mudcat.org: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Music of the Bible Revealed (?)

Related threads:
440hz? 432hz? (45)
Oldest song in the world (32)
What are the oldest surviving tunes? (60)
First Chord Ever Played (16)


Uncle Jaque 02 Aug 01 - 09:30 PM
Wesley S 03 Aug 01 - 10:11 AM
MMario 03 Aug 01 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,fretless (at work) 03 Aug 01 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Noe~Lot 26 Mar 08 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 26 Mar 08 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 26 Mar 08 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 26 Mar 08 - 10:17 AM
Arkie 26 Mar 08 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,Johnmc 26 Mar 08 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 26 Mar 08 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 26 Mar 08 - 12:18 PM
Les in Chorlton 26 Mar 08 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 26 Mar 08 - 12:57 PM
Les in Chorlton 26 Mar 08 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 26 Mar 08 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 26 Mar 08 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 26 Mar 08 - 02:57 PM
Les in Chorlton 26 Mar 08 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 26 Mar 08 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 26 Mar 08 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 26 Mar 08 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 26 Mar 08 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 26 Mar 08 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,leeneia 26 Mar 08 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,GI Joe 26 Mar 08 - 06:38 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: Uncle Jaque
Date: 02 Aug 01 - 09:30 PM

In the course of correspondance with a Midieval Reenactor freind from Germany, I related a dream I had about hearing one of the Psalms being sung during the First Century AD in Israel, and how beautiful yet "different" the music seemed. I have always been under the impression that the "music" to which the Psalms were set, many by King David himself, was all lost to history about the time the Romans shellacked Israel decicively about 77AD and scattered them all over the known World, not to re-gather until 1948.
She replied that in fact a certain Ethnomusicologist (?) by the name of
Suzanne Haik Ventura (there should be two dots on the i, but my software doesn't have them)
has figured out that some funny little doodles associated with ancient Hebrew texts, long assumed to be accent and punctuation marks, are actually musical notation, and has de-coded several Psalms and Biblical passages and performed them in what she contends is authentic (or reasonably so) melody on a CD, sold by "Harmonia Mundi" 190989 titled: "La Musique de la Bible révélée" which is, apparantly, available on Amazon.com. She has also written a book about her research, which I am planning to order. This is fascinating stuff!

Does anyone else know about this field of Ancient Music research, or is familiar with Ms. Ventura's work?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: Wesley S
Date: 03 Aug 01 - 10:11 AM

I'm don't know anything about it so I sent this page to a friend and musician { a Harvard grad AND a banjo player }who teaches theology at a local university and his reply was -

" This one is a stretch - there are enigmatic words in the psalms like _selah_ that scholars believe were instructions for singing, but the punctuation marks that are mentioned in the article are clearly that - punctuation marks. There's no scholarly basis for her claims but I'm sure it's effective in selling CD's. "


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: MMario
Date: 03 Aug 01 - 10:16 AM

I could find nothing on the web about it except the cd...on the other hand there is a lot of controversy surrounding the oldest song in the world but at least you *do* find stuff about it on the web and elsewhere...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,fretless (at work)
Date: 03 Aug 01 - 10:33 AM

Re: other ancient music, there is also a classical Greek hymn inscribed, with musical notation, on the exterior south wall of the Athenian Treasury at Delphi. Here's one source for a recording: http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/OM/DO.html.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Noe~Lot
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 07:06 AM

The plain Biblical texts of the versions' 'musical accompaniment terms' in their headers and lyrics, came to have been well understood since their translation.
Selah is "come up harder" to have a 'solo' or interlude of the instruments.
As for the range of tune, it is determined by the instruments specified or tone directed, sometimes having a specific interval intended.
The intoning of a text is usually by the words themselves as is still extant in the reciting of a Qur'an.
There is occasionally in the Masorah given 'musical notation' "points", and then there's the ancient now restored science of Chironomy!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 08:51 AM

There is no consensus about selah. One opinion is that it means take a solo. Another, to syncopate the rhythm. Yet another opinion is that it means take a break, musically. Then there is the possibility that it means ornamentation. The thing is, nobody knows what role the music and the instruments played. Some psalms have instrumental backing, others are a-capella. I doubt that their concept of accompaniment was anything like what we've gotten used to since the 1960s.
I think the closest we can get to understanding the music of the psalms, is to examine how the Yemenite Jews recite them. It's not quite singing, more like long intonations, but very interesting and quite a feat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 09:46 AM

Dear Uncle Jacque--

I'm with Wesley S. on this one, having lived through a couple "nine day wonders" before. Skepticism is healthy.

An article entitled "World's Oldest Musical Notation Deciphered on Cuneiform Tablet" appeared on pp. 14-25 of the Biblical Archaeology Review in vol. vi, #5, which was Sep/Oct 1980. The article itself is not signed but the text states that it was "reviewed" by Prof. Anne Kilmer.

