Sacred and the Secular
Even before the Temple
was destroyed, synagogues were active throughout the country and in
the Diaspora. The worship at the synagogue differed considerably from
that of the Temple. Instead of a sacrificial focus synagogue liturgy
centered on the reading of Scripture and on prayer, and the officiants
were not the priests but the laity.
The simplicity of the
music in the early synagogue was influenced by the halakhic prohibitions
against playing musical instruments, or, under certain circumstances,
even singing. These prohibitions stem from three different sources:
rules of Sabbath observance; the mourning over the destruction of the
Temple; and the struggle against what the Rabbis took to be promiscuity.
and the shofar were considered inseparable parts of the Sabbath service
in the Temple; rabbinic law could do nothing regarding their presence
there. But the Rabbis could and did prohibit them outside the Temple
for fear that playing an instrument on the Sabbath, a permissible
act in and of itself, might lead inadvertently to the musician's tuning
it, mending it, or carrying it from one public place to another- all
of these being forbidden acts of work. Since the main synagogue service
took place on Sabbath mornings, no musical instrument could become
an integral component thereof. Even the shofar could not be blown,
if Rosh Hashanah occurred on the Sabbath.
Mourning over the
destruction of the Second Temple led to a rabbinic ban on all secular
songs and instrumental music. Quoting Hosea (9:1), "Do not rejoice,
O Israel, with merriments like the nations," the Rabbis declared:
"An ear listening to songs will surely be cut off.... A song in the
house means destruction is at its threshold" (Sotah 48a). Concessions
were made permitting music, even instrumental music, for the sake
of a religious obligation, such as rejoicing with groom and bride;
but the Sabbath ban remained, and, in general, music was not favored.
The only instrument
allowed in the synagogue, precisely because of its nonmusical significance,
the shofar was blown mainly on Rosh Hashanah, to fulfill the biblical
obligation as stated in Leviticus 24:29 and Numbers 29:1. The instrument
is also sounded at the end of the concluding service (Ne'illah) on
Yom Kippur and after the weekday morning services during Elul, the
month preceding Rosh Hashanah. In the Sephardic and Yemenite rites,
the penitential services clustered around the High Holy Day season
(selichot) feature many shofars blown simultaneously when the thirteen
attributes of God (Exod. 34:5-7) are chanted. The awesome sound of
the shofar served also to create a mournful atmosphere in services
of public fasts, and even to invoke a sense of dread during ceremonies
Behind both Sabbath
regulations and the desire to mourn for the Temple, however, we see
the Rabbis' puritanical ethic, with its fight against real or imagined
promiscuity, as evident in the extremist talmudic maxim: "A woman's
voice is indecency" (Ber. 24a). In the Temple, and later in the synagogue,
men and women were separated and only the men sang. In spite of a
unique testimony to the contrary among the Therapeutae,
the antiphonal singing of men and women became unacceptable in rabbinic
worship. "Men singing and women answering is promiscuity; women singing
and men answering is like fire set to chaff" (Sotah 48a) .
Early synagogue music
consisted of three genres of chant: psalmody, cantillation of Scripture,
and the liturgical chant in which the statutory prayers were recited
by a local worship leader (generally not a Rabbi) who functioned in
many different roles in the early synagogue and was known as the chazzan
(a word now reserved for, and translated as, "cantor"). Psalmody, particularly
popular in the ancient Palestinian rite, though considerably restricted
in the Babylonian rite whence most Western liturgies are derived, was
adopted from the Temple and probably was performed in a similar manner.
Cantillation of Scripture, a focus of worship on Mondays and Thursdays
(the market days), Sabbaths, New Moons, holy days, and fast days, featured
the chanting of a verse, followed by its translation into the vernacular
and (perhaps) its immediate exegesis to the public. Both the verse and
its translation were probably chanted to a simple psalmodic formula.
This could have been the origin of the tradition, that later became
the norm, of dividing all verses, even the prose ones, into half-verses.
