Saturday 30 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 30:5



זַמְּר֣וּ לַיהוָ֣ה חֲסִידָ֑יו
וְ֝הוֹד֗וּ לְזֵ֣כֶר קָדְשֽׁוֹ
5 Sing a psalm to Yahweh those who are under his mercy,
and give thanks for the remembrance of his holiness.
h zmru lihvh ksidiv
vhodu lzcr qodwo
zmr\v l/ihvh ksid\iv
vhv/d\v l/zcr qdw\v

Friday 29 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 29:9

Note that the middle musical phrase between the ole veyored and the atnah is just a single word and-in-his-temple. ubhiclo וּבְהֵיכָל֑וֹ

In his temple - Performance here.
ק֤וֹל יְהוָ֨ה ׀ יְחוֹלֵ֣ל אַיָּלוֹת֮ וַֽיֶּחֱשֹׂ֪ף יְעָ֫ר֥וֹת
כֻּ֝לּ֗וֹ אֹמֵ֥ר כָּבֽוֹד
9 ♪C The voice of Yahweh causes birthing of hart, and he strips the forest,
and in his temple,
everything says, Glory.
't qol ihvh ikoll aiilot vikwof iyrot
culo aomr cbod
qvl ihvh i/kvl\l ail\vt vi/kwp iyr\vt
cl\v amr cbd

Thursday 28 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 28:7


and with my song I will give him thanks

יְהוָ֤ה ׀ עֻזִּ֥י וּמָגִנִּי֮ בּ֤וֹ בָטַ֥ח לִבִּ֗י וְֽנֶ֫עֱזָ֥רְתִּי
וַיַּעֲלֹ֥ז לִבִּ֑י
וּֽמִשִּׁירִ֥י אֲהוֹדֶֽנּוּ
7 Yahweh my strength and my shield. In him my heart trusts and I am helped.
So my heart will exult,
and with my song I will give him thanks.

z ihvh yuzi umgini bo b'tk libi vnyzrti
viyloz libi
umwiri ahodnu
ihvh yz\i v/mgn\i b\v b'tk lb\i vn/yzr\ti
vi/ylz lb\i
vm/wir\i ahv/d\nv

Wednesday 27 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 27:4

 A keyword is repeated in the last verse of this psalm: wait.

one thing

אַחַ֤ת ׀ שָׁאַ֣לְתִּי מֵֽאֵת־יְהוָה֮ אוֹתָ֪הּ אֲבַ֫קֵּ֥שׁ
שִׁבְתִּ֣י בְּבֵית־יְ֭הוָה כָּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיַּ֑י
לַחֲז֥וֹת בְּנֹֽעַם־יְ֝הוָ֗ה וּלְבַקֵּ֥ר בְּהֵיכָלֽוֹ
4 One thing I have asked from Yahweh. That thing I will seek,
that I may sit in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life,
to gaze on the pleasantness of Yahweh and to reflect in his temple.
d akt walti mat-ihvh aoth abqw
wbti bbit-ihvh cl-imi kii
lkzot bnoym-ihvh ulbqr bhiclo
ak\t wal\ti m/at ihvh avt\h a/bqw
wb\ti b/bit ihvh cl im\i ki\i
l/kz\vt b/nym ihvh vl/bqr b/hicl\v

I think of each Biblical phrase as composed of 1 to 3 phrases. I hear a phrase end in three ways
  1. at the ole-veyored (this accent sequence occurs in the 3 poetry books only) - the above verse provides an example from the second note of bar 5 to the first note of bar 6. Put a breath mark after this combination of notes.
  2. at the atnah (the note A in my renderings). Here my software has marked the pause with // in bar 10.
  3. at the silluq when the verse finally returns to the tonic e. Bar 14 on -lo in this verse.
The music gives us an easy way to compare phrases throughout the Bible. This particular musical phrase occurs only once. The third phrase, however, occurs 7 times, all in the Psalms: 22:2, 27:1, 27:4, 52:10, 71:24, 101:8, 104:28. The first phrase to bar 6 occurs twice only: Psalms 27:4 and 43:2. The middle phrase occurs 735 times. The combination of phrases 1 and 2 is unique.

Sometimes, we can hear deliberate imitation in the phrasing. E.g. Job 1:1 playfully imitates Genesis 1:1! Think about that.

I challenge anyone -- in the world -- over the last 1000 years to tell me about these accents in such a simple fashion. I challenge them equally to name all the verses with such and such a sequence and their frequency and to sing them with such simplicity. No one will take me up on this.

It is Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura's deciphering key that allows the explanation of the notation. It allows us to see in to the mind of the designer of these marks of taste. Who they were is not known, but their work has been deciphered. I suspect this notation emerged about 2500 years ago. It is a set of encoded hand-signals arising from the earliest music applied to these words.

