By Uriel Simon

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Additional info for Four Approaches to the Book of Psalms: From Saadiah Gaon to Abraham Ibn Ezra

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The information regarding the musical condition is more substantial and more reliable: twenty-nine explicit designations, and three more inferred. Of both conditions he remarks: "It is possible that for brevity's sake they omitted mention of other instruments and other 'alban" (p. 32). In other words, omission does not prove nonexistence, since it is quite likely that Scripture's customary brevity, relying on the Oral Tradition to fill in the gaps. is at work here too (although the tradition on this subject has not reached us).

Psalm)" (Siddur, p. 70 The starting point for solving the problem must be Saadiah's own words concerning the introductory psalms of the morning service: "Our Saadiah Gaon: The Book of Psalms as a Second Pentateuch 27 nation takes it upon themselves to read (hikra'a) psalms from the Book of the Praises of the Lord (tashibi 'lkuddus), with two benedictions, before and after them" (Siddur, p. 32). ). Saying the psalms precedes proper prayer, and thus one does not fulfill the obligation of prayer by reciting them.

He divides the eight rhythmic modes into four categories (of unequal size), characterizes their meters, and indicates which humor (phlegm, blood, choler, or black bile) each category affects and which qualities of the soul (dominance, courage, timidity, happiness or sadness)78 it stimulates. Now he reaches the crux of the matter: "It is the practice among rulers so to blend these different modes as to harmonize them, the purpose being that the impulses stimulated by hearing these modes may put their souls in the proper disposition for conducting the affairs of the government.

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