Remnants of the early psalmodic concept of cantillation can still be
heard in the Torah reading of the Yemenite and some other Middle Eastern
Jewish communities . Some Yemenite congregations
still retain the custom of reading and translating. Each verse is read
once in Hebrew, by an adult, and a second time in Aramaic, by a child.
The readers use different psalmodic formulas to differentiate the source
from the translation.
in both Jewish and Christian worship and the structure of liturgical
texts suggest that liturgical chant consisted of simple melodies that
were constructed as patchworks of traditional musical motives. Two
of the three genres, namely, psalmody and centonization (melodic patchwork),
had their counterparts in the early Christian church and became permanent
elements in the chants of the Eastern and Western churches. 
All ancient cultures,
rabbinic Judaism among them, preferred to chant their sacred texts rather
than to recite them. Talmudic tradition (Meg. 3a, P.T. Meg. 4a) holds
that the cantillation of the Pentatuech was practiced even in the Second
Temple. But various cantillation methods were crystalized only slowly,
during a period of over eight hundred years.
The liturgical recitation
of Scripture in the synagogue service demanded the setting of norms
for the proper chanting of the text. The scrolls used for liturgical
reading contained only an unpunctuated and unvocalized text, so that
the slightest change of a vowel or a misunderstanding of the proper
division of the verse could introduce a new and unwelcome meaning
to the reading. On the other hand, marking the scrolls with any additional
signs was forbidden. Thus the right interpretation of the text had
to be transmitted orally for many centuries.
The invention of
the codex, the bound book, introduced a change, in that it became
permissible to copy the sacred text into the codex with additional
signs to aid the reader. One could not chant from the codex in public,
but one could study the proper interpretation of the text from the
bound book and memorize the signs in the codex before chanting from
the scroll during services. 
From the seventh
to the ninth century C.E., various schools of grammarians in Babylonia
and Palestine attempted to build a coherent system of symbols for
the entire text of the Bible. These attempts culminated during the
ninth century in the development of the most sophisticated system
by the Jassoretic school of Tiberias. 
The grammarians of
this school defined four objectives for their system: (1) to provide
the text with proper vocalization; (2) to indicate to the reader what
syllable to accentuate; (3) to divide and subdivide the verses according
to syntactical and grammatical considerations; (4) to indicate the
desired musical patterns of the traditional chant. These goals were
achieved by furnishing the biblical text with the double system of
nikkud and te'amim. The nikkud signs were written above, below, and
inside the letters to indicate the vowels and the special pronunciation
of some consonants. The te'amim signs were usually placed above or
below the accented syllables, and they further divided and subdivided
the verses, indicating the desired musical motives to which the text
was to be chanted. The names and some of the graphical shapes of the
te'amim were derived from hand motions (known as chironomy) which
were used by prompters to remind the reader of the appropriate musical
patterns. The original Tiberias signs have been preserved in a few
excellent manuscript codices of the tenth and eleventh centuries,
whence new editions of the Hebrew Bible are derived.
The Tiberias Massoretic
system was universally accepted by all Jewish communities; but different
musical interpretations of the te'amim developed through the ages.
No community can claim today that it has preserved the ancient melodic
patterns that were practiced by the Tiberian grammarians. 
Eight different regional traditions of cantillation coexist now. 
Some of them, like the Yemenite tradition, antedate the Tiberias system
and ignore some of its components; others, such as the eastern European
Ashkenazi tradition, follow the signs meticulously. This, however,
does not mean that all the Ashkenazi musical patterns emerged the
minute the theory of the te'amim was accepted by Europeans. On the
contrary, some of their musical patterns developed much later, during
the past four centuries. 
Within the eight
regional traditions one can further identify more specific local styles
of cantillation belonging to the various countries or districts of
the region. In addition, each of these traditions uses different musical
systems for the various books of the Bible. Thus, for instance, the
eastern European Ashkenazi tradition, which is practiced in most synagogues
in the United States, consists of six different musical systems: (1)
regular reading of the Pentateuch; (2) High Holy Day reading of the
Pentateuch; (3) the Prophets; (4) the scroll of Esther; (5) the scrolls
of Ruth, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes; (6) the scroll of Lamentations.