This one thing was given to me in 2010 at Oxford through the work of Susan Gillingham, convener of the conference on the psalms, and David Mitchell, Director of Music in Holy Trinity Pro-Cathedral, Brussels. As soon as I heard the music and the theoretical basis for it, as a musician, as a student of the Bible, and as a person with experience in systems and design, I knew that I must pursue this and make the whole structure available to the public. That's what I have been doing these past 13 years, sitting in the soundscape of the house of Yahweh and gazing on the pleasantness of the music of the house, and reflecting... All the Bible is available on this blog through links to pdf files and recordings and explanations such as I have been able to do in my posts and books. But all this information is not of value until we stop and listen. Take the time. Here is a possible starting point.

To listen, we must be still - and wait.

Here is a performance of the whole psalm. You can follow along with SHV's score here.

Tuesday 26 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 26:6


Around the altar

The musical argument for corporate worship. 

Note how and to recount all your wonders is sung on the harmonic note that creates the rest in the music -- i.e. it's not just the pause and the gap, but the singing itself that is restful.

אֶרְחַ֣ץ בְּנִקָּי֣וֹן כַּפָּ֑י
וַאֲסֹבְבָ֖ה אֶת־מִזְבַּחֲךָ֣ יְהוָֽה
6 I will wash my palms in innocence,
so I will surround your altar Yahweh,
v arkx bniqion cpii
vasobbh at-mzbkç ihvh
a/rkx b/nq\ivn cp\i
va/sbb\h at m/zbk\c ihvh
לַ֭שְׁמִעַ בְּק֣וֹל תּוֹדָ֑ה
וּ֝לְסַפֵּ֗ר כָּל־נִפְלְאוֹתֶֽיךָ
7 ♪g to make music with a voice of thanksgiving,
and to recount all your wonders.
z lwmiy bqol todh
ulspr cl-nplaotiç
l/wmy b/qvl tv/dh
vl/spr cl n/pla\vtic

Monday 25 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 25:20 Acrostic 2

 I wonder if on this pass, I should restore soul to my translation. The possible glosses for npw are many and the whole idea of soul is a misconstruction of the reality in which we live - a very real and tangible space-time chunk built from a billion decisions, linked to both past and future, and replete with the self, integrity, physical being, both individual and corporate that we are, and permeated with the Hidden Reality that insists we learn the difference between good and evil and have the courage to turn away from the evil that is so readily to hand. You need help turning? Sing the Psalms.

The second acrostic in Book 1 (psalms 1-41), the shin verse

שָׁמְרָ֣ה נַ֭פְשִׁי וְהַצִּילֵ֑נִי
אַל־אֵ֝ב֗וֹשׁ כִּֽי־חָסִ֥יתִי בָֽךְ
20 ש Shelter my self and deliver me.
Let me not be ashamed for I take refuge in you.
c womrh npwi vhxilni
al-abow ci-ksiti bç
wmr\h npw\i vh/xl\ni
al a/bvw ci ks\iti b\c

This acrostic celebrates the prior psalm, 24, (as do all acrostics).

No access or involvement with evil? The prophets would not agree.

Micah 7:2 - a reflection of a few psalms we have already seen

אָבַ֤ד חָסִיד֙ מִן־הָאָ֔רֶץ וְיָשָׁ֥ר בָּאָדָ֖ם אָ֑יִן
כֻּלָּם֙ לְדָמִ֣ים יֶאֱרֹ֔בוּ אִ֥ישׁ אֶת־אָחִ֖יהוּ יָצ֥וּדוּ חֵֽרֶם
2 Perished is the merciful from the earth. And of the upright within humanity, there is none.
All of them are bloodied. Each lies in wait for its kin, hunts to utter destruction.
b abd ksid mn-harx viwr badm ain
culm ldmim iarobu aiw at-akihu ixudu krm
abd ksid mn h/arx v/iwr b/adm ain
cl\m l/dmm i/arb\v aiw at ak\ihv i/xvd\v krm

Sunday 24 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 24:1

Another that Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura set in the mode with the augmented 5th.
A different mode (in part) in this performance here.

The normal inscription of a Davidic psalm is reversed. Kimhi (p. 4) cites the tradition that ‘of David: a Psalm signifies that the Holy Spirit rested upon him, and (then) afterwards he uttered a Psalm while a Psalm of David signifies that he uttered a Psalm and (then) afterwards the Holy Spirit rested upon him’. See Psalms 24, 40, 68, 101, 109, 110, 139. That these are the seven psalms that are marked in this way is an argument in favour of Kimhi’s comment.
לְדָוִ֗ד מִ֫זְמ֥וֹר
לַֽ֭יהוָה הָאָ֣רֶץ וּמְלוֹאָ֑הּ
תֵּ֝בֵ֗ל וְיֹ֣שְׁבֵי בָֽהּ
1 of David, a psalm.
The earth is Yahweh's and her fullness,
the world and those sitting in her.
a ldvid mzmor
lihvh harx umloah
tbl viowbi bh
l/dvd m/zmr
l/ihvh h/arx v/mlva\h
tbl v/iwb\i b\h

In my psalms for the most part I chose the same modes that Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura chose. She set the whole Psalter working by hand. Here is her Psalm 24. The rest of the Psalter in her handwriting should be available to you here. It is all part of that DVD that I linked to earlier in this series. There is no end of study that you can do here. And of course you can see how her work differs from mine. Several reasons: 
  1. I use the Leningrad codex with some adjustments from earlier texts. She used Letteris. The Aleppo is the first master copy. The Letteris 9th century version is not an improvement. 
  2. Additional uses of silluq have crept into the text for other reasons than music, and 
  3. My results are automated. I have tried to implement her deciphering definitions completely, but there are occasional places where the program may not behave perfectly. 
  4. Note that her notation is specific to her presentation - open note heads signify an accent, closed note heads are recitative. Note values do not show time value. (So it is with my notation also. But my notation is standard musical notation.) For both of us, everything is recitative. I leave you to figure that out. I would have loved to sing for her. There are differences between prose and poetry, but recitative is an art form with lots of variation.

