Energion Publications

The Progression of the Music: The Accents of the Hebrew Bible


A detailed reference guide to the accents of the Hebrew text of Scripture and how this relates to cantillation.

Author: D. Robert MacDonald

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How can a person who reads no Hebrew get closer to the text and feel of the Hebrew scriptures?

This is a question that readers frequently ask, wondering whether they are getting an adequate immersion in the culture, rhythms, and vocabulary of those who wrote long ago.

Bob MacDonald, author of the monumental work Seeing the Psalter (Energion Publications, 2013), has continued his work studying the rhythm, music, and structure of the Hebrew scriptures He developed this close translation initially to show in English the intricate patterns of repeated words in Hebrew poetry.

Having discovered the inferences concerning the music at a conference on the Psalms in 2010, the author decided that the whole corpus of the Hebrew canonical text should be approached to allow English speaking readers some understanding of the music. The translation retains the order of Hebrew words wherever reasonable, so that changes in reciting note and ornaments can be in English on the same syllable that corresponds to the Hebrew.

Readers at all levels of biblical knowledge can benefit from the material here. While the translation is accessible to anyone who reads English, references to the Hebrew text are available for the serious student of the language.

The Progress of the Music is the tenth volume in the series, which now covers the entire Hebrew Bible. It is intended as a reference book with explanations for evaluating the data about the accents (cantillation signs) in the Hebrew Bible. It illustrates the effectiveness and clarity of the deciphering key proposed by Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura.


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