Volume I

The Cantorial Fantasia of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

אבסטרקט

This study proposes to present the outlines of a significant but forgotten chapter in synagogue chant.  The aspect of cantorial music here considered forms part of the solo performed by the precentor or Cantor in the communities of Western Asheknaz (the lands near the Rhine and Upper Danube).  It began to appear as written music from the middle of the eighteenth century onwards. Even before that period cantorial art is known to have acquired a certain individualism and virtuosity that supplemented and countered the usual manner of improvising traditional tunes.  The genuine homophony of synagogue chant was challenged by environmental influences such as chordal progression, major-minor-tonality, and contemporary figurative ornamentation.  Apart from entirely new inventions and tunes of long standing, two ways of realizing and elaborating traditional material are recognized in the early cantorial manuscripts: free variation, and a more restrained kind of improvisation which is the subject of this investigation.  The former takes a traditional motive and unfolds it by means of variation and connecting figures in contemporary taste; it is composed of symmetrical phrases in strict time.  The other genre of composition extends a complete tune of liturgical importance by the insertion of new phrases and whole new sections between the traditional motives, and is always in the free rhythm; these creations consist of several parts and deserve to be considered accomplished and artful compositions in a very specific style.

The category of synagogue song we shall illustrate and analyse may be called a Cantorial Fantasia on traditional melodies – the term fantasia being taken in its general signification of a composition in free form, with a strong touch of improvisation.  This special branch of cantorial art has not yet received due attention nor has it been described.  As far as is known from written music, it flourished in the eighteenth century synagogue and was still being performed during the first half of the nineteenth century; its last offshoots were recorded about 1885 and 1900.  The most outstanding Cantorial Fantasias became widely known, were performed by many cantors, and are recorded in several variants which show the signs of changing time and taste.

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מחבר: Israel Adler
פורסם ב: 10.03.19
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Les ouvrages judéo-arabes de théorie musicale sont relativement bien connus et accessibles aux musicologues, notamment grâce aux travaux d'Eric Werner. Il n'en est pas de même des sources hébraïques relatives à la théorie musicale et originaires de l'Occideant chrétien, dont les essais d'inventaire entrepris a ce jour sont loin d'être exhaustifs et dont l'étude, à l'exception d'un seul texte, souffre de l'absence d'éditions scientifiques. Les traités hébraïques originaires du monde chrétien ont ceci en commun avec les textes provenant de la sphère musulmane, qu'aucun ne constitue un "traité" de musique juive ou synagogale. Mais, si aucun des ouvrages judéo-arabes connus a ce jour ne constitue un traité de musique indépendant, destine à la formation professionnelle de musiciens, certains parmi les textes hébraïques issus de l'Occident médiéval, sont des traités manifestement destinés à la formation musicale pratique dans un milieu juif. Le texte que nous publions ici est un traité de ce genre, adapté d'une source latine. Son intérêt n'est peut-être pas limité au fait qu'il apporte le témoignage d'une pratique musicale dans un milieu juif. Le soin d'apprécier l'int'érêt d'une telle source du point de vue de la musicologie générale doitêtre laissé aux spécialistes de la théorie musicale médiévale. Mais il fallait d’abord preparer l’édition du texte hébraïque et le rendre accessible aux non- hébraïsants. C'est ce que nous nous sommes efforcés de faire dans ce travail.

מחבר: Higini Angles
פורסם ב: 10.23.19
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La permanence de communautés juives pendant tant de siècles en Espagne, dès l'époque de rAncien Testament et surtout après la destruction du Temple de Jérusalem par Titus en l’an 70 de l'ère chrétienne et après les persecutions d'Adrien (en 135) etjusqu'en 1492, doit être considerée comme une benediction pour 1'art musical péninsulaire. L'histoire et l'épigraphie nous montrent combien nombreux furent les Juifs installés sur le littoral espagnol de la Méditerranée et aux Baléares. Les villes de Tarragone, Tolède, Illiberis (Elvire) près de Grenade abritaient, selon les historiens dumoyen âge, une très importante population juive. Et puisque les Juifs séjournèrent dans la péninsule ibérique durant tant de siècles, il n’est pas diiffcile d'imaginer que le chant traditionnel des Juifs péninsulaires s'appropria et élabora, à mesure que le temps passait, de nombreux éléments de l'art indigène espagnol. Il est d'ailleurs intéressant de rappeler que Kurt Huber, de Munich, a pu prouver que la chanson et la danse populaire grecque s'étaient conservées aux deux extrémités de la Méditerranée, à savoir dans les pays balkaniques et en Espagne.