Saturday 23 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 23:5

 This is a favorite psalm. It is not sentimental. There is a concentration in the psalms on enemies (aib) and adversity (xrr).

Sung here (If this link does not work - general access to the whole DVD should be available here.)

תַּעֲרֹ֬ךְ לְפָנַ֨י ׀ שֻׁלְחָ֗ן נֶ֥גֶד צֹרְרָ֑י
דִּשַּׁ֖נְתָּ בַשֶּׁ֥מֶן רֹ֝אשִׁ֗י כּוֹסִ֥י רְוָיָֽה
5 You arrange facing me a table in front of my adversaries.
You fatten with oil my head. My cup is saturated.
h tyroç lpnii wulkn ngd xorrii
diwnt bwmn rawi cosi rvvih
t/yrc l/pn\i wlkn ngd xrr\i
dwn\t b/wmn raw\i cvs\i rvh

Friday 22 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 22:22

 150 tweets and we're a little more than a seventh into the process. What happens if you read the whole psalter in sequence? Is it like reading any other book of poetry?

From the lion's mouth

ה֭וֹשִׁיעֵנִי מִפִּ֣י אַרְיֵ֑ה
וּמִקַּרְנֵ֖י רֵמִ֣ים עֲנִיתָֽנִי
22 ♪g Save me from the lion's mouth.
From the horns of wild bulls you have answered me.

cb howiyni mpi arih
umqrni rimim ynitni
hv/w\iyni m/p\i ari\h
vm/qrn\i rm\im yn\itni

This psalm describes the cost of the prayer and response of Psalms 20-21. As we will see again in Psalm 23, there is no doubt about enemies, and in Psalm 24, about the triumph of the king.

Thursday 21 September 2023

Standing by?


Leviticus 19:16

לֹא־תֵלֵ֤ךְ רָכִיל֙ בְּעַמֶּ֔יךָ לֹ֥א תַעֲמֹ֖ד עַל־דַּ֣ם רֵעֶ֑ךָ
אֲנִ֖י יְהוָֽה
16 You will not walk as a scandal-monger among your people, nor will you stand against the blood of your associate.
I am Yahweh.
'tz la-tlç rcil bymiç la tymod yl-dm riyç
ani ihvh
la t/lc rcl b/ym\ic la t/ymd yl dm ry\c
ani ihvh

English translations have to add words to make sense of this verse. I am reading Witness -- Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom by Ariel Burger. 

On page 147 this verse is cited as 'the most important biblical commandment'. But how do you translate it? Here are some examples. Read them and see how many words are added as explanation. I don't know if the explanation will hinder or support the thesis of this book I am reading. But in my own 'search' for words to speak truth in trust, how much explanation is useful? The chapter is entitled 'activism'. Maybe that's a key.

The translation problem is with the verbs in this case, rcil - walk as a scandal-monger - why - the root is more often read as 'being a merchant'.  (But rcil can be consistently rendered as scandal-monger - or travelling sales rep). 

But more applicable to the claim in Burger, in the next sentence: tymod - simply means stand, not stand idly by. The compactness of the Hebrew requires more usage analysis. There is a word for shedding of blood, (E.g. Genesis 9:6) but here only the word blood is used.

Wiesel translates it as "Thou shalt not stand idly by the shedding of the blood of thy fellow human being."

I do not disagree with the direction of this translation, but the italicized words are all interpretive.

שֹׁפֵךְ֙ דַּ֣ם הָֽאָדָ֔ם בָּֽאָדָ֖ם דָּמ֣וֹ יִשָּׁפֵ֑ךְ
כִּ֚י בְּצֶ֣לֶם אֱלֹהִ֔ים עָשָׂ֖ה אֶת־הָאָדָֽם
6 One shedding the blood of the human, by the human its blood will be shed,
for in the image of God, he made the human.
v wopç dm hadm badm dmo iiwpç
ci bxlm alohim ywh at-hadm
wpc dm h/adm b/adm dm\v i/wpc
ci b/xlm alh\im ywh at h/adm

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 21:11

Answer to the prayer of Psalm 20.
Another verse showing a negative result for an enemy.

פִּ֭רְיָמוֹ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ תְּאַבֵּ֑ד
וְ֝זַרְעָ֗ם מִבְּנֵ֥י אָדָֽם
11 ♪g You will make their fruit perish from the earth,
and their seed from the children of humanity.

ia priimo marx tabd
vzrym mbni adm
pr\imv m/arx t/abd
v/zry\m m/bn\i adm

Wednesday 20 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 20:10

 Prayer for the king.

