי֑י ושׁבת֥י בביתי֝הו֗ה לא֣רך ימֽים

What is the likelihood that you would have had cantilation signs in the old Hebrew? At the time when Solomon was ruling, would there have been music in the temple? (Undoubtedly) Would there have been a consistent music annotation scheme? Would they have invented a notation for training new singers? Could it have been as simple as hand-signals like e.g. Egyptian chironomy? The possibility is suggested in 1 Chronicles 16 "On that day then, David chanted as the beginning of thanksgiving to Yahweh, by the hand of Asaph and his kin." (v7)

Perhaps it is too early in the game and the oral tradition is still forming. So flash forward to during the exile. Now music and notation is all around you in Babel. They want to hear your songs. (Ps. 137) Can you make sense of it. Your instructions on copying are with greater care because a tradition was established and has been interrupted. Now everything must be written down, perhaps not vowels yet but certainly the music. You must preserve it until the temple is again hosting services and training singers. You reduce the system of hand-signals to a textual form. You want to distinguish the recitation from the ornamentation, so you put the reciting notes under the text at the accentuation point of the word that marks the change, and the ornaments you affix at their accentuation points above the text. There are about the same number of ta'amei ha-mikra (marks of taste) as there are letters, so the task is not difficult. You are a scribe and a musician. No one would imagine the text separated from its expression by the music. (This is even true of the later ages before our time. - Words without music are bad statutes and misunderstood judgments - Ezekiel 20:25.) 

Anyone who reads from the Bible without a melody
or recites the Mishnah without a tune, to him applies the verse:

And moreover I myself made for them statutes that are not good,
and judgments they will not live in.

R. Yohanen in b. Megilla 32a.

The age of abstraction had not yet arrived.

Flash forward to 110 CE. The temple is again in ruins. Pockets of resistance are still evident especially at Masada. During the time of the Maccabees and the Roman occupation, music has taken second place to the 'meaning' of the text. The music was not transcribed into the Septuagint and the aural tradition was taken for granted so it failed to make it into the hidden scrolls in the desert. Some sects still copied the music, but your group is now worried about the pronunciation being lost, so you invent another coding system for the vowels.

מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד יְהוָה רֹעִי לֹא אֶחְסָר
בִּנְאוֹת דֶּשֶׁא יַרְבִּיצֵנִי עַל־מֵי מְנֻחוֹת יְנַהֲלֵנִי
נַפְשִׁי יְשׁוֹבֵב יַנְחֵנִי בְמַעְגְּלֵי־צֶדֶק לְמַעַן שְׁמוֹ
גַּם כִּי־אֵלֵךְ בְּגֵיא צַלְמָוֶת לֹא־אִירָא רָע כִּי־אַתָּה עִמָּדִי שִׁבְטְךָ וּמִשְׁעַנְתֶּךָ הֵמָּה יְנַחֲמֻנִי
תַּעֲרֹךְ לְפָנַי ׀ שֻׁלְחָן נֶגֶד צֹרְרָי דִּשַּׁנְתָּ בַשֶּׁמֶן רֹאשִׁי כּוֹסִי רְוָיָה
אַךְ ׀ טוֹב וָחֶסֶד יִרְדְּפוּנִי כָּל־יְמֵי חַיָּי וְשַׁבְתִּי בְּבֵית־יְהוָה לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים

Let us suppose that the various communities produce copies of the text over the ensuing several centuries, some preserving the vowels, and some where the music is preserved, but the tradition of singing and the understanding is fading. During or leading up to that 10th century, the two traditions combine in the work of the family of ben Asher. What is the likelihood that a scribe at this late date would invent a new system of signs in the 9th or 10th century CE for music? Near zero since no scribe would want to invent anything while copying the Holy Scriptures. What is the likelihood that the two traditions would meet at this time? They seem to have, but I doubt that ben Asher was a musician. If he had been, then the people would have been able to learn from his Sefer Dikdukei ha-Te'amim. (I don't have access to this work).

