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10 Principles - Jewish Cantorial Music

The ten rules and principles in this book with explanations

A. HAZZANUT - Cantorial prayer - easy, short and without trills
If the hazzan (cantor) can perform a prayer section in two minutes and he does it in three minutes - he will have made a mistake ! As mentioned in the preface: the ability to abbreviate is greater than the ability to expand...

B.HAZZANUT - even for the medium-grade hazzan
These musical compositions were deliberately written for a medium-range voice; this in accordance with the principle that one and a half octaves are sufficient and capable to achieve the results without going inthe second and third floor...

C.HAZZANUT - in the original and customary version
The 'Beit Abba' (family home) version - of course without repeating words.

D.HAZZANUT - with musical rhythm
In fixed poetic patterns that are usually not changed during the prayer.

E.HAZZANUT - rhythmic, melodious and Hassidic
Since the compositions are written in fixed rhythms and patterns, they can be performed in a Hassidic manner (including even clapping of hands).

F.HAZZANUT - with correct grammatical pronunciation
It is important to put the emphasis not only on the accentuation of the first or last syllable but also on keeping the dignitiy of the word. For example: if I say 'Baruch' - then the 'Ba' syllable should be lower-voiced than the 'ruch' syllable and not the other way around; and if I pronounce the name of G-d, I should remain in the higher tone - I must not trill and not lower my voice.

G.HAZZANUT - with interpretation of the words
The hazzan can explain to his hearers the meaning of the prayer in a poetic manner. For example: when chanting the phrase to 'to thank, bless, praise and glorify' the hazzan must go up one step at each of the words and not go down.

H.HAZZANUT - with 'audience singing'
Each melody which is connected to a certain prayer should fit the version and the fragrance of that prayer ! The outstanding example: the prayer of 'Lecha Dodi' should not be chanted in the minor scale unless chanted on the days of Sefirat Ha'Omer and on the Shabbat days of the Three Weeks.

I.HAZZANUT - with various possibilities
Each prayer has several versions and styles. The hazzan should choose the sections that are suitable for him and perform them.

J.HAZZANUT - with special recitatives
At the end of the book the reader will find selected sections which I thought are suitable for publications. If the hazzan is requested to read one or two sections during the prayer, he will find nice contents in them, although in some of them there are repetitions of words more than once. The sections are by far not too long.

Elul 5771 Eliyahu Greenblatt