CANTILLATION is the ritual chanting of readings from the Hebrew Bible in synagogue services . The chants are written and notated in accordance with the special signs or marks printed in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible (or Tanakh ) to complement the letters and vowel points.
These marks are known in English as _accents_, _notes_ or _trope
symbols_, and in Hebrew as טעמי המקרא _ta`amei ha-mikra_ or
just טעמים _te`amim_. Some of these signs were also sometimes
used in medieval manuscripts of the
* 1 History
* 1.1 Babylonian system * 1.2 Palestinian system * 1.3 Tiberian system
* 2 Purpose
* 3 Different systems for different sets of books
* 4 Traditional roots
* 4.1 Different naming according to rites
* 5 Functions of cantillation signs in explanation of text
* 5.1 Syntax * 5.2 Phonetics
* 5.3 Music
* 5.3.1 Reconstructed melody
* 6 Traditional melodies
* 7 Names and shapes of the te\'amim
* 7.1 Names in different traditions
* 7.2 _Zarqa_ tables
* 7.3 Meanings of the names
* 8 Sequences
* 8.1 Groups
* 8.1.1 First level phrases * 8.1.2 Second level phrases * 8.1.3 Third level phrases * 8.1.4 Fourth level phrases
* 9 Psalms, Proverbs and Job
* 13 References
* 13.1 Bibliography
* 13.1.1 Grammar and masorah * 13.1.2 Music (general and comparative) * 13.1.3 Polish/Lithuanian melody * 13.1.4 Other melodies
* 13.2 See also
* 14 External links
* 14.1 Textual resources * 14.2 Wikimedia cantillation projects (recordings)
Three systems of Hebrew punctuation (including vowels and cantillation symbols) have been used: the Babylonian, the Palestinian and the Tiberian, only the last of which is used today.
Babylonian Biblical manuscripts from the Geonic period contain no cantillation marks in the current sense, but small Hebrew letters are used to mark significant divisions within a verse. Up to eight different letters are found, depending on the importance of the break and where it occurs in the verse: these correspond roughly to the disjunctives of the Tiberian system. For example, in some manuscripts the letter _tav_, for _tevir_ (break), does duty for both Tiberian _tevir_ and _zaqef_. In general there are no symbols for the conjunctives, though some late manuscripts use the Tiberian symbols for these. There is also no equivalent for low-grade disjunctives such as _telishah gedolah_: these are generally replaced by the equivalent of _zaqef_ or _revia_.
Nothing is known of the musical realization of these marks, but it seems likely that they represent breaks or variations in a set melody applied to each verse. (A somewhat similar system is used in manuscripts of the Qur\'an to guide the reader in fitting the chant to the verse: see _Qur\'an reading _.)
This system is reflected in the cantillation practices of the Yemenite Jews , who now use the Tiberian symbols, but tend to have musical motifs only for the disjunctives and render the conjunctives in a monotone. It is notable that the Yemenite Jews have only eight disjunctive motifs, thus clearly reflecting the Babylonian notation. The same is true of the Karaite mode for the haftarah; while in the Sephardi haftarah modes different disjunctives often have the same or closely similar motifs, reducing the total number of effective motifs to something like the same number.
The Babylonian system, as mentioned above, is mainly concerned with showing breaks in the verse. Early Palestinian manuscripts, by contrast, are mainly concerned with showing phrases: for example the _tifcha-etnachta_, _zarqa-segolta_ and _pashta-zaqef_ sequences, with or without intervening unaccented words. These sequences are generally linked by a series of dots, beginning or ending with a dash or a dot in a different place to show which sequence is meant. Unaccented words (which in the Tiberian system carry conjunctives) are generally shown by a dot following the word, as if to link it to the following word. There are separate symbols for more elaborate tropes like _pazer_ and _telisha gedolah_.
The manuscripts are extremely fragmentary, no two of them following quite the same conventions, and these marks may represent the individual reader's aide-memoire rather than a formal system of punctuation (for example, vowel signs are often used only where the word would otherwise be ambiguous). In one manuscript, presumably of somewhat later date than the others, there are separate marks for different conjunctives, actually outnumbering those in the Tiberian system (for example, _munach_ before _etnachta_ has a different sign from _munach_ before _zaqef_), and the overall system approaches the Tiberian in comprehensiveness. In some other manuscripts, in particular those containing Targumim rather than original text, the Tiberian symbols have been added by a later hand. In general, it may be observed that the Palestinian and Tiberian systems are far more closely related to each other than either is to the Babylonian.
This system of phrasing is reflected in the Sephardic cantillation modes, in which the conjunctives (and to some extent the "near companions" such as _tifcha_, _pashta_ and _zarqa_) are rendered as flourishes leading into the motif of the following disjunctive rather than as motifs in their own right.