Because of the rest on the subdominant, it is unlikely that this should be rendered as God save the king.

יְהוָ֥ה הוֹשִׁ֑יעָה
הַ֝מֶּ֗לֶךְ יַעֲנֵ֥נוּ בְיוֹם־קָרְאֵֽנוּ
10 Yahweh save,
let the king answer us in the day of our call.
i ihvh howiyh
hmlç iynnu biom-qoranu
ihvh hv/w\iyh
h/mlc i/yn\nv b/ivm qra\nv

Tuesday 19 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 19:8

 I have chosen the second section of the psalm.

The music connects it to the first section.

תּ֘וֹרַ֤ת יְהוָ֣ה תְּ֭מִימָה מְשִׁ֣יבַת נָ֑פֶשׁ
עֵד֥וּת יְהוָ֥ה נֶ֝אֱמָנָ֗ה מַחְכִּ֥ימַת פֶּֽתִי
8 ♪~ The instruction of Yahweh is complete, repairing any being.
The testimony of Yahweh is faithful, making wise simplicity.
k tort ihvh tmimh mwibt npw
ydut ihvh namnh mkcimt pti
tvr\t ihvh tmm\h m/wib\t npw
yd\vt ihvh n/amn\h m/kcm\t pti

The heavens and the Torah work together. Science, the uncovering of the workings of the heavenly bodies, and our earthly bodies, is not in conflict with instruction, as uncovered for us through the Torah and its keys.

Here's a snippet of my oratorio. I build a fugal entry using the raw material from the accents. Come composers, I am sure some of you could do much better than I have with these suggestive melodies. All the raw material is in the manuscript. 

From page 29 

Monday 18 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 18:42


Verse 42 ends this colourful psalm with a negative.

יְשַׁוְּע֥וּ וְאֵין־מוֹשִׁ֑יעַ
עַל־יְ֝הוָ֗ה וְלֹ֣א עָנָֽם
42 They will cry for help and there is no salvation,
to Yahweh and he did not answer them.
mb iwvvyu vain-mowiy
yl-ihvh vla ynm
i/wvy\v v/ain mv/wy
yl ihvh v/la yn\m

This psalm is encoded with the music of the prose books in 2 Samuel 22. That alone makes for an interesting exploration of the deciphering key of Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura which I am using in my posts. I am convinced that her inferences provide the best usage and completeness of the information encoded in the text as of today. Please see my posts stretching to find a Bayesian analysis of the probabilities.

Sunday 17 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 17:1

 There's much ink spilled over the accents that define the music. I use line breaks in my translation to show only the two major internal cadences that are used in the poetry books - the one on the supertonic, and the one on the subdominant.

Other pauses are clear from the sense of the words but not from the accents alone. In this verse, for example, there are four revia (the little diamond above the text). Two of them allow a pause, and two do not. Imagine yourself as a composer with these tools of your trade. Imagine yourself as a poet. Using the revia, we could divide the 20 syllables of the middle colon into three parts.

This 'psalm' is a prayer.

תְּפִלָּ֗ה לְדָ֫וִ֥ד
שִׁמְעָ֤ה יְהוָ֨ה ׀ צֶ֗דֶק הַקְשִׁ֥יבָה רִנָּתִ֗י הַאֲזִ֥ינָה תְפִלָּתִ֑י
בְּ֝לֹ֗א שִׂפְתֵ֥י מִרְמָֽה
1 A prayer of David.
Hear Yahweh righteousness. Attend to my shout. Give ear to my prayer,
not from lips of deceit.
a tpilh ldvid
wmyh ihvh xdq hqwibh rinti hazinh tpilti
bla wpti mrmh
t/pl\h l/dvd
wmy\h ihvh xdq h/qwb\h rn\ti h/azn\h t/pl\ti
bl\a wp\ti m/rmh

Saturday 16 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 16:5

The rest is on the word 'my cup'.

יְֽהוָ֗ה מְנָת־חֶלְקִ֥י וְכוֹסִ֑י
אַ֝תָּ֗ה תּוֹמִ֥יךְ גּוֹרָלִֽי
5 Yahweh is the portion of my share and my cup.
You yourself maintain my lot.

h ihvh mnt-klqi vcosi
ath tomiç gorli
ihvh mn\t klq\i v/cvs\i
ath tvmic gvrl\i

 The higher tessitura return to the tonic is shared with 709 other verses (about 15%) in the three books. Part of this psalm is set by Handel in the Messiah, but I didn't chose that as my verse today.  The psalm is sung here. If this link does not work for you - general read access to the whole DVD should be available here. Then you can explore all this wealth of history for the 20th century work of Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura.

Friday 15 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 15

In Yahweh's tent there is rest for the guest.

