[b-hebrew] TRe: poetic accents and poetic metre

rochelle altman willaa at netvision.net.il
Wed Sep 13 18:02:10 EDT 2006

Goodness, what a tirade.

You know, it's usually a good idea to read the article in question. It 
saves people from having a severe cases of podontitis..

You see, if you had read the article (or even paid attention to what I 
wrote), you would know that Gregorian Chant is specifically mentioned as 
the model used by some authorities to make claims about Hebrew Chant.

Now: Chant:
Latin cantum > Anglo-Norman French > chaunt > ModE. chant

Standard usage: "a measured, monotonous song; usually implying something 
less tuneful than an air or song.."

The 14th-century name for a rooster, "chauntacleer" or "chaunteclere." is 
onomatopoeic, after the cock's crow. -- which certainly is  monotonous and 
less tuneful than an air or song. So, for that matter is a charm chant.Both 
cock's crow and charm chant reveal the standard perception of what is meant 
by 'chant.'.

Now melody is one heck of a mnemonic, That the prose of the MT is set to 
'chant' is one thing; to do it to songs is another.There are good reasons 
why Psalms were known as '"hearpan sang" -- harp song, -- and that, Yonah, 
is 11th-century English. Further, there were more than 300 attempts to set 
English translations of the Psalms to melodies between the sixteenth 
century and the first quarter of the twentieth century. And those melodies 
emulated folk song! That also says something about the perceived 
distinction between song and chant.

There are no synonyms in the English language. If 'chant' meant solely 
'song', one of the words
would have disappeared centuries ago. It doesn't, though. It means a 
specific type of song..

As far as the rest of the tirade goes (which I have snipped for rather 
obvious reasons -- like some rreally wild assumptions and the subject 
matter.)... I thought this was a scholarly list for the discussion of 
Biblical Hebrew -- Dr. Caen's work is on intonational phonology in one 
Biblical Psalm and has nothing to do with 'religion'. There has been far 
too much 'faith' and 'religion'  and 'belief 'arguments these last weeks. 
"People longing to turn the word ''religion' into a byword' ??? Hoo, boy! 
This one won the "prys."..

Enough already,

Dr. R. I. S. Altman
USA and Israel

Yonah Mishael 
at gmail.com
Wed Sep 13 14:15:08 EDT 2006

"Chant" does *NOT* mean "follow the Gregorian vocal patterns." It simply 
means "set to music, sing." Whether that music happens to be the Gregorian 
style or the style represented in the ta`amei ha-miqra', it is still 
chanting. We *chant* the Torah, and we *chant* the psalms according to the 
written notations of the Massoretes. This is *singing.* I do not know why 
people have a bad taste in their mouths and want to argue against the 
terminology of "chanting" in relation to the Hebrew Bible, but that is 
precisely what we do. Such people would do well to look in a dictionary at 
the derivation of the word "chant," the rejection of which reminds me of 
people's longing to turn the word "religion" into a byword.


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