Since the liturgical
reading of Scripture requires much knowledge and preparation, it is
relegated in most Jewish communities to a professional reader called
a ba'al keriah (literally, master of reading). Some communities of
North Africa, Yemen, and Italy still follow the custom of using an
assistant (somekh), whose hand motions prompt the reader.
The early synagogue developed
the role of prayer leader, or precentor, a knowledgeable man who was
conceptualized theologically as serving as the "agent of the congregation"
(sheliach tsibbur) in voicing the statutory liturgy before God. Though
not necessarily possessing the most beautiful voice, the precentor was
to be a paragon of learning and piety. Moreover, since prayer texts
were transmitted orally until the fourth or the fifth century, precentors
had to possess a strong memory for mandatory texts and an ability to
improvise musical settings for them. The precentor chanted the prayers
to simple traditional melodic patterns that developed locally but were
then disseminated among other communities by wandering cantors.
We think today of
the chazzan (the cantor) as the precentor. But in the early synagogue
the chazzan functioned in many roles before specializing as the leader
of prayer. When the professional cantor emerged as primarily a singer
is not clear, though the rise of the specialized piyyut (see below)
may have been the primary factor, in that the piyyut, being complex
poetry, required specialized education on the part of anyone charged
with chanting it.  Then again, distinctions
in musical ability have always been the norm. Various passages of
the Talmud require two precentors for the morning services, and it
seems that the second one was usually the better singer. Placing the
better singer after a nonprofessional remains the custom today in
most traditional Jewish communities, which still differentiate the
lay precentor (ba'al hatefillah, master of prayer) from a professional
or semiprofessional cantor (chazzan).
Whenever it was that
the post of cantor developed into a primarily musical role, good cantors
were in great demand, and they went from community to community, shaping
regional repertories of melodies and melodic fragments that eventually
crystallized into fixed patterns that individual communities viewed
as sacred and obligatory. Early forms of such chants were preserved
in all Jewish communities, but we can never be certain about the antiquity
of any particular chant. Simple tunes may be ancient, or they may
be later simplifications of more complicated chants.
The synagogal chant
repertories are known as the collective noun, nusach. It serves today
as the entire repertory for the lay precentor, but as the mere basis
for the liturgical recitative of the professional cantor, whose liturgical
art is called chazzanut. It makes use of the traditional melodic patterns
some of them fixed, others flexible or modular in order
to create an artistic musical expression of the form or content of
the prayer. Particularly prominent in the Ashkenazi tradition, liturgical
recitative involves some improvisation and artistic freedom; yet at
its best, it is firmly bound to the traditional melodic formulas that
in turn are connected to the liturgical function of the prayer and
its calendrical setting.
In the Sephardi tradition,
cantors tended to emphasize diction and accurate Hebrew pronunciation,
rather than vocal embellishment. Where such ornamentation developed
into chazzanut, however, as in the Ashkenazi synagogue, ambivalent
feelings developed towards cantorial artistry. At its best, chazzanut
expresses sublimely religious sensitivity, even if the style is suspected
of deteriorating into a display of cantonal vanity and of opening
the back door through which foreign melodies may infiltrate sacred
worship. Severe criticisms of chazzanut abound in the rabbinic literature
of many countries and various periods from the ninth century to this
As synagogues grew in
importance, their services tended gradually toward greater fixity, under
the standardizing principles espoused by the Rabbis. Though no uniform
text was universally accepted by all Jews, local customs emerged at
least by the fifth century C.E.  Simultaneously,
however, increasingly complex poetry was devised either as artistic
additions to the fixed prayers or, on some occasions, actually as substitutes
for portions of them. Precentors thus composed and sang new poems, called
piyyutim, which combined references to the occasions on which they were
sung, the relevant liturgical rubric in which they were placed, and
the homiletic interpretation of the lectionary. Some of the poems had
short refrains for congregational singing; others had more complicated
responsive texts that were probably sung by a small choir. 
The insertion of these poems into the prayers raised heated rabbinic
debates ; yet the people loved this new art and
cherished its singer-composers, the payyetanim.