The somewhat inconsistent use of dots above and below the words as disjunctives is closely similar to that found in Syriac texts. Kahle also notes some similarity with the punctuation of Samaritan Hebrew .
By the tenth century C.E., the chant in use in Palestine had clearly become more complex, both because of the existence of _pazer_, _geresh_ and _telisha_ motifs in longer verses and because the realization of a phrase ending with a given type of break varied according to the number of words and syllables in the phrase. The Tiberian Masoretes therefore decided to invent a comprehensive notation with a symbol on each word, to replace the fragmentary systems previously in use. In particular, it was necessary to invent a range of different conjunctive accents to show how to introduce and elaborate the main motif in longer phrases. (For example, _tevir_ is preceded by _mercha_, a short flourish, in shorter phrases but by _darga_, a more elaborate run of notes, in longer phrases.) The system they devised is the one in use today, and is found in Biblical manuscripts such as the Aleppo Codex . A Masoretic treatise called _Diqduqe ha-te'amim_ (precise rules of the accents) by Aaron ben Moses ben Asher survives, though both the names and the classification of the accents differ somewhat from those of the present day.
As the accents were (and are) not shown on a
The Tiberian system spread quickly and was accepted in all
communities by the 13th century. Each community re-interpreted its
reading tradition so as to allocate one short musical motif to each
symbol: this process has gone furthest in the Western Ashkenazi and
Ottoman (Jerusalem-Sephardi, Syrian etc.) traditions. Learning the
accents and their musical rendition is now an important part of the
preparations for a bar mitzvah , as this is the first occasion on
which a person reads from the
In the early period of the Reform movement there was a move to abandon the system of cantillation and give Scriptural readings in normal speech (in Hebrew or in the vernacular). In recent decades, however, traditional cantillation has been restored in many communities.
A primary purpose of the cantillation signs is to guide the chanting of the sacred texts during public worship. Very roughly speaking, each word of text has a cantillation mark at its primary accent and associated with that mark is a musical phrase that tells how to sing that word. The reality is more complex, with some words having two or no marks and the musical meaning of some marks dependent upon context. There are different sets of musical phrases associated with different sections of the Bible. The music varies with different Jewish traditions and individual cantorial styles.
EXPLANATION TO TEXT
The cantillation signs also provide information on the syntactical structure of the text and some say they are a commentary on the text itself, highlighting important ideas musically. The tropes are not random strings but follow a set and describable grammar. The very word _ta'am_, used in Hebrew to refer to the cantillation marks, literally means "taste" or "sense", the point being that the pauses and intonation denoted by the accents (with or without formal musical rendition) bring out the sense of the passage.
DIFFERENT SYSTEMS FOR DIFFERENT SETS OF BOOKS
There are two systems of cantillation marks in the Tanakh . One is used in the twenty-one prose books, while the other appears in the three poetical books of Psalms , Proverbs and Job . Except where otherwise stated, this article describes the "prose" system.
The current system of cantillation notes has its historical roots in the Tiberian masorah . The cantillation signs are included in Unicode as characters U+0591 through U+05AF in the Hebrew alphabet block.
DIFFERENT NAMING ACCORDING TO RITES
The names of some of the cantillation signs differ in the Ashkenazi , Sephardi , Italian and Yemenite traditions; for example Sephardim use _qadma_ to mean what Ashkenazim call _pashta_, and _azla_ to mean what Ashkenazim call _qadma_. In this article, as in almost all Hebrew grammars, the Ashkenazi terminology is used. The names in other traditions are shown in the table below .
FUNCTIONS OF CANTILLATION SIGNS IN EXPLANATION OF TEXT
The cantillation signs serve three functions:
Functions FUNCTION DESCRIPTION
Syntax They divide biblical verses into smaller units of meaning, a function which also gives them a limited but sometimes important role as a source for exegesis . This function is accomplished through the use of various conjunctive signs (which indicate that words should be connected in a single phrase) and especially a hierarchy of dividing signs of various strength which divide each verse into smaller phrases. The function of the disjunctive cantillation signs may be roughly compared to modern punctuation signs such as periods, commas, semicolons, etc.
Phonetics Most of the cantillation signs indicate the specific syllable where the stress (accent) falls in the pronunciation of a word.
Music The cantillation signs have musical value: reading the Hebrew Bible with cantillation becomes a musical chant, where the music itself serves as a tool to emphasise the proper accentuation and syntax (as mentioned previously).
In general, each word in the Tanach has one cantillation sign. This may be either a _disjunctive_, showing a division between that and the following word, or a _conjunctive_, joining the two words (like a slur in music). Thus, disjunctives divide a verse into phrases, and within each phrase all the words except the last carry conjunctives. (There are two types of exception to the rule about words having only one sign. A group of words joined by hyphens is regarded as one word so they only have one accent between them. Conversely, a long word may have two—e.g., a disjunctive on the stressed syllable and the related conjunctive two syllables before in place of _meteg_.)