מִזְמ֗וֹר לְדָ֫וִ֥ד
יְ֭הֹוָה מִי־יָג֣וּר בְּאָהֳלֶ֑ךָ
מִֽי־יִ֝שְׁכֹּ֗ן בְּהַ֣ר קָדְשֶֽׁךָ
1 A psalm of David.
Yahweh who will guest in your tent?
Who will dwell on your holy hill?
a mzmor ldvid
ihvh mi-igur baohlç
mi-iwcon bhr qodwç
m/zmr l/dvd
ihvh mi i/gvr b/ahl\c
mi i/wcn b/hr qdw\c

 This tricolon has first the inscription with a cadence on the second note of the scale, then a question coming to a rest in bar 5, and its parallel returning to the tonic in a traditional simple phrase. The whole phrase is unique, but 28 verses in the three books have this phrase shape as the last part of a verse.

Thursday 14 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 14:1

 nbl is a rich word. The music can be played on a nbl. Are you an instrument also? - a skin-bottle or a corpse, withered, or a lute?

It's not 'the fool' -- it's one without touch, feel, sight, hearing, smell, taste, or balance
לַמְנַצֵּ֗חַ לְדָ֫וִ֥ד
אָ֘מַ֤ר נָבָ֣ל בְּ֭לִבּוֹ אֵ֣ין אֱלֹהִ֑ים
הִֽשְׁחִ֗יתוּ הִֽתְעִ֥יבוּ עֲלִילָ֗ה אֵ֣ין עֹֽשֵׂה־טֽוֹב
1 For the leader. Of David.
Senseless said in its heart, God? Nothing.
They destroy, they do abomination, wantonness. There is none doing good.

a lmnxk ldvid
amr nbl blibo ain alohim
hwkitu htyibu ylilh ain yowh-'tob
lm/nxk l/dvd
amr nbl b/lb\v ain alh\im
h/wkt\v h/tyb\v yll\h ain ywh 'tvb

Wednesday 13 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 13:2

 The ornament in bar 5 after the mid-verse break is called shalshelet. It occurs 46 times: 4 times in Torah, once in Ezra, once in Isaiah, once in Amos, and 39 times in the three books, 29 in Psalms, 4 in Proverbs and 6 times in Job. It is used on the return to the tonic only in the three books.

The psalm begins with a plea and ends with hope. Sung here.
עַד־אָ֣נָה יְ֭הוָה תִּשְׁכָּחֵ֣נִי נֶ֑צַח
עַד־אָ֓נָה ׀ תַּסְתִּ֖יר אֶת־פָּנֶ֣יךָ מִמֶּֽנִּי
2 How long please Yahweh will you forget me? perpetually?
How long please will you hide your face from me?
b yd-anh ihvh twckni nxk
yd-anh tstir at-pniç mmni
yd anh ihvh t/wck\ni nxk
yd anh t/str at pn\ic m/mn\i

Tuesday 12 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 12:2

The musical phrase in verse 2 occurs in 46 other verses in the poetry books. Some shapes (sequences of accents) are unique. Some are used several times. This one has this shape: e B g B ^A f# ger-rev,f# e - ger-rev is an abbreviation for the common sequence in the poetry books in the last part of a verse, revia proceeding from geresh (revia mugrash).
A plea for the one who is merciful
הוֹשִׁ֣יעָה יְ֭הוָה כִּי־גָמַ֣ר חָסִ֑יד
כִּי־פַ֥סּוּ אֱ֝מוּנִ֗ים מִבְּנֵ֥י אָדָֽם
Save Yahweh, for obliterated is the merciful one,
for vanished are the faithful among the children of humanity.
b howiyh ihvh ci-gmr ksid
ci-psu amunim mbni adm
hv/w\iyh ihvh ci gmr ksid
ci ps\v amvn\im m/bn\i adm

Monday 11 September 2023

#Psalmtweet, #Psalter, Conversations on the Psalms

 I have just come across this series of conversations. Susan Gillingham convened the 2010 Oxford conference on the Psalms. It was this conference that introduced me to the deciphering key of Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura. I will reference some of Prof Gillingham's work in future tweets, notably from this series on Psalm 53 and her presentation in Rome on Psalm 137.

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 11:3,4

Fundamentals are overthrown but  Yahweh is in his holy temple...
For Yahweh is a righteous one. He loves righteousness. (v7) His faces gaze on the upright. Full score here.
Verses 1-3 are a musical unit connected by the opening notes.
Note how the revia allows a pause on holy. So the verse could be read as four cola rather than three.
Eyelids (ypyp) - rare - 10 times in the Bible. Yahweh has them as noted here. Of Leviathan, it is said: His sneezing praises light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of dawn. (Job 41).
כִּ֣י הַ֭שָּׁתוֹת יֵֽהָרֵס֑וּן
צַ֝דִּ֗יק מַה־פָּעָֽל
3 ♪B For the fundamentals are overthrown.
How does a righteous one work?