The early "preclassical"
piyyut was built of lines containing two or three words each, or of
lines combining two and three-word segments. The number of syllables
and the meter were not fixed; they often changed from one line to
the next. The music was probably built up from melodic formulas with
fixed motives for the.stressed syllables and flexible auxiliary notes
to accommodate the varying number of unstressed syllables. Such melodies
are still used for these poems. That any melodies are the original
ones is, however, highly doubtful.
The classic piyyut
of poets like Eleazar Kallir (c. sixth-seventh centuries) is built
around new principles of rhyming and strophe, while the variable number
of syllables within the lines remained. Musically, this structure
called for a long melody to accommodate one strophe and perhaps another
melody for a refrain, when needed. Since the poems were sung by the
professional payyetan, it is safe to assume on the basis of common
Middle Eastern practices that each strophe was sung to an embellished
variation of the melody. The refrain sung by the congregation or the
choir had a fixed melody. However, a common feature of refrains of
this sort is that they are sung in heterophony; that is to say, the
congregation never sings in exact unison, but different members of
the congregation sing their own private versions of the melody, which
together form a simultaneous rhythmical cloud of variations. Again,
melodies to classical piyyutim exist in various Jewish communities,
yet none can be identified as the original tune of a specific poem.
We do, however, have
some evidence of what such early music may have sounded like, the
best-known example being a melody found in a Genizah fragment of the
twelfth century.  The text is a piyyut for Shavuot
or Simchat Torah by an unknown poet named Amar, with music notated
in old, nonstaved neumes by Obadiah, an Italian priest who converted
to Judaism at the beginning of the century and lived in Egypt after
The melody and another
one notated by the same hand  have been the
subjects of scholarly debate since their discovery. Possibly the melodies
are original compositions by Obadiah and were perhaps influenced,
like the notation itself, by Gregorian chant; yet they may be transcriptions
of Jewish melodies that Obadiah heard in the East. 
It is convenient to distinguish
two liturgical-musical traditions in Jewish culture. Ashkenazi Jews
hailed largely from Italy and began settling the Rhineland by the ninth
century. By the eleventh century, they had already established their
cultural hegemony there, whence they spread north and west to France
and England, south and east to other German-speaking lands, and to Poland,
Russia, and the various territories that constituted the Hapsburg Empire.
By contrast, the Sephardi community was established in Spain, where
it enjoyed cultural efflorescence first under Moslems and then again,
after the reconquest, under Christians. The expulsion of Jews from Spain
in 1492 resulted in Sephardi culture being carried elsewhere, to some
extent northward to other parts of the Spanish Empire, where it was
practiced secretly until it could resurface in the Protestant
Netherlands, for instance but primarily eastward throughout the
Mediterranean world, where it eventually adapted to various Islamic
cultural patterns. We have already mentioned this or that aspect of
both Ashkenazi and Sephardi music. This section and the next trace these
two major cultures in more detail.
Arabic culture made an
indelible impression on Jewish poetry and music. Initially, the influence
was felt in Jewish theoretical treatises on music, as, for example,
the last chapter of Saadiah Gaon's Sefer Emunot Vedeot (Book of Beliefs
and Opinions, 933 C.E.), which deal with the eight rhythmical modes
according to the Hellenized Arabic theory of the time. Later, during
the eleventh and twelfth centuries in Spain and elsewhere, Hebrew poetry
was written according to Arabic patterns and was structured after the
Arabic qasida or muwashah forms. Poets like Solomon Ibn Gabirol, Abraham
Ibn Ezra, and Yehudah Halevi wrote secular and sacred poetry according
to the new patterns established by Dunash Ibn Labrat (tenth century).
These patterns were based on a Hebrew adaptation of the Arabic principle
of differentiating short from long syllables ,
a consideration that now had to be added to such older factors as rhyming
patterns, acrostic signatures, and the requisite allusions to biblical
verses. The secular poems were recited or sung at social events; the
sacred ones, chanted or sung during religious services. In the synagogue
as at home, the poems were sung to Arabic musical patterns.