The disjunctives are traditionally divided into four levels, with lower level disjunctives marking less important breaks.
* The first level, known as "Emperors", includes _sof pasuq _ / _siluq_, marking the end of the verse, and _atnach_ / _etnachta _, marking the middle. * The second level is known as "Kings". The usual second level disjunctive is _zaqef qaton _ (when on its own, this becomes _zaqef gadol _). This is replaced by _tifcha _ when in the immediate neighbourhood of _sof pasuq_ or _atnach_. A stronger second level disjunctive, used in very long verses, is _segol _: when it occurs on its own, this may be replaced by _shalshelet _. * The third level is known as "Dukes". The usual third level disjunctive is _revia _. For musical reasons, this is replaced by _zarqa _ when in the vicinity of _segol_, by _pashta _ or _yetiv _ when in the vicinity of _zakef_, and by _tevir _ when in the vicinity of _tifcha_. * The fourth level is known as "Counts". These are found mainly in longer verses, and tend to cluster near the beginning of a half-verse: for this reason their musical realisation is usually more elaborate than that of higher level disjunctives. They are _pazer _, _geresh _, _gershayim _, _telisha gedolah _, _munach legarmeh_ and _qarne farah_.
The general conjunctive is _munach _. Depending on which disjunctive follows, this may be replaced by _mercha _, _mahpach _, _darga _, _qadma _, _telisha qetannah _ or _yerach ben yomo _.
One other symbol is _mercha kefulah _, double mercha. There is some argument about whether this is another conjunctive or an occasional replacement for _tevir_.
Disjunctives have a function somewhat similar to punctuation in Western languages. _Sof pasuq_ could be thought of as a full stop, _atnach_ as a semi-colon, second level disjunctives as commas and third level disjunctives as commas or unmarked. Where two words are written in the construct state (for example, _pene ha-mayim_, "the face of the waters"), the first noun (_nomen regens_) invariably carries a conjunctive.
The cantillation signs are often an important aid in the
interpretation of a passage. For example, the words _qol qore bamidbar
Most cantillation signs are written on the consonant of the stressed syllable of a word. This also shows where the most important note of the musical motif should go.
A few signs always go on the first or last consonant of a word. This may have been for musical reasons, or it may be to distinguish them from other accents of similar shape. For example, _pashta_, which goes on the last consonant, otherwise looks like _qadma_, which goes on the stressed syllable.
Some signs are written (and sung) differently when the word is not stressed on its last syllable. _Pashta_ on a word of this kind is doubled, one going on the stressed syllable and the other on the last consonant. _Geresh_ is doubled unless it occurs on a non-finally-stressed word or follows _qadma_ (to form the _qadma ve-azla_ phrase).
The musical value of the cantillation signs serves the same function for Jews worldwide, but the specific tunes vary between different communities. The most common tunes today are as follows.
* The Polish-Lithuanian melody, used by
* Among Sephardi and
* The "Jerusalem Sephardic" (_Sepharadi-Yerushalmi_) melody is now
the most widely used Sephardic melody in Israel, and is also used in
some Sephardic communities in the diaspora.
* The Greek/Turkish/Balkan, Syrian and Egyptian melodies are related
to the Jerusalem Sephardic melody. They are more sparingly used in
Israel today, but are still heard in the Diaspora, especially in
* There are two Iraqi melodies, one close to the Syrian melody and
traditionally used in Baghdad (and sometimes in Israel), and another
more distinctive melody originating in Mosul and generally used in the
Iraqi Jewish diaspora.
* The Moroccan melody is used widely by Jews of Moroccan descent,
both in Israel and in the diaspora, especially France. It subdivides
into a Spanish-Moroccan melody, used in the northern coastal strip,
and an Arab-Moroccan melody, used in the interior of the country, with
some local variations. The Algerian, Tunisian and Libyan melodies are
* The Spanish and Portuguese melody is in common use in the Spanish
and Portuguese Sephardi communities of Livorno ,
* Italian melodies are still used in Italy, as well as in one Italian synagogue in Jerusalem, one in Istanbul , and one in New York City . These vary greatly locally: for example the melody used in Rome resembles the Spanish and Portuguese melody rather than those used in northern Italy. * Romaniote style of cantillation is used today in Greece, New York and Israel and is rooted in the Byzantine tradition * The Yemenite melody can be heard in Israel primarily, but also in some American cities.