 

מחבר: Hanoch Avenary
פורסם ב: 10.23.19
Abstract |
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This study proposes to present the outlines of a significant but forgotten chapter in synagogue chant.  The aspect of cantorial music here considered forms part of the solo performed by the precentor or Cantor in the communities of Western Asheknaz (the lands near the Rhine and Upper Danube).  It began to appear as written music from the middle of the eighteenth century onwards. Even before that period cantorial art is known to have acquired a certain individualism and virtuosity that supplemented and countered the usual manner of improvising traditional tunes.  The genuine homophony of synagogue chant was challenged by environmental influences such as chordal progression, major-minor-tonality, and contemporary figurative ornamentation.  Apart from entirely new inventions and tunes of long standing, two ways of realizing and elaborating traditional material are recognized in the early cantorial manuscripts: free variation, and a more restrained kind of improvisation which is the subject of this investigation.  The former takes a traditional motive and unfolds it by means of variation and connecting figures in contemporary taste; it is composed of symmetrical phrases in strict time.  The other genre of composition extends a complete tune of liturgical importance by the insertion of new phrases and whole new sections between the traditional motives, and is always in the free rhythm; these creations consist of several parts and deserve to be considered accomplished and artful compositions in a very specific style.

The category of synagogue song we shall illustrate and analyse may be called a Cantorial Fantasia on traditional melodies – the term fantasia being taken in its general signification of a composition in free form, with a strong touch of improvisation.  This special branch of cantorial art has not yet received due attention nor has it been described.  As far as is known from written music, it flourished in the eighteenth century synagogue and was still being performed during the first half of the nineteenth century; its last offshoots were recorded about 1885 and 1900.  The most outstanding Cantorial Fantasias became widely known, were performed by many cantors, and are recorded in several variants which show the signs of changing time and taste.

מחבר: Moshe Barasch
פורסם ב: 10.28.19
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The discovery of traces of Jewish musicians in Lomazzo’s Trattato dell’Arte Della Pittura would no doubt be of interest to historians of Jewish music as well as to art historians in general.  Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo was one of the most significant writers on the subject of art during the period of the late Renaissance, and his Trattato, which appeared in Milan in 1584, is the most exhaustive work of its kind.  In studying Lomazzo’s theory of art we often have the feeling that he is relying on sources that are unknown to us.  In this connection we must take into account not only the vast erudition that characterized so many of the humanistic writers of the sixteenth century but also the oral traditions – stories, explanations, conceptions – that Lomazzo had heard and incorporated into his writings without mentioning their sources.  It is naturally very difficult to determine the origin of these traditions since we generally have no texts on which we can depend.  For this reason even seemingly casual references may prove to be significant.

 

מחבר: Bathja [Batya] Bayer
פורסם ב: 10.28.19
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The nebel, mentioned 27 times in the Bible, is generally supposed to have been a harp, and probably of the upper-chested type (i.e. with the resonator held upright against the body of the player).  We have been led to doubt this for several reasons, of which three seemed to be the most important.  First – the sources did not necessarily prove the nebel to have been a harp, if one did not assume a priori that they ought to do so.  Secondly – the archaeological evidence now available for the Syro-Palestinian area showed no representation of harps before the Hellenistic period; those that then appeared were few in number, and in both form and context belonged to the “cosmopolitan” Hellenistic background.  Even granting the random factors of survival was evident for most of the other identifiable biblical instruments such as tôf (frame drum), mesiltayim (cymbals) and – more important – kinnor (lyre).  How could this silence of the archaeological record be explained for the supposed nebel = harp? One could not be reminded of the curious incident of the dog in the night-time (“The dog did nothing in the night-time.” – “That was the curious incident”, remarked Sherlock Holmes).  Lastly – some of the most “decisive” sources did not resemble the nature of evidence at all, although it was they which were supposed to prove the equation of nebel=harp.  These sources were much later than the Biblical or even the Second Temple period (Hieronymus at the beginning of the fifth century CE, or Se’adyah Ga’ôn in the ninth!), and therefore belonged to the history of exegesis.

In the following we shall attempt to gather whatever direct evidence can be found on the nebel in its time, and to draw such conclusions as this may allow.  The sources will be arranged and defined chronologically, and the informants, tradents or traditions identified, as far as the nature of the text and the state of research permit.

 

מחבר: Jacques Chailley
פורסם ב: 10.28.19
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Les célèbres travaux d’Eric Werner sur la formation de l’octoéchos ont montré l'universalité d'une conception octonaire musicale appuyée sur des considerations de symbolique numérale ou cosmique communes à presque tous les peuples de l’Antiquité. Les Grecs n'y font pas exception. Mais de plus ils nous présentent 1 octocorde, base et noyau du "système", comme le résultat d^n accroissement progressif sur lequel les traditions varient quelque peu. Un point cependant y est à peu près constant: l'octocorde a succédé à un heptacorde. Mais à quel heptacorde?

