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GUEST,Chicken Charlie Music of the Bible Revealed (?) (26) RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?) 26 Mar 08


Arkie--Sure, the King Jim translators used the word "dulcimer," for example in Daniel 3.5. Allow me to point out that the fact that the King James was "one of the earliest English translations" is an argument AGAINST it, not FOR it. The New International translates that verse as follows: "As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up." No dulcimer.

"Present day commentary asserts ...." etc. Yes, the King Jimmie guys knew what a dulcimer was. Did they know what the Hebrew word they were translating as "dulcimer" was? THAT is the question.

"On the other hand some estimates are ..." On the other hand, some estimates are that the Moon is made of green cheese, or at least the part the astronauts didn't walk on is. The brief for an Assyrian invention of the h.d. is based on a relief carved on a wall, and involves questions of perspective as Assyrian artists used it, rather than as Western artists have used it since the Renaissance.

In "The Hammered Dulcimer: A History," by Paul M. Gifford, Scarecrow Press, 2001, Gifford states that "The instrument ... listed in the Book of Daniel ... is not 'dulcimer' but 'psaltery.' The word in the original Aramaic text was 'pesanterin' a word clearly deriving from the Greek 'psalterion' ... [which was] from the verb 'psallein,' 'to pluck.' We can thus have little doubt that it was a plucked stringed instrument."

With regard to the art work, Gifford states in the second chapter that "Carl Engel, in 1864, described an Assyrian bas-relief in the British Museum ... depicting a man playing what he regarded as a dulcimer .... Galpin later rejected Engel's interpretation of the instrument in question as a dulcimer. We must concur with Galpin's argument...." Further evidence and argumentation to be found in Gifford, esp. ch. 2.

When I ran all this by Norm Jacobson, head of the group Dulcimania and also into the research side, he e-mailed the following:

"Yeah, that Assyrian thing has been around a long time, and its an amazingly persistent story, but the notion that the instrument in the relief [is a] close relative of the h.d. has been pretty much done in by recent scholarship. If the instrument in the relief is anything we can connect to, it's probably a psaltery .... I guess it all depends on how tenuous you're willing to get. (Shoot, a dulcimer is related to the zither and the piano, but most wouldn't call any of them by the names of the others.)" End quote Jacobson.

This still doesn't have a lot to do with Ms. Ventura, Uncle J., but I'll see if I can work back toward the original question. :)

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