g ci hwtot iihrsun
xdiq mh-pyl
ci h/wt\vt i/hrs\vn
xdiq mh pyl
יְהוָ֤ה ׀ בְּֽהֵ֘יכַ֤ל קָדְשׁ֗וֹ יְהוָה֮ בַּשָּׁמַ֪יִם כִּ֫סְא֥וֹ
עֵינָ֥יו יֶחֱז֑וּ
עַפְעַפָּ֥יו יִ֝בְחֲנ֗וּ בְּנֵ֣י אָדָֽם
4 Yahweh is in his holy temple. Yahweh in the heavens his throne.
His eyes gaze on,
His eyelids test the children of humanity.
d ihvh bhicl qodwo ihvh bwmiim cisao
yiniv ikzu
ypypiv ibknu bni adm
ihvh b/hicl qdw\v ihvh b/wmim csa\v
yin\iv i/kz\v
ypyp\iv i/bkn\v bn\i adm

Sunday 10 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 10:1 Acrostic 1 part 2

Psalm 10 is the continuation of Psalm 9, the second half of a broken acrostic.

Whether this psalm as a children's game is deliberately broken or is an accident of textual transmission, I don't know. It is curious however, that the four acrostics in book 1 are all missing one letter or another, and the four of book 5 are not missing any verses. The game is played in Lamentations also. The first four chapters are acrostics - with the special note that peh (p) and ayin (y) are reversed in each chapter. There is an acrostic also in Proverbs 31 -- all worth reading. The sentiment in this 'l' verse is clear for all to understand.

There is no inscription for this psalm. This is true (in Book 1 Psalms 1-41), for Psalms 1, 2, and 33. All others are 'of / to  / for David'.
לָמָ֣ה יְ֭הוָה תַּעֲמֹ֣ד בְּרָח֑וֹק
תַּ֝עְלִ֗ים לְעִתּ֥וֹת בַּצָּרָֽה
1 LORD why do you stand in the distance,
obscure in times of trouble?
a lmh ihvh tymod brkoq
tylim lyitot bxrh
lmh ihvh t/ymd b/rkq
t/ylm l/yt\vt b/xr\h

Saturday 9 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 9:21 Acrostic 1 part 1

A rousing finale to the psalm - to be continued...

Again, in my old age as a tenor I found the high f# too much, but high it should be.
קוּמָ֣ה יְ֭הוָה אַל־יָעֹ֣ז אֱנ֑וֹשׁ
יִשָּׁפְט֥וּ ג֝וֹיִ֗ם עַל־פָּנֶֽיךָ
20 Arise Yahweh, let a mortal not be strong.
Let the nations be judged in your presence.
c qumh ihvh al-iyoz anow
iiwp'tu goiim yl-pniç
qvm\h ihvh al i/yz anvw
i/wp't\v gvi\m yl pn\ic

Friday 8 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 8:5

This post has the chromatic mode with the augmented fourth. Sung here.

Mode is a subjective decision. In earlier days I thought this mode too difficult to sing, but hear the performance of Chanticleer in Psalms 29. It is a striking performance. Occasionally my software will change a g to g# in this mode. I haven't found the place where I should correct it! For this mode, as the performance indicates, the change on an ornament is not required.

This is the first key verse that illustrates a broad structure within the 150 Psalms as a whole. There is a chiasm formed by the poems that precede the acrostics and certain keywords. Psalms 8:5 and 144:3 are the outer pair. Psalms 36 and 110 the inner pair, these being the only two oracles in the Psalter. The music for this verse and the corresponding one in 144 are described here in a trio I wrote to explore this key question - just what is this human being that we are - now the second largest biomass on the earth - second only to cows.

Here is the image of the structure.

A chiastic relationship between the poems prior to the acrostics in the Psalter

מָֽה־אֱנ֥וֹשׁ כִּֽי־תִזְכְּרֶ֑נּוּ
וּבֶן־אָ֝דָ֗ם כִּ֣י תִפְקְדֶֽנּוּ
5 What is a mortal? for you remember it.
And a child of humanity? for you visit it,
h mh-anow ci-tzcrnu
ubn-adm ci tpqdnu
mh anvw ci t/zcr\nv
v/bn adm ci t/pqd\nv

Thursday 7 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 7:15

 A sharpened mode -- truth distorted.

A metaphor

הִנֵּ֥ה יְחַבֶּל־אָ֑וֶן
וְהָרָ֥ה עָ֝מָ֗ל וְיָ֣לַד שָֽׁקֶר
15 Behold he pushes out mischief,
and he is big with toil and he gives birth to falsehood.
'tv hnh ikbl-avvn
vhrh yml vild wqr
hnh i/kbl avn
v/hrh yml v/ild wqr

Wednesday 6 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 6:1-2

Psalms 6:1-2

 Every verse is sung, even the inscription. Note here the plea for protection. Verse 1 is the inscription, sung as a single phrase. Verse 2 has two cola. There is no ornamentation in the second colon. This is in contrast to many examples that we will see of the revia mugrash following the last cadence in the verse in the three poetry books (Psalms, Proverbs, and the speeches of Job -- excepting the narrator's bits).