 

מחבר: Dalia Cohen, Ruth Katz
פורסם ב: 10.28.19
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The Melograph, by now, has become part and parcel of ethnomusicological research and no longer needs an introduction.  Rather than concentrate again on its novelty and its promises, the time has come to discuss the Melograph in operation, the problems raised by the new musical material it provides, and the new methods of research it suggests. However, the scope of this article does not permit a summary of all the points which have crystallized in our minds over the years. We shall limit ourselves to some general remarks, and then dwell more specifically on an example that illustrates some unanticipated ways in which music can be examined with the aid of the Melograph. The Melograph has not only answered questions for which it was originally intended, but, as we shall discuss, the data obtained suggest new modes of analysis and concept. In Jerusalem, we have used the Melograph for the analyses of non-Western music since 1958. As is well known, Israel has become a laboratory for comparative anthropological studies of all kinds. Its inhabitants comprise Jews from many different cultural backgrounds, as well as Arab communities whose culture has remained intact. Our work hitherto has centered on an investigation of the maqamat, a study of the liturgical music of Christian Arabs in Israel, and an examination of the changes occurring in the traditional singing of Aleppo Jews as a result of "culture contact". We are presently engaged in a study of the music of Israeli Arabs, examining the music as a living tradition and in its historical perspective.

 

מחבר: Edith (Esther) Gerson Kiwi
פורסם ב: 10.28.19
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Looking for a plain definition of what is generally called "polyphony" and leaving aside all technicalities, we encounter the fateful question if this kind of music making is at all in the nature of man, and therefore given to produce natural laws, or at least some regularities that can be relied upon in the recognition of any deviation. Former generations would probably have denied the validity of such a sophisticated argument: Man is born with his voice alone and is therefore, by nature, a monophonic "organon". For this very reason, many primitive civilizations, and even more developed ones outside Europe had remained, apparently, in this original state of monophony while part singing and group playing were considered an art product and a late result of cultural processes. Recently, however, ethnomusicology has reversed much of this conventional thought. Man is gifted not only with his voice, but also with some strong bodily motor impulses like clapping, stepping, snapping which may assume, at a chosen moment, the suggestive force of sound instruments and may join the singing in some sort of sound combination. The singer may also accompany himself on some kind of stringed instrument by plucking or bowing, as do the bards wherever they are still to be found, or he may counterpoise his singing by beating the drums or an array of percussion instruments as does the band-man, again producing some simultaneous sounds of different pitch and tone colour and that is all that is needed to arrive at a plain definition of polyphony, in accordance with present day standards of music research.

 

מחבר: Avigdor Herzog, Andre Hajdu
פורסם ב: 10.28.19
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En 1934 Eric Werner attira pour la première fois l'attention sur la parenté entre certains chants juifs de la Paque et des chants du répertoire grégorien, notamment la mélodie du Tonus Peregrinus. Il confronta cette mélodie avec deux chants de Pâque, l'un de tradition sefarade orientale, l'autre de tradition ashkenaze. Il revint par la suite, dans plusieurs de ses travaux, aux rapports du Tonus Peregrinus avec des chants juifs. Dans son livre fondamental sur les rapports du chant liturgique juif et chrétien, The Sacred Bridge, E. Werner compare une version du Tonus Peregrinus avec des cantillations bibliques juives. Szabolcsi, dans son chapitre sur le chant grégorien,* cite deux mélodies qu'il appelle Tonus Peregrinus juif, La premiere,  est une psalmodie en usage, nos jours encore, chez les Juifs ashkenazes d'Europe Centrale; la seconde, semble être une qînah (lamentation) pour le deuil du 9 Av.

 

מחבר: Dika Newlin
פורסם ב: 10.28.19
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Nearing his death, Arnold Schoenberg wrote to Josef Rufer on June 13, 1951: "In Grove's Dictionary of Music there is quite a good article that includes a discussion of Moses and Aaron. Partly nonsensical, in that it brings the artist in. That's late-19th-century stuff, but not me. The subject matter and the treatment of it are purely of a religious-philosophical kind". So categorical a statement would seem, on the face of it, to rule out any consideration of possible autobiographical elements in Moses and Aaron - or, indeed, in any of Schoenberg's other works of religious and philosophical cast. But such a conclusion would be premature. We know, from Schoenberg's own utterances, that a number of his seemingly "abstract" instrumental works were in reality autobiographical in character. Many times he used to speak of the "secret program" of the First String Quartet (though he never, to my knowledge, revealed it to anyone). And it is rather widely known that his String Trio of 1946 partially depicts the course of his near fatal illness of that year even his resuscitation from apparent death by an injection into the heart is described in striking musical language. Why, then, should self revelation be rigorously excluded from precisely those works - I am thinking particularly of Die Jakob sleiter and Moses and Aaron - which preoccupied him during so many years of his life? Does not the "dying statement" to Rufer, in a strange way, conceal more than it reveals?

