[b-hebrew] About Dagesh's
yakov.hadash at gmail.com
Mon Jun 16 16:41:25 EDT 2008
On Jun 16, 2008, at 3:11 PM, Vadim Cherny wrote:
> Is there any arguments against a simple rule that dagesh only exists
> on cantillation and there only to avoid jamming (hazak - of post-
> tonic vowels, kal - of clustered consonants)?
> I spoke with a number of opera singers and all of them confirmed a
> need for such a stop.
Opera singing requires a very specific type of voice production, which
has nothing to do with cantillation of ancient Semitic languages.
Pay a visit to the World Music section of your local CD store or
public library and you'll hear singers (from, say, Africa, China,
Eastern Europe, Australia, and Latin America) putting together strings
of consonants and vowels that you hadn't thought possible.
Or, just listen to some American music – blues, country, rock, folk,
rap – and you'll hear enough all the clustered consonants and vowels
that you could ever need. Not just that, but you'll hear people going
out of their way to complicate words. If you hear a blues singer say a
word like "sad," he might turn it into something like "saaauhohhhahh-d."
But the most important thing to know is that singing is basically the
same thing as speech. Every sound that comes out of your mouth has a
tone. If you were to read this sentence out loud, I could transcribe
it onto a musical staff, and it would be music. So if you can form a
sound with your mouth, you can sing it. If you take a public speaking/
elocution class, 100% of what you learn in there can be applied to
singing (and vice versa).
...But I'm still confused about your conversations with those opera
singers. Has any of them sung in German? or French? Those languages
both have tons of vowel/consonant clusters... even Italian has "gli"
and stuff like that.
But I do think that Hebrew pronunciation probably evolved according to
what was "easy" for people to say, obvious example -- hith-sader
becoming his-tader. Or like English, in which "nice to see you"
becoming "ni-sea." Think about it, when was the last time you heard
anyone say any of the "o"s in that phrase?
(I'm a cantorial student at JTS, I studied Latin American and African
ethnomusicology at the U of Pitt, and I sing Jewish, classical and
P.S. I confess I don't know what you mean by "post-tonic," and the
Google results for "post-tonic vowels" weren't much help: "On this
kind of change, there is deletion of the medial post-tonic vowel of
the proparoxytones." Eep!
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