There has been an attempted reconstruction of the original melody by Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura , on the basis of the shapes and positions of the marks and without any reference to existing melodies, as described in her book _La musique de la Bible révélée_ and her records. That reconstruction assumes the signs represent the degrees of various musical scales, that is individual notes, which puts it at odds with all existing traditions where the signs invariably represent melodic motives; it also takes no account of the existence of older systems of notation, such as the Babylonian and Palestinian systems. Musicologists have rejected her results as dubious and her methodology as flawed.
THIS SECTION INCLUDES INLINE LINKS TO AUDIO FILES. If you have trouble playing the files, see Media help .
* There are a number of variants employed for special sections, such
as those for the _
Aseret haDibrot _ (Ten Commandments), _Az Yashir _
(Song of the Sea), and the list of Masa'ot.
* In all
* 3. Haftarot Example (info )
* In the haftarah mode, there is also a "coda" motif. In the Western
* The Five Megillot (3 melodies are employed for these five scrolls)
* 4. Esther – a mostly light and joyous tune with elements of
drama and foreboding used for the _Megillat Esther_ on
SEPHARDIC AND EASTERN MELODIES
At the beginning of the twentieth century there was a single
Ottoman-Sephardic tradition (no doubt with local variations) covering
Turkey, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. Today the Jerusalem-Sephardic,
Syrian, Egyptian and Baghdadi melodies recognisably belong to a single
family. For example, in these traditions the
Another recognisable family consists of the Iraqi (Mosul and Iraqi diaspora), Spanish-Moroccan and Spanish and Portuguese melodies. The probable reason for the occurrence of similar melodies at opposite ends of the Arab world is that they represent the remains of an old Arab-Jewish tradition not overlaid by the later Ottoman-Sephardic tradition that spread to the countries in between. There may also have been some convergence between the London Spanish and Portuguese and Iraqi melodies during British rule in India and the British Mandate of Mesopotamia .
The Jews of North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Yemen all had local musical traditions for cantillation. When these Jewish communities emigrated (mostly to Israel) during the twentieth century, they brought their musical traditions with them. But as the immigrants themselves grew older, many particular national melodies began to be forgotten, or to become assimilated into the "Jerusalem Sephardic" melting-pot.
As with the Ashkenazim, there is one tune for
Eastern Jewish communities have no liturgical tradition of reading
Ecclesiastes, and there is no public liturgical reading of Song of
Songs on Passover, though brief extracts may be read after the morning
service during the first half of Nisan. (Individuals may read it after
Yemenite cantillation has a total of eight distinctive motifs, falling within four main patterns:
* _molikh_ ('moving') used for the conjunctives and some minor disjunctives * _mafsiq_ ('pausing') for most third level disjunctives * _ma'amid_ ('elongating') for most second level disjunctives; and * the patterns of _etnaḥa_ and _silluq_ (_sof pasuq_).
This is true equally of the system used for the
Some communities had a simplified melody for the Torah, used in
teaching it to children, as distinct from the mode used in synagogue.
(This should not be confused with the _lernen steiger_ used for
Conversely, the Syrian community knows two types of Torah cantillation, a simpler one for general use and a more elaborate one used by professional hazzanim . It is probable that the simpler melody was originally a teaching mode. Today however it is the mode in general use, and is also an ancestor of the "Jerusalem-Sephardic" melody.
Some communities had a simplified melody for the Prophets , distinct from that used in reading the Haftarah : the distinction is mentioned in one medieval Sephardic source.
