Piano & Keyboards
More to come, G-d willing.
Harmony of the
Coltrane and Kabbalah?
Ron was given a copy of "Harmonizing The Jewish Modes", by Isidore Freed, published in 1958, which belonged to John Coltrane.
*The classical Hebrew lyre was a rectangle, which had 10 strings according to Josephus Flavius, just like the Ten Commandments were written on the Tablets of the Law in 10 vertical columns, known as the 10 Sephirot or spheres. The Hebrew name for a lyre is Kinnor, which was early personified in Greek mythology as Cinyras.
For writing purposes, there were 15 horizontal lines on every tablet, resulting in 150 squares of one tenth of a cubit each. Their musical relevance was first suggested to me by the musical note b, which is a semitone below c and generally defined as 8/15, while the c above it is half the string or 7.5/15. If 15 is the common denominator of the frequency ratios, we immediately get the upper tetratchord of the Octave, namely a = 9/15 = 3/5 and g = 10/15 = 2/3.
Since the division of the Octave (c : c' = 1/2) into any number (= n) of equal intervals is the n-th root of 1/2, and hence an irrational number, the main problem in designing our musical scale by Moses in 1441 B. C. E. was mathematical. The solution was found by mathematical interpolation from a good approximation for the middle of the Octave, and by subdividing each half-octave into three tones or six semitones, thus supplying the precise frequency ratios of our diatonic scale.
Of course, all this was calculable 3 1/2 thousand years ago, for (7/10)2 = 49/100 and 50/100 = 1/2, so that the middle of the Octave is close to 7/10, and each half is easily divided into 3/10 and 3/15. This explains the relevance of Mosaical matrixes, namely of tenths and fifteenths for music. While the horizontal division into fifteenths is used for the upper tetrachord, as explained above, the lower tetrachord makes use of the division of each of the Tablets of the Law into 60 Manah weight-stones by 6 vertical and 10 horizontal lines (see the first three adjoining diagrams).
The precision of this method is beyond what the human ear can hear, and what the human voice or musical instruments can produce. The frequency ratios obtained by interpolation bring about an aberration of plus/minus 1 percent or less from the even-tempered standard, as elaborated on the first adjoining chart. Of the frequency ratios, all are less than 1/8-tone off the even-tempered standard, 5 less than 1/16-tone, and 2 less than 1/32-tone, if compared with the values on the second adjoining chart. Already the quartertone between two semitones is hardly appreciated.
Archives for Mosaical Metrology and Mosaistics (AMMM) vol. 2, no. 3 (1995)
p. 30 by courtesy of BAALSCHEM PRESS Verlag,
In memory of my beloved teachers:
A Mind for Music: From ScienceNews
Remembering Reb Shlomo Carlebach:
there are so few things in life that give a child an opportunity to see
the connection between effort and success. This is the goal of all
education, and music teaches it best.”
Over the last two decades I have worked on a very personal project of interpreting the Hebrew Alphabet according to the tones of various musical scales (according to Jewish Mystical tradition - learn more from Rabbi M. Glazerson ).
Most of my efforts, like the work of others, have yielded particularly"non-musical" results, or at least a music that was not familiar at all without a significant amount of "explanation". I don't believe that music needs to be "explained". It should simply be heard and experienced. It is my firm conviction that this harshness was caused by the inherent limitation of interpreting the 22 letters of the Aleph-Beit into the limitations of the 7 notes in the diatonic scale as was the mystical tradition. Until now!
Recently I employed a novel method to include the 5 Sofit letters which have never been considered by tradition. Perhaps this is not a surprise as these 5 letters have significance for our current time, just before the revelation of Mashiach. Applying the 5 Sofit letters allows the full application of the entire standardized 12 tone chromatic system. This scale (as derived from the mathematical and musical frequencies of the Luchot - The Tablets of The Ten Commandments given to Moses (see diagram on the right). Instead of only 22 letters (according to tradition), I have now mapped all 27 letters of the full Alef-Bet to obtain the more complete and accepted 12 tone chromatic scale, and therefore inclusive of all musical scalar and harmonic subsets, particularly the major and minor modes, the traditional scales of nigunim and Jewish liturgy become accessible to the mystical application of the Aleph-Bet to yield familiar and new music which makes sense to our ears for the first time in history! The pentatonic scale formed by the Sofit letters join the diatonic scale of the basic Alef-Bet to yield the complete chromatic system that encompasses and includes the music of all cultures.
Taking verses, in the original Hebrew alphabet, from Torah and Tanach thus yields musical results which are more in "tune" with the fundamental laws of musical physics, (as indicated by the mathematical application of the measurements of the Tablets of Moses, based on the Talmudic interpretation). For the first time in history, the full spectrum of chromatic harmony is available to the Kabbalistic interpretation while still being faithful to that tradition.
The discovery of this method is significant. By extending the harmonic range from the 7 note diatonic domain to the full 12 note spectrum of chromatic harmony, the musical results are not only more sophisticated according to harmonic theory and physics but more "listenable" without any explanations necessary or limitations. The melodies are truly musical, pleasing and identifiable, the harmonic relationships are subtle, more complex and interesting to the ear and the emerging melodic motifs are theoretically logical and most significantly - pleasing to the ear. Quite honestly, I am stunned, not surprised, but pleasantly awe-struck!
I have now "re-mapped" some familiar verses with this new method putting together sketches in various settings by quickly assigning basic arranging context in terms of tempo, style and various instrumentations.
Examples are in the MP3 links above right. I am very excited about this and with G-d's help plan to continue this work and refine the musical settings and arrangements of these and additional verses.
Whoever has heard them agrees that the results are simply astounding, particularly the musical quality and the ability of the verses to "adapt" to various musical styles from liturgical to classical to jazz, rock and pop!
It is with great humility and gratitude to the L-rd for allowing me to continue my work in this otherwise arcane arena of Kabbalistic Science and share this profound musical discovery and place it squarely in the mainstream of contemporary music.
My special gratitude to the continuing research of Stan Tenen of the Meru Foundation; Dr. Edward Metzler, J.D. founder of the Archives for Mosaical Metrology and Mosaistics; Maestro Wilbur Witteman, Lakewood's 30 year plus music ambassador, Lakewood Jazz Ensemble, Georgian Court University, Lakewood High School Music Chairman, Lakewood Citizen of the Year.
I hope you will be inspired with the magnificent sense of awe and joy that I feel as you sit back and listen to the beauty and pertinence of Torah and Tanach as has never been heard or revealed in this manner until now.
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