לַמְנַצֵּ֣חַ בִּ֭נְגִינוֹת עַֽל־הַשְּׁמִינִ֗ית מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִֽד 1 For the leader on strings over octaves. A psalm of David.
a lmnxk bnginot yl-hwminit mzmor ldvid 16
lm/nxk b/ngn\vt yl h/wmn\it m/zmr l/dvd
יְֽהוָ֗ה אַל־בְּאַפְּךָ֥ תוֹכִיחֵ֑נִי
וְֽאַל־בַּחֲמָתְךָ֥ תְיַסְּרֵֽנִי
2 Yahweh, do not in your anger correct me,
and do not in your heat chasten me.
b ihvh al-bapç tocikni
val-bkmtç tiisrni
ihvh al b/ap\c tv/c\ikni
v/al b/km\tc t/isr\ni

There are limited performances available. The list of what was on the master DVD which I was given by Jonathan Wheeler, Editor of Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura's English book, is here.

All the music is available for every chapter of the Hebrew Bible in single PDFs, e.g. the psalms are here or combined PDFs. The combined are more recent. Feel free to use them native or as input to arrangements.

Tuesday 5 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 5:7

Psalms 5:7

 The poet is very confident in this psalm. Overconfident? We are reading in sequence. And there is already intimation of a rebuke. The music above illustrates a verse with a cadence on the supertonic only. The tessitura never reaches the subdominant.

The four table elements below are: 1. the Westminster Leningrad Codex Hebrew, 2. my rendering in English, 3. the SimHebrew based on the 'full spelling' without vowel pointing, and 4. an automated representation of prefix/root\suffix of the consonants in the first element.

תְּאַבֵּד֮ דֹּבְרֵ֪י כָ֫זָ֥ב
אִישׁ־דָּמִ֥ים וּמִרְמָ֗ה יְתָ֘עֵ֥ב ׀ יְהוָֽה
7 You will make the speakers of a lie to perish.
A person of blood and deceit Yahweh will abhor.
z tabd dobri czb
aiw-dmim umrmh ityb ihvh
t/abd dbr\i czb
aiw dmm vm/rmh i/tyb ihvh

Monday 4 September 2023

The latest project - 150 #psalmtweet from the #psalter in daily succession

You might have noticed that I am scheduling daily verses. Yes - software. I am about half-way through drafting the first 72 psalms. I hope to complete the draft in the next month, assuming I live so long. Last night I spent 6 hours in emergency with a sudden inexplicable explosive nosebleed. I am more fragile than I thought. Too much stress. But that's another story. Today I am swollen (an inflated balloon in half my soul) but still alive. 

My posts are unique. Words without music are dangerous. They create a false abstraction not to be believed. There is only one place in the world where the music can be generated from the Hebrew Unicode text verse by verse - that's on my computer. I line up the verse on my translation form and press the music button. Then I open the XML with Musescore - and presto a verse of music, isomorphic to the Scripture -- nothing added -- and more importantly, nothing taken away. So the computer has to last until the draft is completed.

Also there is only one place where the four quadrant Hebrew, English, SimHebrew, and automated parsing can be produced. The same computer - still going strong with a new solid-state drive (thanks to science). This table is produced ad hoc by an Oracle routine I wrote a year or two ago. It's not perfect, but it doesn't destroy information -- following the commandment in a few psalms: Do not destroy. I may make the odd comment too and point to the odd performance -- all on my blog already if you look for them.

It's not quite a religious thing with me to do daily study or daily verses. I have resisted this practice. 

But I have been meditating on science, culture, and faith for several weeks recently. I follow a number of things on Twitter, that app with the most lame rebranding I have ever noted. But it is still a source of confused, contradictory, and interesting tweets.

Religion is too often used to justify the status quo, to hearken back to a false narrative on the truth, and to support propaganda for war. The last is evident with the imperial Russian story and now also with the lunatic fringe of Pope Francis praising violence - how disappointing.  The middle -- hearkening back to earlier stages of ambiguity -- is a common refuge for a certain class of scholarship and also for the fearful, searching for certainty. And the first - justifying the status quo - is all too common in power structures. "It shall not be so with you." I think we have not learned this well.

The psalms tell the truth about the poet. Poetry -- admittedly with metaphor -- but how else do we speak of anything.

Science was to some also a search for certainty but in another direction. Certainty turned out to be a false narrative. Science, (fully supported by the honesty of the Scriptures and their invitation to question, is as uncertain as the religious framework). Faith is best termed faithfulness, i.e. rendering the adherent trustworthy. (Not 'faith' as if it were believing a lie.) With such exploratory faithfulness, science yields true delight in the intricacy of its patterns. The most religious experience I had as a teen was my fourth year class on special relativity. Learning time dilation was more revelatory to me of God's work than some of the learning of Scripture that I fell into fearfully shortly thereafter. Now I think that the uncertainty principle supports the doctrine of co-creation and theosis, but I don't want to give either the Anglicans or the Orthodox any reasons to boast. And I'm not about to explain my hunch.

Culture is yet another question. Science and religion both are part of it. The New Testament has the phrase - in the world but not of the world, and that phrase has had several busses drive through it and cause immeasurable damage. Damage is not what religion should be about. Doesn't God love the world, and the created order, and the cultures that develop as the people learn to govern and to care?

