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Re: "Songs to the Invisible God" review...

> Please remind him of the book "The Sacred Bridge" by E Werner which showed
> that Christian chant came from/was based upon/ Jewish chant.... (and while
> some details of Werner's arguments may be in dispute these days),
> nevertheless the basic premise remains: the idea of chanting came from the
> ancient Jewish Temple and predates Christianity.
I would be lax to bring up Werner's book as authoritative in ANY context,
save that of a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to substantiate what remains
an unsubstantiated and speculative assumption.  The connections scholars can
find between Jewish and Christian Chant before the 17th century are
serendipitous at best, and often require several leaps of logic to come to
any overarching conclusion.  Werner's work was special primarily in that he
made these leaps of logic with great passion, self-assurance and abandon.

This may initially sound surprising considering how deeply the "Sacred
Bridge" theory sits within Jewish music studies.  But check the evidence--or
lack thereof.  Upon some scrutiny, most arguments melt away into
speculation--and until we can find some way to move beyond documentary
evidence (or, until some notated "Dead Sea Scrolls" are found), it will
probably remain that way.

Be well.
Judah Cohen.

---------------------- jewish-music (at) shamash(dot)org ---------------------+

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