As the new poetic
beauty captured the public, Sephardi prayer books blossomed with sacred
poems which are sung even today with great enthusiasm by all the Sephardi,
North African, Yemenite, and Middle Eastern communities. Long-lost
original melodies have been replaced by locally popular substitutes,
some of which adhere strictly to the rhythmical patterns of the poems,
others of which do not.  Sephardi communities
thus established congregational singing as a major characteristic
of their services. By contrast, in the Ashkenazi communities, where
this poetry was unknown, cantorial recitative thrived while congregation
singing was minimal until the late nineteenth century.
After their expulsion
from Spain in 1492 Sephardi Jews remained faithful to some features
of Arabic-Andalusian music and poetry. Hebrew poetry and synagogue melodies
were constructed according to the Andalusian nuba, an extended suite
form, unified by specific melodic modes and rhythmic patterns, and using
both songs and instrumental pieces, except in certain circumstances
e.g., on Shabbat, when (as we saw) instruments are not permitted
when vocal imitations of instruments occurs. 
Such songs are still created by the Jews of Morocco and are sung at
the Friday night Bakkashot services (a Sephardi liturgical practice
derived from Kabbalistic theory, featuring the stylized singing of piyyutim
in the hours after midnight). A "neo-nuba" style was created during
this century in Morocco and Israel by the payyetan R. David Bouzagio
and his disciples. 
As the popularity
of the Bakkashot service indicates, Arabic influence reemerged in
the last decades of the sixteenth century in Palestine and Syria,
under the influence of the Lurianic school of Kabbalah in Safed. Among
other things, an attempt was made to modernize Hebrew poetry by using
the old Arabic meters and combining them with the rhythm and style
of popular Arabic tunes of the day. Poets such as Menachem Lonzano
(1550 before 1624) and Israel Najara (1555?-1625?) provided
new sacred Hebrew poems to well-known Arabic and Turkish tunes. These
were sung as ceremonial Sabbath table songs and they even penetrated
the synagogue Services.  The trend still continues.
In the Bakkashot services of the Aleppo Jews in Jerusalem, New York,
and elsewhere, sacred poems are sung to the latest tunes of Arabic
popular singers as heard on radio and television. 
In Yemen, the favored
form of paraliturgical songs is the Arabic-inspired sequence of Nashid,
Shirah, and Hallel. The sequence begins with a free and florid solo
recitative; continues with a strict rhythmical song in Arabic meter,
sung and danced to by a small group of men; and concludes with a florid
heterophonic recitation of sacred verses by all the male participants.
 Also in Yemen, as in other Arabic countries,
Jewish women adopted songs of non-Jewish women, or improvised Judeo-Arabic
folk poems to rural Arabic tunes, using these in women's life-cycle
ceremonies, such as the chinnah ceremony preceding the wedding, a Sephardi
custom in which female friends and relatives of the bride meet to paint
her hands with red henna as a means of warding off the evil eye.
Arabic art music, and
especially the model system of the maqam with its numerous scales and
melodic patterns penetrated every musical activity of the Jews in the
Moslem countries, so much so that special synagogue calendars were constructed
to enable the cantors to sing their services each Sabbath according
to a different maqam. The system has even taken over the cantillation
of the Pentateuch, in that Jews who hail from Moslem lands chant the
te'amim according to melodic patterns of a maqam called siga. 
The coexistence of Jews
and Gentiles in the Diaspora, even in times of persecution, enriched
both cultures. Medieval Spain was a special case in point. Under the
Moslem rulers, the Jews developed the rich, new poetry that was influenced
by the Arabic poetic concept; under the Christian rulers, they developed
a rich treasury of songs in the Judeo-Spanish dialect sometimes called
Judeo-Espal or Ladino. Many of these songs originated in the Christian
kingdoms of Castile, Leon, or Aragon and were originally gentile folk
songs and ballads. Both the gentile and Jewish songs were preserved
by the Jews, mostly by Jewish women, in the various countries where
they lived after their expulsion from Spain. Many more songs were created
in the new countries, especially in the Balkans, in Turkey, and in Morocco.
The new creations were also in the ancient Spanish dialect with a mixture
of words in the local languages.