מחבר: Amnon Shiloah
פורסם ב: 10.28.19
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Nous présentons ici une édition critique et une traduction annotée de deux textes manuscirts relatifs à la science musicale: (1) Texte anonyme, ms. Berlin, Or. 8350 fol. 28b-30b; (2) Texte attributé à Ibn al-Akfani (m. 1348): (a) ms. Vienne, Or. N.F. 4, fol. 43a-44b; (b) ms. Leyde, Or. 958, fol. 239a-240a. 

Les deux textes en langue arabe ne forment pas des traités complets et indépendants mais sont des chapitres d’ouvrages qui traitent de différentes matières. Le contenu de nos deux textes ne comporte iren de juif en soi, mais nous savons qu'ils furent étudiés et transmis par desJuifs: l'anonyme du ms. de Berlin est en caractères hébraïques; quant à l'autre texte, attribué à 1'auteur musulman Ibn al-Akfani, il fut presque entièrement copié dans un fragment de la Genizah du Caire écrit en caractères hébraïques. L'identiifcation de la source de ce fragment de la Genizah a été faite par le regretté Dr. H. G. Farmer, qui a donné une description détaillée du texte de Ibn al-Akfani. A la suite de la découverte de la source arabe du fragment de la Genizah par Farmer, nous avons cm bon de publier le texte de Ibn al-Akfani avec sa traduction.

II est bien dififcile de trouver un dénominateur commun à nos deux textes si ce n’est qu'ils sont tous deux des fragments consacrés à la science musicale. Leurs différences sont bien plus nombreuses et portent notamment sur les conceptions de base, la nature et l'originalité des faits exposés.

 

מחבר: Bence Szabolcsi
פורסם ב: 10.28.19
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The melody-style we want to deal with here is quite well known to specialists of Hebrew music. Nearly all of them have encountered it, although, as far as I know, only a few have found it worthy of particular attention. This is rather strange, the more so since, in our opinion, it is one of the oldest strata of ancient Hebrew music. The sharp exposition of the intervals of the fourth and the fifth seems a striking characteristic of a group of ancient Jewish melodies. They are "spinal" tones (Gerüsttöne, as Hornbostel would say), basic tones, often in their very nakedness forming pure tetratonic, pentatonic, and occasionally - in more rudimentary formations - tritonic patterns, which are nearly always of a certain "proclamatory", announcing, declaring, declamatory character; their function being always a simple, summarizing one. In our opinion this melody-group, unified by the dominant role of these "spinal" tones, belongs to a very old stylistic layer, the group of blessings. Apart from the fundamental "spinal" tones, the group shows various sorts of structures

 

מחבר: Nehemia Allony
פורסם ב: 10.28.19
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המונח ״מוסיקה״ נפוץ מאוד ישכיח בלשון בני דורבו, והוא דוחק את המרבח העברי ״נגינה״ץ  מאמר זה ינסה לחקור את חדירתו של המונח ״מוסירה״ לספרותנו בימי-הביניים, למן המאה משמינית עד המאה החמש-עשרה.  מהמאה השש-עשרה ואילך בפוצה מלה זו בספרותנו ונעשתה שכיחה אף בספרותנו הדתית, ואין כל צורך להוכיח את מציאותה.

 

מחבר: Shlomo Hofman
פורסם ב: 10.28.19
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פיוטיו של מרקה מהווים חלק נכבד ביותר התפילה השומרונית.  התוכן המאלף של פיוטיו וצורתם הנאה קבעו במידה רבה את דמותה של התפילה השומרונית בכלל ובייחוד את דמות שירתה.  מרקה, בנו של המשורר עמרם דרה ואביו של המשורר בנה, חי במאה הרביעית לספירה.  פייטן למופת זה, שלשון שירתו ארמית שומרונית, בערץ על בני עדתו עד היום.  אין תפילה שומרונית מתקיימת – בימי חול, שבת או מועד – ללו פיוטי מרקה ופיוטים המיוחסים לו, בהם רבים המכונים בתי מרקה.