NAMES AND SHAPES OF THE TE\'AMIM
NAMES IN DIFFERENT TRADITIONS
The following table shows the names of the te'amim in the Ashkenazi,
Sephardi, and Italian traditions together with their
ASHKENAZI SEPHARDI ITALIAN
ב֑ U+0591 אֶתְנַחְתָּ֑א Etnaḥta אַתְנָ֑ח Atnaḥ אַתְנָ֑ח Atnaḥ
ב֒ U+0592 סֶגּוֹל֒ Segol סְגוֹלְתָּא֒ Segolta שְׁרֵי֒ Shere
ב֔ U+0594 זָקֵף קָטָ֔ן Zaqef qatan זָקֵף קָט֔וֹן Zaqef qaton זָקֵף קָט֔וֹן Zaqef qaton
ב֖ U+0596 טִפְחָ֖א Tifcha טַרְחָ֖א Tarḥa טַרְחָ֖א Tarḥa
ב֮ U+05AE זַרְקָא֮ Zarqa זַרְקָא֮ Zarqa זַרְקָא֮ Zarqa
ב֨ב֙ U+0599 U+05A8 שְׁנֵ֨י פַּשְׁטִין֙ Shene pashtin/pashtayim תְּרֵ֨י קַדְמִין֙ Tere qadmin שְׁנֵ֨י פַּשְׁטִין֙ (Shene) pashtin
ב֟ U+059F קַרְנֵי פָרָ֟ה Qarne farah/ pazer gadol קַרְנֵי פָרָ֟ה Qarne farah קַרְנֵי פָרָ֟ה Qarne farah
ב֠ U+05A0 תְּ֠לִישָא גְדוֹלָה Telisha gedolah תִּ֠רְצָה Tirtzah תַּ֠לְשָׁא Talsha
ב֜ U+059C אַזְלָא-גֵּ֜רֵשׁ Azla Geresh גְּרִ֜ישׁ Gerish גֵּ֜רֵשׁ Geresh/azla
ב֞ U+059E גֵּרְשַׁ֞יִם Gershayim שְׁנֵי גְרִישִׁ֞ין Shene gerishin שְׁנֵי גְרִישִׁ֞ין Shene gerishin
ב֣׀ U+05A3 מֻנַּח לְגַרְמֵ֣הּ׀ Munach legarmeh פָּסֵ֣ק׀ Paseq לְגַרְמֵ֣הּ׀ Legarmeh
ב֥ U+05A5 מֵרְכָ֥א Mercha מַאֲרִ֥יךְ Maarich מַאֲרִ֥יךְ Maarich
ב֣ U+05A3 מֻנַּ֣ח Munach שׁוֹפָר הוֹלֵ֣ךְ Shofar holech שׁוֹפָר עִלּ֣וּי Shofar illui
ב֤ U+05A4 מַהְפַּ֤ך Mahpach (שׁוֹפָר) מְהֻפָּ֤ךְ (Shofar) mehuppach שׁוֹפָר הָפ֤וּךְ Shofar hafuch
ב֩ U+05A9 תְּלִישָא קְטַנָּה֩ Telisha qetannah תַּלְשָׁא֩ Talsha תַּרְסָא֩ Tarsa
ב֦ U+05A6 מֵרְכָא כְּפוּלָ֦ה Mercha kefula תְּרֵי טַעֲמֵ֦י Tere ta’ame תְּרֵין חוּטְרִ֦ין Teren ḥutrin
ב֪ U+05AA יֵרֶח בֶּן יוֹמ֪וֹ Yerach ben yomo/ galgal יֵרֶח בֶּן יוֹמ֪וֹ Yeraḥ ben yomo יֵרֶח בֶּן יוֹמ֪וֹ Yerach ben yomo
The following additional symbols are found in the three poetical books: their names do not differ among the various traditions.
ANGLICIZED NAME (ISRAELI HEBREW )
ב֝ U+059D גֵּרֵשׁ מֻקְדָּם֝
ב֢ U+05A2 אתנח הפוך֢
ב֫ U+05AB עוֹלֶה֫
ב֬ U+05AC עִלּוּי֬
ב֭ U+05AD דחי֭
ב֘ U+0598 צִנּוֹרִת֘
For learning purposes, the _t'amim_ are arranged in a traditional
order of recitation called a "_zarqa_ table", showing both the names
and the symbols themselves. These tables are often printed at the end
of a Chumash (Hebrew
The order of recitation bears some relation to the groups in which the signs are likely to occur in a typical Biblical verse, but differs in detail between different communities. Below are traditional Ashkenazi and Sephardi orders, though variations are found in both communities.
MEANINGS OF THE NAMES
Azla "Going away", because it is often the end of the phrase 'Qadma ve'Azla'. Darga "Trill" from its sound, or "step" from its shape. Etnachta/Atnach "Pause, rest" because it is the pause in the middle of a verse. Geresh "Expulsion, driving out". So called because it is often "partnered" with the Qadma (as an Azla) but here appears on its own, "separated." Gershayim Double Geresh, from its appearance. Mahpach "Turning round". In old manuscripts, it was written like a U on its side, hence like someone doing a U turn. In printed books, it has a V shape, possibly because that was easier for the early printers to make. In Eastern communities it is called _shofar mehuppach_, "reversed horn", because it faces the other way from _shofar holech_ (_munach_) Mercha "Lengthener", because it prolongs the melody of the word that follows. In modern usage it sometimes means "comma", but this usage is taken from the cantillation sign. Mercha-kefulah Kefulah means "double", because it looks like two merchas together. There are only five in the whole Torah: Gen. 27:25, Ex. 5:15, Lev. 10:1, Num. 14:3, Num. 32:42. Munach "Resting", because the shape is a horn lying on its side. (In Eastern communities it is called _shofar holech_, horn going forward.) _ Munach legarmeh_ (_munach_ on its own) is a disjunctive, used mainly before _revia_, but occasionally before a pazer. It may be distinguished from ordinary _munach_ by the dividing line (_pesiq_) following the word. Pashta "Stretching out", because its shape is leaning forward (or in reference to a hand signal). Pazer "Lavish" or "strew", because it has so many notes. Qadma "To progress, advance." It always occurs at the beginning of a phrase (often before other conjunctives) and its shape is leaning forward. In particular it is the first member of the _ Qadma ve-Azla_ pair. Revia "Quarter" or "fourth", probably because it splits the half verse from the start to _etnachta_ (or _etnachta_ to the end) into quarters (as it ranks below _zaqef_, the main division within the half verse). Other possibilities are that it came fourth in the _zarqa_ table (in the current Ashkenazi table it comes fifth) or that it was regarded as occupying the fourth level in the hierarchy. Its apparent appropriateness