Fast forward to the 19th century and the scribe Letteris. It astonishes me that in the 1000 years between ben Asher and Letteris, additional annotations are produced during the scribal practice of copying, in particular metegs have been added to some closed syllables to clarify short vowel pronunciations. A musical sign (the silluq) has been commandeered for an additional role. It's a small mess, but it is a mess. And it is clear from contemporary 19th century scholars (Delitzsch, Wickes) that the knowledge of the te'amim is limited and confused.

The mess is somewhat cleared up 150 years later, but the confusion over the meaning of the hand-signals is still evident everywhere. Theologians today believe only in words, and cannot reconstruct tone of voice for the text, and musicians have forgotten the variable reciting note. Only one vestigial tone remains (tonus peregrinus - see the data points here and the brief introduction here). It still remains that Haïk-Vantoura's thesis to restore the variable reciting note based on the analysis of the patterns of usage of the chironomy is written off by musicologists without much thought and with little effort. Musicologist and Theologian alike are in the position of the scientist who is stuck in the prior theory and cannot entertain a change of concept. (Read Thomas Kuhn.)

Here is the music interpreted from the text in our computer age without any human intervention (apart from the decisions of this modern day scribe, the programmer).


[I was just rereading both Haïk-Vantoura's book and David Mitchell's The Songs of Ascents. David's description of a conjectural history on pages 132 ff is well worth reading. Suzanne's book is formative, but it's a bit of a slog to read.]

Sunday, 3 April 2022

Sin and its relationship to governance

Technically, we are not going to come up with a solution to our problems without recognizing that we can't code our way out of them.

Human governance models require an endless amount of policy making. In the courts this results in long delays for a decision and rightly some sort of due process. Process is due to a person who does wrong because such a node of the mystery of consciousness is just that - a person. 'How long' is a frequent cry in the Scriptures: How long O Lord - without any particular object. If it is appointed for a person once to die, and after this the judgment, will the due process take as long as it does for humans on the earth?

Financial modeling of trust is a mining operation for the forensic tracking of ownership and responsibility. The banks may earn us interest, but it is beyond our control to insist that they act for the good of the earth and divest their holdings in fossil fuels. So neither bitcoin nor dividends will save us.

Morally, we all have a sense of what is right for us. Unfortunately, we also have a legitimate self-protection and would be very happy for a quiet life, everyone 'neath their vines and fig trees... Self-protection requires self-defense even against those things where there is no defense - The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,... Job got no respite from human or natural calamity. Byron's poem though does show that protection from the marauding invader may have consequences for the invader.

...the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;

Genetically, one might think that the first fraternal murder recorded in one ancient text would have some helpful note. But even that was a religious war over whose sacrifice would be accepted. There was no angel of death for Cain or there would have been no economy for us to haggle over. Cain is told to govern in himself over sin.

Will it not be that if you do well you will be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin reclines at the opening, and its aspiration is against you, but you yourself will govern in it.

What about Seth - can we escape from sin through good breeding? Noah's children would give the lie to this. Sin seems to be pervasive even though it is noted only 15 times in Genesis.

So how will we govern? No simple answer, but I think we have to consider that sin is a problem for everyone and if we must govern with sin abounding, as it were, ultimately we must deal with God as well. I don't see any other escape from the divisions among us that arise from our culture, our land, our resources, our desires, our money, our freedom, our convenience, and so on.

Saturday, 2 April 2022

Data points and the application of Bayes theorem to the Music of the Hebrew Bible

We have the formula for Bayes theorem. It is easily applied if we can agree on the hypotheses and the probabilities of whatever background knowledge we are in possession of. 

A second approach was suggested in the last lecture called 'Inference to the Best Explanation'. The shape of the argument is in this one frame I have borrowed from the lecture by Matthew Joss given March 31 from Australia (7 am), Victoria BC time 1 pm, but organized by Christoph Heilig from Berlin time - 10 pm

IBE - Matthew Joss 2022

D is a collection of data - in this case the Hebrew Bible - all 23,197 verses. 

