Bore ‘ad ana – A Dirge for the Ninth of Av and its Geographical Distribution

“Bore ‘ad ana” (“Creator until when?”) is one of the most ubiquitous qinot (dirges) in the order of prayers for the Ninth of Av among the Sephardic and Oriental Jewish communities. The identity of the author is unknown, except his name, Binyamin (Benjamin), which is embedded in an acrostic. Consequently, the time and place of authorship are also unknown, although it is most probably a late medieval poem. A loose leaf in the Cairo Genizah contains our poem (highlighted) attesting to its pedigree:

La transmission orale de la Mishnah: Une methode d'analyse appliquee a la tradition d'Alep

A pioneer study of the chanting of the Mishnah, the Jewish Oral Law, by the Jews of Aleppo in Syria. This monograph, inspired by the studies of ethnolinguistics, presents a methodological model for the study of oral traditions of chanting sacred texts with diverse types of sound patterns ranging from speech to full-fledged melody.

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Remarks concerning the Use of the Melograph in Ethnomusicological Studies

The article lists conclusions with regard to the use of the melograph for ethnomusicological studies based on analysis of Arab and Allepo vocalists. The conclusions are many one is that the melograph should be used for analysis and not to assist performance. Another is that the information received from the Melograph helps to describe intonation and note changes in the pitch level and rhythm.

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Articles in Books

Review of recording: Pizmon

Discusses "Pizmon: Syrian-Jewish religious and social song" (Meadowlark 105, 1985) edited by Kay Kaufman Shelemay and Sarah Weiss, descriptive booklet (8 p.) by Kay Kaufman Shelemay, Sarah Weiss, and Geoffrey Goldberg. Pizmon (pizmonim, pl.) is the term employed by the Syrian Jews to denote a Hebrew song in praise of God, whose melody is borrowed.

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Articles in Journals

Abraham Moshe Bernstein

Cantor & composer

Born in Shatsk (today Ukraine). Officiated as cantor in Vilna for thirty years (1893-1923). A prolific composer who published both liturgical works and musical settings for Hebrew and Yiddish songs. Published a collection of Eastern European Jewish folk melodies (1927).

Two comprehensive biographies covering the life and works of Abraham Moshe Bernstein can be found here.