to the square or diamond shape of the symbol is coincidence: in most manuscripts, it is simply a point. Segol "Bunch of grapes" (from its shape, which looks like a bunch of grapes). Shalshelet "Chain", either from its appearance or because it is a long chain of notes. There are only four in the whole Torah: Gen. 19:16, 24:12, 39:8; Lev. 8:23. Sof Pasuq "End of verse": it is the last note of every verse. It is sometimes called _silluq_ (taking leave). Telisha Qetannah/Gedolah "Detached" because they are never linked to the following note as one musical phrase; Qetannah = small (short); Gedolah = big (long). Tevir "Broken", because it represents a break in reading (in some traditions there is a big jump down in pitch between the first and second notes). Tifcha "Diagonal", or "hand-breadth". In old manuscripts, it was written as a straight diagonal line. In printed books, it is curved, apparently to make it a mirror image of Mercha, with which it is usually paired (the two together could be regarded as forming a slur). The name "tifcha" may be an allusion to a hand signal. Yetiv "Resting" or "sitting", because it may be followed by a short pause, or more probably because the shape is like a horn sitting up. (In the Italian tradition, it is called _shofar yetiv_, sitting horn.) Zaqef Qaton/Gadol "Upright" (from their shape, or in allusion to a hand signal); Qaton = small (short); Gadol = big (long). Zarqa "Scatterer", because it is like a scattering of notes.
_Numbers 35:5 (in Parshat Mas'ei) has two notes found nowhere else in the Torah:_ Qarne Farah "Horns of a cow" (from its shape), sometimes called _pazer gadol_. Yerach ben Yomo "Moon one day old" (because it looks like a crescent moon), sometimes called _galgal_ (circle).
The rules governing the sequence of cantillation marks are as follows.
* A verse is divided into two half verses, the first ending with, and governed by, _etnachta_, and the second ending with, and governed by, _sof pasuq_. A very short verse may have no _etnachta_ and be governed by _sof pasuq_ alone. * A half verse may be divided into two or more phrases marked off by second-level disjunctives. * A second-level phrase may be divided into two or more sub-phrases marked off by third-level disjunctives. * A third-level phrase may be divided into two or more sub-phrases marked off by fourth-level disjunctives. * The last subdivision within a phrase must always be constituted by a disjunctive one level down, chosen to fit the disjunctive governing the phrase and called (in the Table below) its "near companion". Thus, a disjunctive may be preceded by a disjunctive of its own or a higher level, or by its near companion, but not by any other disjunctive of a lower level than its own. * The other subdivisions within a phrase are constituted by the "default" disjunctive for the next lower level (the "remote companion"). * Any disjunctive may or may not be preceded by one or more conjunctives, varying with the disjunctive in question. * A disjunctive constituting a phrase on its own (i.e. not preceded by either a near companion or a conjunctive) may be substituted by a stronger disjunctive of the same level, called in the Table the "equivalent isolated disjunctive".
Main disjunctive Preceding conjunctive(s) Nearest preceding lower level disjunctive ("near companion") Other lower level disjunctives ("remote companion") Equivalent isolated disjunctive
FIRST LEVEL DISJUNCTIVES
Sof pasuq Mercha Tifcha Zaqef qaton
Etnachta Munach Tifcha Zaqef qaton
SECOND LEVEL DISJUNCTIVES
Segol Munach Zarqa Revia Shalshelet
Zaqef qaton Munach Pashta Revia Zaqef gadol
Tifcha Mercha; Darga Mercha-kefulah Tevir Revia
THIRD LEVEL DISJUNCTIVES
Zarqa Munach (occasionally Mercha) Geresh/Azla/Gershayim Telisha gedolah, Pazer
FOURTH LEVEL DISJUNCTIVES
Geresh/Azla Qadma; Telishah qetannah Qadma
Telisha gedolah Munach
Qarne farah Yerach ben yomo
The following sequences are commonly found:
First Level Phrases
(Mercha) Tifcha (Mercha) Sof-Pasuq (Sephardic Maarikh Tarkha Maarikh Sof Pasuq) The group that occurs at the end of each _pasuq_ (verse), and always includes the Sof-Pasuq at the very minimum. Either or both of the Mercha's may be omitted. (Mercha) Tifcha (Munach) Etnachta (Sephardic Maarikh Tarkha Shofar Holekh Atna) one of the most common groups, but can only appear once in each _pasuq_. Tifcha can appear without a Mercha, but Mercha cannot appear without a Tifcha (or other following disjunctive). Etnachta can appear without a Munach, but Munach cannot appear without an Etnachta (or other following disjunctive). Munach- Etnachta can appear without a Mercha-Tifcha, but a Mercha- Tifcha cannot appear without a Munach- Etnachta (or Etnachta on its own).