On p. 25, the writer says that, "Professors Kilmer, Crocker and Brown cooperated in producing a sound recording, called "Sounds from Silence" (Bit Enki Publications, Berkeley), in which Prof. Crocker sings the Hurrian cult song and accompanies himself on the replica of the Silver Lyre. On the same recording you can also hear Prof. Kilmer sing the song, accompanied by another replica lyre that is closer in time and place to the song from Ugarit. Prof. Brown based the reconstruction of this second lyre on a second millennium drawing on a piece of ivory from ancient Megiddo. The 'Megiddo Lyre' is smaller than the bovine lyres, no longer has a bovine-shape sound box, and its sound is in a higher register ... better suited to a woman's voice."

I have no idea whether this recording is still available, or what medium it was made in in 1980, but I will try to find out, and I suppose others on this thread will too.

This song, billed as "A Hurrian Cult Song from Ancient Ugarit," is dated by Kilmer to 1400 BC. Therefore this is not exactly "on point" with regard to how the Hebrews scored their Psalms 500 years later.

The next paragraph, however, is probably worth considering in both of these cases. The writer states, "Although the performance recorded in "Sounds from Silence" is admittedly experimental, the song is interpreted as closely to the text as possible (see music on p. 17). Some listeners feel that the melody and style are too Western' others find it reminiscent of simple early church humns. Some critics believe that the ancient music must have sounded more like today's Near Eastern music than the interpretation presented. Although we have recovered the scales and the basic notes of this Hurrian song, we cannot know what it really sounded like.... All we have is a voiceless artifact of musical notation from the distant past."

I learned about this article originally from a hammer dulcimer player who was all agog over the notion that the hammer dulcimer was, in his untutored opinion, a likely instrument for the song to have been played on--and there was another attempt to work an ancient Assyrian representation of some sort of percussion instrument into a hammer dulcimer. Years later, I met hammer dulcimer player #2, who was much deeper into the academic side of things. I mentioned the Assyrian origin theory of the H.D. and he did a great ROFLOL number. Consensus, I take it, is that there were no hammer dulcimers before the Middle Ages. I think I have references on that too, but that's TWO jumps removed from the original topic.

Those cryptic marks in the Psalms texts have their counterpoint in cryptic marks in the Quran. Maybe Ms. Ventura has figured them out after 3000 years. Maybe not.

I don't know how accessible back copies of the Biblical Archaeology Review are going to prove to be or whether Bit Enki Pubs. is still around. For all I know, they were recording on Edison cylinders in 1980 (Mudcat joke--my Edison machine still works! :) ). If anybody wants full text and cannot find it, I could be persuaded to transcribe the whole thing or snail-mail you a Xerox copy.

Joe will no doubt be along any minute to explain to me how I can up-load the page with the music on it, staves and all.

CC

PS. Was this the least damn bit helpful?? It just occurred to me after all this typing that there are probably multiple threads on all of this stuff already. Oh, well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 10:17 AM

Update:

(1) Are you affluent?

    Yes.   Goto (3)
    No.    Goto (2)

(2) Give checkbook/credit cards to spouse. Say, "Honey, you need to hold these for a while." Goto (3)

(3) Find "bellaromamusic.com" on the web. Go to "Store." It was on vinyl in 1980; now it's on CD. Forty bucks a pop. And look out for the old "those who bought this also bought ...." type deal. But hey, who am I kidding. As soon as my economic incentive check hits the bank, I'm all over it.

CC

PS. Is there something weird about a retired librarian on a budget (that would be me) diverting "economic incentive" loot to a professor in the Berkeley area who probably makes more money than I ever did? Or is it just me?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: Arkie
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 11:04 AM

The scholars who discovered the note coding need to get together with those who discovered that grooves in ancient pottery were actually recordings.   Then we could have some real old time music.

I am not up on my hammered dulcimer history but the "dulcimer" is mentioned in one of the earliest English translations of the Bible. Present day commentary asserts that is because the instrument was one familiar to 16th and 17th century citizens. On the other hand some estimates are that some form of the hammered dulcimer was known in Asia over 4000 years ago.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Johnmc
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 11:52 AM

I wonder if the correspondents have heard of the recently deciphered music from Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. If I'm right, the researchers realised the strange designs were harmonic patterns like those prodoced by sound waves vibrating surfaces.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 12:03 PM

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. :)

CC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 12:18 PM

It's "Vantoura," Jake. Good thing I discovered that, as I was about to crack wise about how I'd never heard of Suzanne Ventura, but I knew her brother Ace.

Here's a review;


http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=2529


CC
Is that at some point going to turn blue? I hope so. Some day I'll get computer literate. Nawwwww.


    Ya, sure it will turn blue - but remember that the link was created manually - we ain't that high-tech - yet!
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 12:30 PM

Is it worth mentioning that the Bible is not a collection of books of historical reference?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 12:57 PM

Meaning what, exactly?

