Chanting the Hebrew Bible
The Art of Cantillation
Second Edition, Revised, Expanded Edition
28 tables, 1503 illustrations, index
In this encyclopedic text, completely revised and updated in this second edition, Joshua R. Jacobson presents the history of the ancient Jewish tradition of chanting the Bible and a comprehensive explanation of cantillation practice with its grammatical rules and regional variations. His unique system of analysis shows step-by-step how chanting dramatizes and interprets the meaning of the biblical text. Jacobson also provides complete notation for performing all six musical systems, an extensive guide to pronouncing biblical Hebrew, and pedagogical tips for cantillation teachers.
Chanting the Hebrew Bible will be invaluable to anyone interested in chanting, from beginners to advanced readers—from haftarah readers who want to chant from the Torah, to Bible students seeking greater insight into Masoretic texts, to Torah chanters who wish to fine tune their skills, fill gaps in their knowledge, and understand the system they have known only intuitively until now.
This second edition features a week-by-week guide to Torah, haftarah, and megillot readings for Shabbat and holidays; useful new examples and exercises; a new comprehensive general subject index; a new, easy-to-read, clear Hebrew font; and a link to a new website with audio recordings and video lessons.
Chanting the Hebrew Bible will continue to be the definitive work on Torah chanting—the most authoritative guide and reference on the subject.
Monumental in scope and richly detailed, this revised edition of Chanting the Hebrew Bible—enriched by a week-by-week guide to the Torah, haftarah and megillot readings, and a comprehensive index—is an invaluable contribution to the study and practice of biblical cantillation. Jacobson’s work of impressive scholarship is simultaneously an accessible and engaging practical resource.
—Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit, author of Singing God’s Words: The Performance of Biblical Chant in Contemporary Judaism
Jacobson has delivered an indispensable teaching tool that, quite unusually, is a genuinely fascinating read. . . . Even those who consider themselves experts will learn a lot from this book. . . . Jacobson consistently provides a wealth of interesting historical material to make this a great reference book.
—Susan Miron, The Forward
This encyclopedic volume is a ‘must have’ for all serious students of cantillation—and for anyone who wants to learn how to chant Hebrew texts and understand the whys of the cantillation systems.
—Nancy Abramson, cantor and director of the H. L. Miller Cantorial School at Jewish Theological Seminary
An authoritative, exhaustively detailed survey of the history, structure, performance, and inculcation of the trop.
—Stuart Schoffman, Jerusalem Report
The cantillation of Hebrew scripture is an indispensable portal to its authentic interpretation, and Jacobson has extraordinary command of this material. Students and scholars, beginners and experts—everyone who treasures this foundational form of biblical learning has much cause for celebration.
—Richard Cohn, cantor and director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion