Checkout is disabled during Shabbos and Yom Tov
0
  • Your Cart is Empty

Music to the Tune of Judaism – When There Are No Words

by Hislahavus February 16, 2012

You’ve probably heard a Chassidic tune sung without words and wondered where THAT came from. Really, was the composer too lazy to write some lyrics? Or maybe the notes were whipped off his desk before he managed to set them to poetry? Well, obviously, there’s something more to it than just lack of creativity.

We’ve explained that music is the expression of the soul. The soul has different levels of expression, some more inward than others. If we were to break it down, we’d see three separate levels: 1. Music via an instrument; 2. music that is verbal; and 3. music that is vocal, but wordless.

Instrumental music can truly move someone. But in truth, the instrument is an intermediary between the message and the musician. In other words, the person is presenting a message by way of a vessel, as opposed to presenting it directly. So while instrumental music has an important position in Judaism – after all, there are rules in Jewish law that enumerate how many of each instrument needed to be part of the orchestra in the Beit Hamikdash – yet, instrumental music is only part of the full picture.

Verbal music is one step closer to the soul, as it is being sung directly by the person, with no intermediary. No vessel is needed to produce the feelings. Rather, the person himself reaches within, finds a melody that expresses his feelings, and produces it. On those lines, the words must fit the melody, as it would be silly to sing a sublime tune to inane lyrics; or, for that matter, to take powerful lyrics and transplant them to a plastic ditty. This is particularly true with regards to words from Tanach – a composer must realize the import of the words and apply an equal tune to them.

But therein lies its inherent weakness – the words give direct meaning to a tune. But some feelings are deeper than words. Sometimes, words simply cannot express what the soul would like to say. This is where wordless songs come in – on the one hand, they have the innate unlimited expression of instrumental music, but they are not locked up in a specific box, as lyrical melodies are. Emotions don’t need words – in fact, the words only get in the way. So within a wordless song can be found true soul-expression.

Hislahavus
Hislahavus


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News & Updates

Project Relax Again Featuring Baruch Levine & Simcha Leiner: Audio Sampler

by Jewish Music Reporter February 22, 2017

It’s been almost two years since the last Project Relax by Yochi Briskman was released to much acclaim. Now the dream team of Baruch Levine and Simcha Leiner is back, and its time to RELAX AGAIN. In time for the Purim/Pesach season, you can now relax with today’s biggest hits from across the spectrum all [&hellip
Read More
Shimon’s Review of “Those Were the Days” by Yaakov Shwekey

by Shimon Simpson February 22, 2017

Oh, a new Jewish music compilation album?  Must be a day ending in Y.  I have written previously about my love for compilation albums—twice, as a matter of fact.  However, besides for the wedding album, there is another type of compilation album: the “nostalgia” album.  The album that takes us back to a time long [&hellip
Read More
Beats 2.0 – Coming Rosh Chodesh Adar!

by Jewish Music Reporter February 22, 2017

Read More
News & Updates

Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases and more …