A rich and beautiful
melodic heritage has been transmitted with these Judeo-Spanish songs.
 The melodies range from the simplest rhythmical
dance songs to the most sophisticated recitative-like love songs.
Scholars tend to doubt whether this melodic treasure represents the
preexpulsion musical heritage in all its purity. In all probability,
the Judeo-Spanish melodic repertory is rich precisely because it was
able to absorb many local idioms that developed in various countries
Research has not
yet exhausted the repertory's many forms, but four main genres are
discernible thus far:
Melodies of the last
three genres were easily adapted for liturgical use: complas are reserved
largely for paraliturgical functions like Sabbath meals, and a limited
number of synagogue services, such as the reading of the scroll of Esther
on Purim; cantica melodies are adapted to the texts of Sabbath and festival
hymns, such as Adon Olam, Yigdal, and El Adon, or even to the Kaddish:
endecha patterns lend themselves during the Ninth of Av services and
in the story of the binding of Isaac that is chanted before the shofar
blowing on Rosh Hashanah.
narrative, sometimes epic, ballads based on medieval knightly tales
and sung to repeated four-line musical stanzas
songs for the celebration of the Jewish holidays, or songs that
accompany important life-cycle events, consisting of long, asymmetrical
life-cycle songs in simple, popular style and short stanzas, sometimes
with a refrain, sung to lively, rhythmical melodies and at times
accompanied by a tambourine
dirges and other songs of mourning
Sephardi music is thus
characterized absence of a sharp dividing line between the secular and
the sacred. The practice of adopting secular melodies to synagogue use
is so widespread that research into Sephardi sacred song often begins
by locating secular Judeo-Spanish sources first, and only secondarily
discovering how they have been adapted for sacred use.
This page is reproduced,
in three parts, by permission of the author and publisher in three parts
from "Jewish Liturgical Music from the Bible to Hasidims" by Eliyahu
Schleifer, in Sacred Sound and Social Change: Liturgical Music in
Jewish and Christian Experience published by University of Notre
Dame Press. This book is available in our liturgical web store (learn
Aharon Kahn, "Music in Halakhic Perspective (Part I), Journal of
Jewish Music anduturgy 9 (1986-1987): 55-72.
See n. 4, above (Jewish Liturgical Music, Part I). The Ashkenazi/Sephardi
cultural differentiation can be further broken down into smaller,
more precise categories, often identical with a geographical taxonomy
(see Lawrence A. Hoffman, Beyond the Text: A Holistic Approach
to Liturgy, Jewish Literature and Culture [Bloomington, Ind.,
1987], pp. 46-59). The Yemenite rite is thus a subsection of Sephardi
De vita comtemplativa, on the Therapeutae sect.
On subsequent halakhic rulings, see Baruch David Schreiber "The Woman's
Voice in the Synagogue," Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy 7
(1984-1985): 27-32. The Christian dictum, Mulier taceat in ecclesia
("Let woman be silent in church"), may have had a similar effect in
the medieval church worship; but its original source and meaning were
different. It is based on I Cor. 14:34, and is related not to eroticism
in the female voice but to the duty of women to obey men and not to
speak up in public meetings. See Gedaliah Elkoshi, Thesaurus of
Latin Proverbs and Idioms [With Hebrew Translations and Annotations]
(Jerusalem, 1981), p. 286.
On the Yemenite cantillation of the Pentateuch, see Uri Sharvit, "The
Realization of Biblical Cantillation Symbols (Te'amim) in the
Jewish Yemenite Tradition," Yuval 4 (1982): 179-210.
On the liturgical and musical relations between the synagogue and
the church, see, e.g., Eric Werner's The Sacred Bridge, vol.
1 (New York, 1959); and The Sacred Bridge: The Interdependence
of Liturgy and Music in Synagogue and Church during the First Millennium,
vol. 2 (New York, 1984). While Werner's ideas are intriguing and thought
provoking, his syntheses are speculative. See Peter Jeffrey, "Werner's
The Sacred Bridge, Volume 2: A Review Essay," The Jewish Quarterly
Review 77/4 (April 1987): 283-98. For a more modest, but more
successful reconstruction, see Hanoch Avenary, "Contacts between Church
and Synagogue Music," Proceedings of the World Jewish Congress
on Jewish Music (Jerusalem 1978) (Tel Aviv, 1982), pp. 89-107.
