Notes on haphtorah and torah cantillation pages

Following this link will take you to a page showing the common tropes for haphtorah cantillation, their musical notation and the tunes themselves as embedded sound files.

You can print the page off to refer to the musical notation, or you can play the notes live on your computer from the embedded sound files. Hopefully the advantage this may offer to some people is that it provides tunes commonly used in Britain.

About the tunes

The tunes are intended to represent the western Ashkenazi ones used nowadays in many British synagogues, although I gather that considerable variation is legitimate. Mostly they are from Jacklyn Chernett, and I am extremely grateful to her for providing them. However a few are influenced by those given in the Hertz chumash, which to my unmusical ear sometimes sounded more like what we usually hear in shul (most of the Hertz tunes do not). I also had some valuable input from Daniel Tunkel who runs the Jewish Music Distribution Company, for which I am also grateful. Since I first produced these notes Victor Tunkel has written a whole book on the subject: The Music of the Hebrew Bible: The Western Ashkenazic Tradition.

Jaclyn Chernett writes:

Daniel Tunkel gave me many helpful comments on an earlier version which I have now hopefully incorporated, but the following additional points seem worth reproducing:

Lester Kershenbaum adds:

And I have this from Osher Posen: Rather than browse the pages online you can download this zip file which contains all the relevant files making up the pages. Then you can unzip it on your own computer and load the file from that without having to make an internet connection.

I hope people may find these pages of some use. There is a vast amount which I gather could be written on the subject, and indeed Daniel Tunkel is preparing a whole book on this. I would welcome any comments people have, and ultimately these may lead to the development of a more comprehensive treatment.

Torah cantillation

I have now obtained tunes for the common torah tropes from Jackie Chernett and have produced corresponding pages for them. The notes above should pretty much apply to the torah cantillation pages as well. Again, there seems to be a good deal of variability allowable in the tunes, and indeed in some cases you may prefer tunes similar to those provided for the haphtorah tropes.

Here are those links again:

Other sites

Here a few other sites which may be of interest

Dave Curtis 27/8/17