Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Saturday 26 November |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Gaetana Sterni
Aleteia logo
Art & Culture
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Hear Psalm 104 played on ancient instruments and sung in Hebrew

J-P Mauro - published on 03/06/19

Yamma Ensemble creates the most authentic early Jewish music available.

When we think of religious music, many of us will come up with our favorite hymns, while some may think of one of the many brilliant sacred works of the classical genre or even Gregorian chant. But what about music sung in Hebrew and set to the traditional musical style of the Middle East?

Yamma Ensemble, a music group specializing in original and traditional Hebrew music, has done a masterful job setting Psalm 104 to a traditional Jewish Babylonian-style melody and utilized the original ancient Hebrew lyrics, just as King David wrote it.

The band plays traditional Hebrew instruments — duduk, ney, kopuz, oud, shofar — and sings in ancient Hebrew in order to bring their audience the most authentic early Jewish music available. On their website, they talk about their style:

“It creates the feeling of ancient times, strong sense of spiritual heritage & tradition although the materials are sometimes original and contemporary.”

The public seems to agree with them, as they have performed their unique brand of ancient music with a modern taste all over the world. Funny enough, they never expected the band to succeed in such a way. The band began as just a group of friends who enjoyed the sounds of their ancestors.

One of the things that identifies Middle Eastern music and separates it from Western music is that it follows a system of quarter-tones. Imagine if each fret of a guitar, or key on a piano, were separated from the next by another fret or key with a tone halfway between the two. These new notes would be quarter tones. What sounds like melisma to us is actually a carefully constructed melodic line.

Tags:
ChristianHymnSacred Music
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries


Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here. It's Free!