This is still the custom today. The Pentateuchal reading, though prepared
from a printed Bible, is chanted from the scroll. Other readings (generally
the prophetic lection) are permitted from printed volumes. At specified
holiday periods, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes,
and Esther (known to Jewish tradition as the five scrolls) are read
from scrolls which, however, are differentiated visually from Torah
scrolls in that they are constructed differently.
The most exhaustive studies of the Tiberias system in English are
still William Wickes's books Ta'amei Kaf Alef Sefarim [The Accents
of the Twenty One Books] and Ta'amei Emet [The Accents of the
Poetic Books] (Oxford, 1887 and 1881); reprinted together, with
a new prolegomenon by Aron Dotan (New York, 1970). The best new study
is Mordecai Breuer, Ta'amei Hamikra Bekhaf Alef Sefarim Uvesifrei
Emet (Jerusalem, 1989).
The best known are the Aleppo "Crown," c. 920 C.E. (now in the Jewish
National Library in Jerusalem) and the Leningrad Codex, c. 1010 C.E.
For a recent speculative, but highly intriguing, attempt to reconstruct
the original musical patterns of the Tiberias system, see Dalia Cohen
and Daniel Weil, "Progress in Deductive Research on the Original Performance
of the Tiberian Accents," Proceedings of the Ninth World Congress
of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem, 1986), pp. 265-86. See also their
forthcoming article, "The Scale System of the Tiberian Masoretic Accents,"
Orbis Musicae 10 (in preparation).
See the present writer's classification in "Cantillation," Encyclopedia
of Judaism (Jerusalem, 1989), pp. 148-49. A different classification
into five regions is suggested by Avigdor Herzog in "Masoretic Accents
(Musical Rendition)," Encyclopedia Judaica (Jerusalem, 1971), vol.
11, cols. 1098-1111.
See Hanoch Avenary, The Ashkenazi Tradition of Biblical Chant between
1500 and 1900. Documentation and Musical Analysis, Documentation,
and Studies, no. 2 (Tel Aviv, 1978).
For a detailed description of the musical systems (according to one
interpretation) see A. W. Binder, Biblical Chant (New York,
1959). For one Ashkenazi system, see Solomon Rosowsky, The Cantillation
of the Bible: The Five Books of Moses (New York, 1957).
Cf. Idelsohn, Jewish Music, pp. 108-9; Eric Werner, A Voice
Still Heard: The Sacred Song of the Ashkenazi Jews (University
Park and London, 1976), pp. 9-13.
For rabbinic writings on chazzanut, see Israel Adler, ed., Hebrew
Writings Concerning Music in Manuscripts and Printed Books from Geonic
Times up to 1800 (Munich, 1975).
For process of liturgical standardization, which continued until the
eleventh century, cf. Joseph Heinemann, Prayer in the Talmud
(Berlin and New York, 1977); Lawrence A. Hoffman, The Canonization
of the Synagogue Service (Notre Dame, 1979), especially ch. 11;
and most recently, the summary essay by Stefan Reif, "The Early History
of Jewish Worship," in the first volume of this series, Paul Bradshaw
and Lawrence A. Hoffman, eds., The Making of Jewish and Christian
Worship, Two Liturgical Traditions, Vol. 1 (Notre Dame, 1990).
For the standard account of the development of the art of the piyyut,
see Ezra Fleischer, Shirat Hakodesh Ha'ivrit Bimei Habeinayim
(Jerusalem, 1975). But see also Alfred Sendrey, Music of the Jews
in the Diaspora (up to 1800) (New York, 1970), pp. 150-65.
See, e.g., Hoffman, Canonization, ch. 4.
JTS, Adler Collection, ms 4096b.
Cambridge TS K5/41.
The melodic structure of Mi al har horev, for instance, is
indeed such as one would expect from a classic piyyut setting
(see example 4). See also Idelsohn, Jewish Music, ch. 7, where
some melodies deviate from the poetic rhythms or contradict them.