As an historian, am I not entitled to infer that because the authors of "Kings" and "Chronicles" mention a king named Hezekiah, then he actually existed and ruled?

Also, doctrinally, you need to be careful how far you push that warm fuzzy "this ain't history, it's religion" idea. Read First Cories 15 and get back to me. If Christ didn't die, your faith is in vain. He died in history, not in my head.

[Great, now we're debating the nature of Holy Scripture in a thread that asked a question about musical accompaniment to Psalms. To hell with solipsism, anyway.]

CC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 01:10 PM

I think the point I was trying to make was that the Bible in its various books is not simply an attempt to write history an more than its is a book about geology. It has historical and geological references from a time when people had little genuine understanding of geology or probably the need for academic rigour in history.

In this context much care will be needed if we are to learn about music from such a book.

"As an historian, am I not entitled to infer that because the authors of "Kings" and "Chronicles" mention a king named Hezekiah, then he actually existed and ruled?"

I feel sure you will treat all references in the Bible with true academic rigour, will you not? Isn't it generally accepted that the Old Testament has passages that are not historical?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 01:49 PM

Pulling the thread sharply back to music!
"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."
In Aramaic:
karna, mashrokita, katros, sabcha, psanterin, sumponia, chol zney zmara.

Karna: a horn, most probably something like a shofar, a ram's horn.

Mashrokita: some sort of shrill woodwind, either a shepherd's pipe or a double pipe, like the Arab gayta.

Katros: the cythara, a form of lyre.

Sabcha: possibly a sort of autoharp.

Psanterin: This is the tricky one, the one translated as dulcimer. When Hebrew was revitalised more than a hundred years ago, this was the word used for piano. It has long been supposed that it might be an ancestor of the Persian santur (qanun). The Septuagint rendered it as psalterton, a word they used for various harp-thingies. Another theory is that the psanterin was a large, upright harp.

Sumponia: a mystery instrument! It's related to the Greek 'symphony'. Many ancient Jewish scholars supposed that it was some sort of bagpipe. Others held that it's an adjective applying to the psanterin. Another opinion is that it refered to all the instruments playing in an ensemble.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 02:46 PM

Crap. It screwed up and I lost a post. I found a bunch of youtube videos showing how Yemenite Jews recite psalms and read from the Bible. It isn't done in monotone! Ventura was wrong to assume that the punctuation and accent marks are notation in the western-style, but ment to show how to recite.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 02:57 PM

Les--

Depends what you mean by "historical." There are sections of the OT--and why stop there; throw in the NT and both apocryphas--which scientists might challenge. The fact that the Genesis author(s) wrote about a universal flood does not mean a universal flood necessarily occurred. It does mean that when that book was written, someone believed there had been a universal flood, or at least wished to use that idea to promote the omnipotence of YHWH. I am therefore entitled, as an historian, to deduce that such belief is datable to the time at which that part of Genesis was written.

Lemme use an example from a totally different context. "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is not historical in the sense that it records actual Jewish thought. It is completely historical in the sense that it reflects the mood of Russian anti-Semitism at the time it was written.

If the KJV translators accurately translated "pesanterin" as dulcimer, that would be >>historical<< evidence for the existence of such an instrument at the time the "Daniel" was written. If they did not accurately translate it as such, it would not be historical evidence.

Why do I have to be catechized on the reality of the Genesis account before I can draw a legitimate logical conclusion from the translation of Daniel 3? Does any of this have to do with SELAH?

CC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 03:19 PM

Good point Charlie, but how many languages has the Bible been translated through to become the King James Version? What were the motives and depth of knowledge and understanding of the translators?

This sounds to me like shaky ground, that's all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 03:40 PM

The translators mainly worked with Hebrew texts, not translations, Les.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 04:13 PM

Thank you.

The KJV translators did not, as Volgadon points out, work thru intermediary languages. They may not, however, have had the best manuscripts, and they may not have had the best understanding of the languages in which they were working.

If you want to continue this, what say you start another thread? I.e. what is it that strikes you as "shaky ground?" If you mean, did the KJV crew know a dulcimer from a dipstick, then I think we are actually making the same point.

I'd really like to get back to Uncle J.'s question. Is anybody out there still interested in it? I am. :)

CC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 04:39 PM

I definitely am.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 05:07 PM

Here are the Yemenite youtube vids.

The first two show how they recite psalms.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNCJWeS56rU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD4Yjd5Abyk&feature=related


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 05:08 PM

This is one of the elders of the Sanaa community reading from Genesis.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbgpPzf_D3s


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 05:28 PM

Thanks for the links, Volgadon. That's interesting.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Music of the Bible Revealed (?)
From: GUEST,GI Joe
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 06:38 PM

Can Rabbi Sol help with this??   Check "Cantillation" and "Trope"
on Wikipedia " Ritual chanting of readings from the bible"
If I remember correctly they are markings that go above the written words in Hebrew which indicate how the voice is to sound when the word is chanted/sung durring the service.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 September 6:13 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.