Second Level Phrases
(Mahpach) Pashta (Munach) Zaqef Qaton (Sephardic Mehuppakh Qadma Shofar Holekh Zaqef Qaton) one of the most common groups. Pashta can appear without a Mahpach, but a Mahpach cannot appear without a Pashta. Alternatively, _Yetiv_ can appear on its own in place of Pashta. Zaqef Qaton can appear without a Munach, but a Munach cannot appear without a Qaton (or other following disjunctive). Zaqef Gadol Not a part of a group, as it replaces a Zaqef Qaton sequence. (Munach) Zarqa (Munach) Segol (Sephardic Mehuppakh Zarqa Mehuppakh Segolta) Zarqa is only ever found before Segol; a Munach may precede either one. Shalshelet Not a part of a group, as it replaces a Segol sequence. Occurs only four times in the Torah, and always at the beginning of a verse.
Third Level Phrases
Munach Munach Revia (Sephardic Shofar Holekh Shofar Holekh Revia) The following combinations occur: Revia on its own; Munach Revia; Darga Munach Revia; Munach-with-Pesiq Revia; Munach-with-Pesiq Munach Revia. ( Munach with Pesiq is a disjunctive, separate from Munach proper, and also known as _ Munach legarmeh_, munach on its own.) Darga Tevir Tevir is found either alone or preceded by Darga or Mercha. Darga occasionally precedes other combinations (e.g. Darga Munach Revia). Mercha-Kefula (Sephardic Tere ta’ame) Occasionally preceded by Darga, but usually on its own. Occurs only five times in the Torah, and once in Haftarah. Its function appears to be similar to Tevir.
Fourth Level Phrases
Qadma v'Azla This pair is known as such when found together, and may precede a Mahpach, a Revia group or a Tevir group. A Qadma can also be found without an Azla before a Mahpach, and an Azla without a Qadma is known as Azla- Geresh or simply Geresh. Gershayim on its own fulfils the same function as Qadma v'Azla, in that it can precede either a Mahpach, a Revia group or a Tevir group. Pazer Not considered part of a group, but usually followed by a Telisha Qetannah or a Telisha Gedolah. It may be preceded by one or more Munachs. Telisha Qetannah/Gedolah (Sephardic Talsha/Tirtsa) Not considered a part of a group, usually appears individually, sometimes after a Pazer. It often precedes Qadma. Yerach ben Yomo Qarnei Farah The rarest group of all. Occurs only once in the whole Torah, in the parashah Masey, on the words _alpayim b'ammah_ (two thousand cubits). It is equivalent to Munach Pazer.
PSALMS, PROVERBS AND JOB
The system of cantillation signs used throughout the Tanakh is replaced by a very different system for these three poetic books. Many of the signs may _appear_ the same or similar at first glance, but most of them serve entirely different functions in these three books. (Only a few signs have functions similar to what they do in the rest of the Tanakh .) The short narratives at the beginning and end of Job use the "regular" system, but the bulk of the book (the poetry) uses the special system. For this reason, these three books are referred to as _sifrei emet_ (Books of Truth), the word _emet_ meaning "truth", but also being an acronym for the first letters of the three books (Iyov , Mishle , Tehillim ).
A verse may be divided into one, two or three stichs. In a two-stich verse, the first stich ends with _atnach_. In a three-stich verse, the first stich ends with _oleh ve-yored_, which looks like _mahpach_ (above the word) followed by _tifcha_, on either the same word or two consecutive words, and the second stich ends with _atnach_.
Major disjunctives within a stich are _revia qaton_ (immediately before _oleh ve-yored_), _revia gadol_ (elsewhere) and _tzinnor_ (which looks like _zarqa_). The first (or only) stich in a verse may be divided by _dechi_, which looks like _tifcha_ but goes under the first letter of the word to the right of the vowel sign. The last stich in a two- or three-stich verse may be divided by _revia megurash_, which looks like _geresh_ combined with _revia_.