See Israel Adler's musical transcription in Ariel 15 (1966):
32-33. A performance of this version is included in the recording
Synagogal Art Music XIIth-XVIIIth Centuries, Anthology of Musical
Traditions in Israel (Jerusalem, 1979), AMTI 7901. A different
musical transcription has been suggested by Hanoch Avenary, Hebrew
Hymn Tunes: The Rise and Development of a Musical Tradition (Tel
Aviv, 1971), pp. 12-17.
Syllables with the semivowel sheva, or with its compounds (chataf)
were considered short; those with any other vowel were deemed long.
Bouzaglo's singing is recorded in the album Chants hreux de la
tradition des Juifs marocains (Tel Aviv, 1984), RCA RL90034.
On the nuba, see the classic work, Alexis Chottin, Tableau
de la musique morocaine (Paris, 1939); and, more recently, Peter
Schuyler, "Andalusian Music of Morocco," The World of music 21
(1978): 33-46. On the influence of the nuba on Jewish music,
see Amnon Shdoah, "La nuba et la célébration des bakkashot
au Maroc," in M. Abitbul, ed., Judaisme d'Afrique du Nord (Jerusalem,
1980), pp. 108-13. See also Abraham Eilam-Amzallag, Modal Aspects
of the Singing of Supplications (Bakashot) among Moroccan Jews
(Ph.D. Diss., Jerusalem: The Hebrew University, 1986), 2 vols. (in
Hebrew, with an English summary).
Bouzaglo's singing is recorded in the album Chants hreux de la
tradition des Juifs marocains (Tel Aviv, 1984), RCA RL90034.
The most famous song of this kind is Najara's Yah ribon olam
which is modeled on a popular Arabic love song and has become a universally
popular Sabbath table song. The original melody of the song is lost.
See Ruth Katz, "The Singing of Baqqashot by Aleppo Jews: A
Study in Musical Acculturation," Acta Musicologica 40 (1968):
65-85. Bakkashot songs from a Syrian-Jewish community in Brooklyn
are available on the record album Pizmon: Syrian-Jewish Religious
and Social Song, Kay Kaufman Shelemay and Sarah Weiss, eds. (Ho-
Ho-Kus, N.J.: 1985), Meadowlark 105.
See Yehiel Adaki and Uri Sharvit, eds., A Treasury of Yemenite
Jewish Chants (Jerusalem, 1981), especially nos. 68-83. For studio
recordings of Yemenite paraliturgical songs, with explanations and
transcriptions, see Naomi and Avner Bahat, eds., Jewish Yemenite
Songs from the Diwan: Anthology of Musical Traditions in Israel
(Jerusalem, 1982), AMTI 8201.
On the Maqam in general, see Amnon Shiloah, "Arab Music," in the New
Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (London, 1980), vol. 1,
pp. 514-39; see also Shiloah's article, "The Arabic Concept of Mode,
" Journal of the American Musicological Society 34 (1981):
19-42. For the influence of the maqam on Jewish music, see Abraham
Zvi Idelsohn, Thesaurus of Hebrew Oriental Melodies, vol. 4
(1932), and preface to the German and Hebrew eds., ch. 4. The latest
contribution to the field is Edwin Seroussi, "The Turkish Makam
in the Musical Culture of the Ottoman Jews: Sources and Examples,"
Israel Studies in Musicology 5 (1990): 43-68.
See Israel J. Katz, Judaeo-Spanish Traditional Ballads Collected in
Jerusalem: An Ethnomusicological Study, 2 vols. (Los Angeles,
1967). Susana Weich-Shahak, Sephardic Songs from the Balkans: Anthology
of Musical Traditions in Israel, AMTI 8001 (Jerusalem, 1980),
contains original recordings of secular songs and examples of their
adaptation to sacred texts. The most recent publication in the field
is Weich-Shahak's Judeo-Spanish Moroccan Songs for the Life Cycle:
Recordings, Transcriptions, and Annotations (Jerusalem, 1989).