It will be agreed that a verse is a set of 1, 2, or 3 cola. A colon is a set of words. I define a colon as ending with a rest point, either an atnah, an ole-veyored, or the silluq at the close of each verse. It is possible to extend the definition with some other pausal accents, but only these three are reliable. E.g. a revia or a zaqef-qatan may be used but not all such accents are rest points (disjunctive).

A word consists of letters, vowels, at least one accent, and 0 or more maqaf (hyphens). Two Hebrew words connected by a maqaf is one 'word' (from the point of view of the music. 

So somewhat at random, here is a datapoint:

אִֽם־תִּשְׁכְּבוּן֮ בֵּ֪ין שְׁפַ֫תָּ֥יִם
כַּנְפֵ֣י י֭וֹנָה נֶחְפָּ֣ה בַכֶּ֑סֶף
וְ֝אֶבְרוֹתֶ֗יהָ בִּֽירַקְרַ֥ק חָרֽוּץ

So here we have a verse (Psalms 68:14) consisting of three cola. The first ends with an ole-veyored. These occur only in the poetry books. The second ends with an atnah. Atnah occurs in 21,559 of the verses in D. Atnah never occurs more than once per verse. Similarly the ole-veyored only occurs once in a verse, and if it occurs in a verse with an atnah such as the above, it is always before the atnah. [These are not hypotheses. They are measurements of D and repeatable by anyone.]

For the list of accents, see e.g. this post among others. In the above example:
  • Colon 1 has three words, 5 accents, three below the text and 2 above.
  • Colon 2 has 4 words, 4 accents, all below the text.
  • Colon 3 has three words, 5 accents, three below the text and 2 above.
Notice that some cola have no accents above the text at all. All cola have accents below the text. Those accents below the text number 8 in total for all verses of the 21 prose books and 7 for the poetry verses in the three books. (Job has prose sections - chapters 1, 2, and 42 and the narrator's parts - these use the accents of the 21 books.)

The music for this verse is as follows:
Psalms 68:14
For an explanation as to how I arrived at this, please refer to my book or the many posts on this blog that explain the deciphering key. This is my chief hypothesis H. It is not a data point. It makes use of musical background knowledge and the design of coding systems that are meta-data to the notation. 

It is my thesis that H explains D and explains it better than any other hypothesis.

There are other hypotheses which I have noted in the first post arising from these lectures. One (call it H1) is that current tropes represent some vestiges of the meaning of the accents. Another (H2) is that the accents are a recursive division of a verse into two sections. With both of these it is assumed that the accents are confined in their impact to the current verse. It is H2 that states this rule.

Problems: H1: Current tropes have many variations from place to place and tradition to tradition. Deciding which is original is difficult - in effect there is no place to stand to determine which 'zarqa table' is the most reliable. 

H2: The so called law-of-continuous-dichotomy is simply useless and confusing. Music does not behave this way. Musical lines in a song are related by form a-b-a or a-b-chorus c-d-chorus etc. If the psalms are to be sung, and the accents are musical notation, then such forms should be observed.

In contrast, (H) the deciphering key approach demonstrates repeatedly that the accents do have cross-verse impact and even cross-chapter and multi-book impacts. They form psalms into melodies that show repetition, form, and choruses and define stanzas. Also the deciphering of Psalms 114 In Exitu Israel has a melody that is a variation on one that is still in use today for the same psalm. The tone called tonus peregrinus as used in both the plainsong and the Anglican chant versions is a vestige from the tone that arises naturally from the deciphering key.

The idea of a varying reciting note is the principle that makes the connection. The variation in reciting note is determined simply from the 7 or 8 accents that are used below the text. This provides a place to stand for the analysis of the songs and prophecies throughout the Scripture.

The final post in the ladder series has a summary of the 'best explanation'. The principle of Ockham's razor can be applied: it is futile to do with more what can be done with fewer symbols, and the best explanation is one that explains more of the usage of the patterns of the symbols. 

Comparing H and H1 with discussion of each of the background data issues would be a useful exercise. Let each hypothesis start at 50%, then consider each of the analyzed points, assign likelihoods, and see if Bayes factors prefer one over the other. I have no doubt that they will. For a basic intro to the music with aural examples see this popular post.