Minor disjunctives are _pazer gadol_, _shalshelet gedolah_, _azla legarmeh_ (looking like _qadma_) and _mehuppach legarmeh_ (looking like _mahpach_): all of these except _pazer_ are followed by a _pesiq_. _Mehuppach_ without a _pesiq_ sometimes occurs at the beginning of a stich.
All other accents are conjunctives.
Some manuscripts of early Rabbinic literature contain marks for partial or systematic cantillation. This is true of the Sifra , and especially of Genizah fragments of the Mishnah.
Today, many communities have a special tune for the Mishnaic passage
"Bammeh madliqin" in the Friday night service . Otherwise, there is
often a customary intonation used in the study of
IN CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY USES
The Jewish born Christian convert Ezekiel Margoliouth translated the
* ^ In more than one tradition, the melodic outline of _darga
tevir_ is similar to that of _(mahpach) pashta zaqef qaton_, though
their syntactical functions are not quite the same.
Segal, J. B. , _The Diacritical Point and the Accents in
Syriac_: Oxford 1953, repr. 2003 ISBN 1-59333-032-4 , ISBN
* ^ _Masoreten des Westens_.
* ^ Specimens of both may be found on
cf. also, e.g., the review by P.T. Daniels, _Journal of the American
Oriental Society_, Vol. 112, No. 3 (Jul.–Sep., 1992), p. 499.
* ^ The tables in the 1905
Grammar And Masorah
* _ Gesenius\' Hebrew Grammar, §15
* Dotan, Aaron, ed. (1979) , Sefer diqduqe ha-te'amim le-rabbi
Aharon Ben-Moshe Ben-Asher_, Jerusalem: Hebrew University , earlier
edition _Leipzig_, Hebrew books.org .
* ha-Naqdan, Moshe (1822) , _Darche ha-
Hanover: Hebrew books.org , earlier edition _Vilna_ .
* bar Kalonymus, Yosef (1886) , Berliner, A, ed., _Ta\'ame eme"t
baḥaruzim_ (in Hebrew and German), Berlin: Hebrew books.org , a
medieval poem setting out the rules for the three poetical books;
original in _Maḥzor of Casal Maggiore_ .
* ben Bil'am, Judah (1859) , _Sha\'ar ta\'ame sheloshah sifre
eme"t_, Amsterdam: Hebrew books.org , original from Paris.
* Breuer, Mordechai (1981), _Ta'amei hammiqra be-21 sefarim
uvesifrei emet_ (in Hebrew), Jerusalem .
* Heidenheim, Wolf (1808), _Sefer Mishpete ha-Ta\'amim_ (in Hebrew),
Rödelheim: Hebrew books.org .
* Wickes, William (1887), _A Treatise on the Accentuation of the
Twenty-One so-called Prose Books of the Old Testament_, Oxford .
* Ginsburg, Christian David (1897), _Introduction to the
Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible_, Trinitarian Bible
* Kahle, Paul E (1966) , _Masoreten des Ostens: Die Altesten
Punktierten Handschriften des Alten Testaments und der Targume_ .
* ———————— (2005) , _Masoreten des Westens_ .
* Park, Sung Jin (2014). ""Pointing to the Accents": The Functional
Development of the Masoretic Accents in the Hebrew Bible". _Hebrew
Studies_. 55: 73–88.
* Park, Sung Jin (2013). "Application of the Tiberian Accentuation
System for Colometry of
Music (general And Comparative)
* "Jewish Music", _Grove Dictionary of Music_ .
* Idelsohn, Abraham Zevi (1917), _Phonographierte Gesänge und
Aussprachsproben des Hebräischen der jemenitischen, persischen und
syrischen Juden_, Vienna .
* ———————— (1923), "Thesaurus of Oriental Hebrew
Melodies", II: Songs of the Babylonian Jews, Jerusalem, Berlin and
Vienna: Huji http://aleph500.huji.ac.il/nnl/dig/books/bk001768379.html
Missing or empty title= (help ) also in _Hebrew_ .
* ———————— (1929), _Jewish Music in its Historical
Development_, New York .
* Khazdan E. (2015) "The Study of
* Neeman, JL (1955), _The Tunes of the Bible — Musical Principles
of the Biblical Accentuation_ (in Hebrew), Tel Aviv .
* Binder, AW (1959), _Biblical Chant_, New York .
* Jacobson, Joshua (2002), _Chanting the Hebrew Bible: the art of
* Portnoy, Marshall; Wolff, Josée (2008) , _The Art of Torah
* Ridler, Vivian , ed. (1965) , _Book of Prayer of the Spanish and
Portuguese Jews’ Congregation, London_, 1, Oxford: Oxford Univ.
Press (since reprinted): the parashah and haftarah melodies are set
out at the end of the volume.
* Sharvit, Uri (1982), _The Musical Realization of Biblical
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