The Music of Psalms, Proverbs and Job in the Hebrew Bible: A Revised Theory of Musical Accents in the Hebrew Bible
Bers, David and Stephen Tree, editors
Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2011 pp. xii + 495. $102.00
Description: The Music of Psalms, Proverbs and Job in the Hebrew Bible explores the musical organization of the original temple cantilation contained in the three "poetical books" of the bible, 'Psalms', 'Proverbs' and 'Job', whose Hebrew cantilation signs have been conserved but not understood. The American musician and pianist Jeffrey Burns, 1950-2004, who as an artist dealt with radically new, unusual musical systems all his life, has analyzed the "poetical books" with the help of a computer program which he himself developed that can chant the original Hebrew text. His work, written in English, consists of two parts: a 160-pages introduction printed out in black and white, and a DVD with the complete text and color schemes, including a second part that analyzes the musical structure of each chapter and verse and links it to its sound file - astute, illuminating insights into the original musical structure of texts which belong to the foundation of occidental culture, and are an acoustical window into what was thought to be a lost musical world.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Wisdom Literature, Job, Proverbs, Writings, Literature, Psalms
Review by Rebecca A. Mitchell and Matthew W. Mitchell
Citation: Rebecca A. Mitchell and Matthew W. Mitchell, review of Jeffrey Burns; David Bers and Stephen Tree, eds., The Music of Psalms, Proverbs and Job in the Hebrew Bible: A Revised Theory of Musical Accents in the Hebrew Bible, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2012).
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