What if the Gospel, like a good sourdough, ate up the world, flour and milk cup by cup, and taught the world to care? It is like the yeast that works in the lump, leavening everything. And now that living and working culture, like its sourdough starter analogue, is trying to teach the churches what caring means because the churches in the rigid application of their own history, jurisprudence, and prejudice have forgotten what their purpose is. In the same way that the fifth book of Torah rewrites earlier laws and statutes for a later time, so the churches must research just how it has its tendencies to stray.

Lost sheep they are. Forgot their knowledge.

תָּעִ֗יתִי כְּשֶׂ֣ה אֹ֭בֵד בַּקֵּ֣שׁ עַבְדֶּ֑ךָ
כִּ֥י מִ֝צְוֺתֶ֗יךָ לֹ֣א שָׁכָֽחְתִּי
176 Time and again I wander like a newborn lamb that is perishing. Seek your servant,
for your commandments I do not forget.
qyv tyiti cwh aobd bqw ybdç
ci mxvotiç la wckti
ty\iti c/wh abd bqw ybd\c
ci m/xv\tic la wck\ti

All the music is available for every chapter of the Hebrew Bible in single PDFs, e.g. the psalms are here or combined PDFs. The combined are more recent. Feel free to use them native or as input to arrangements.

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 4:3


Psalms 4:6 A rebuke. Sung here
בְּנֵ֥י אִ֡ישׁ עַד־מֶ֬ה כְבוֹדִ֣י לִ֭כְלִמָּה תֶּאֱהָב֣וּן רִ֑יק
תְּבַקְשׁ֖וּ כָזָ֣ב סֶֽלָה
3 Children, each of you, how long will you humiliate my glory? your love empty?
your seeking a lie? Selah.
g bni aiw yd-mh cbodi lclimh tahbun riq
tbqwu czb slh
bn\i aiw yd mh cbvd\i l/clm\h t/ahb\vn riq
t/bqw\v czb slh

(The performer has chosen a differing mode and there are some accent differences due to the Letteris edition that she is singing).

Sunday 3 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 3:6

Psalms 3:6 - a performance of the psalm is available here.

 This verse is a tri-cola with cadences on the supertonic and the subdominant. It has a very short second colon, one word, four syllables. David has enemies -- as do we, but he can sleep, and awaken.

אֲנִ֥י שָׁכַ֗בְתִּי וָֽאִ֫ישָׁ֥נָה
כִּ֖י יְהוָ֣ה יִסְמְכֵֽנִי
6 I lie down and I sleep.
I awake,
for Yahweh supports me.
v ani wcbti vaiwnh
ci ihvh ismcni
ani wcb\ti va/iwn\h
ci ihvh i/smc\ni

Saturday 2 September 2023

#Psalmtweet #Psalter 2:6

The music of this verse begins on a note other than the tonic. My thesis is that this indicates a special connection with the prior verse.  (See this post.) You can see the music for the whole psalm here. The first 6 verses are all connected in this way. It is as if each verse is annotated with the instruction attacca.
וַ֭אֲנִי נָסַ֣כְתִּי מַלְכִּ֑י
עַל־צִ֝יּ֗וֹן הַר־קָדְשִֽׁי
6 ♪g I myself have offered as libation my own king,
on Zion, my holy hill.
v vani nscti mlci
yl-xion hr-qodwi
v/ani nsc\ti mlc\i
yl xivn hr qdw\i
Psalms 2:6

Friday 1 September 2023

#Psalter 1:3

Psalms 1:3 You can hear Psalm 1 performed here.
וְֽהָיָ֗ה כְּעֵץ֮ שָׁת֪וּל עַֽל־פַּלְגֵ֫י־מָ֥יִם
אֲשֶׁ֤ר פִּרְי֨וֹ ׀ יִתֵּ֬ן בְּעִתּ֗וֹ וְעָלֵ֥הוּ לֹֽא־יִבּ֑וֹל
וְכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲשֶׂ֣ה יַצְלִֽיחַ
3 Such a one is like a tree transplanted by streams of water,
that gives its fruit in its time and its leaf does not wither.
And in all that it does, it thrives.
g vhih cyx wtul yl-plgi-mim
awr priio iitn byito vylhu la-iibol
vcol awr-iywh ixlik
v/hih c/yx wtl yl plg\i mim
awr pr\iv i/tn b/yt\v v/ylh\v la i/bl
v/cl awr i/ywh i/xlk

The first line, in a low tessitura, cadences in bar 4 (on the word mim) on the supertonic. This cadence, called ole veyored covers two accents, the first above the text and the second below. The combination is used only in the three poetry books, Psalms, Proverbs, and the speeches of Job. Only in these books do we see these tri-cola, the first cadence on the second note of the scale, and the second on the subdominant, the fourth note of the scale.

The second musical line, beginning in the last beat of bar 4, ascends to the sixth in joy at the unfading fruitfulness of the one who delights in the instruction of Yahweh. The cadence and pause on the subdominant is marked (bar 8).

The final musical line returns to the tonic. For an introduction to the music, please see here