* +  For the Musician  * +

Signs of Phonetic Emphasis of the Hebrew Language

~Prepared in Love for My Brothers in Jesus the Christ~

By Craig Bluemel


In Hebrew, as in any language, certain words receive stress, or emphasis, and one’s voice tone and tempo should be adjusted to reflect how the written text is below, since written Hebrew is by antiquity terms, very recent (approximately the last 2500 years).  The oral tradition was here for over 3500 years before it was fluidly proliferated in writing, and even then, in miniscule amounts.  Below is an brief explanation, and then a psalm marked emphatically; this will prove a helpful tool for musicians.


1. The * calls for slight elevation of voice or |    | also calls for minor phonetic   emphasis.


The |    | = these two signs are used almost indifferently to denote |slight phonetic emphasis|.  The accent* being generally preferred for single words; and the |single upright lines|, for the inclusion of more than one word in the spoken effect.


2. The ||    || = calls for more decisive phonetic emphasis.


The ||    || = these lines bracket the English words to corresponding with the stronger emphasis in the Hebrew.


3. The <  > + <  >* = call for more strong-willed, firm emphasis; * the latter of these in bold vocabulary to indicate strength in the voice inflexion.  .


ROTHERHAM’S SAYS: “The <  > <  > = when there is an inversion in the English arrangement, as well as in that of the Hebrew.  Sometimes the inverted and emphatically preplaced portion of the sentence is of some length, extending to the line or more.  In such cases the angular marks frequently appear in darker type <  >.  These signs are arranged this way to be conspicuous, setting free lighter marks with <  > to show a shorter inversion within the longer one.  If you remember that, a closing angular sign never ends a sentence, but always demands a sequel before that statement is finished, both mind and voice will be materially assisted.”



Psalms 116 with Phonetic Emphasis

From Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible


1 I love Yahweh—because he heareth* my voice, my supplications;


2 <Because he hath bowed down his ear unto me> therefore <throughout my days will I call>


3 The meshes of death encompassed* me, ||and the distresses of Hades||, came upon me, <Peril and sorrow>, I found;


4 But, <on the Name of Yahweh>, I called—I beseech thee, Yahweh, deliver my soul.


5 Gracious* is Yahweh and righteous, and, ||our God||, is full of compassion.


6 Yahweh, | preserves the simple|, I was brought low, when, <to me>, he granted salvation.


7 Return, O my soul, to thy rest, For, ||Yahweh||, hath dealt bountifully with thee.


8For thou hast rescued my soul from death, —mine eyes from tears, my feet from



9I will walk to and fro before Yahweh, in the lands of life.


10 I believed* that I should speak, ||I||, was greatly depressed.


11 ||I||, said in mine alarm,


||All men||, are false!


12 How shall I give back to Yahweh, All his benefits unto me? 


13 <The cup of salvation>, will I lift, and, <on the Name of Yahweh>, will I call:


14 <My vows—to Yahweh>, will I pay, Might it be in presence of all his people!


15 <Costly* in the eyes of Yahweh>, is, ||death||, for his men of lovingkindness.


16 I beseech thee, O Yahweh—for, ||I||, am thy servant, ||I||, am thy servant, the son of thy handmaid, Thou hast loosened my bonds.


17<To thee>, will I sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and, <on the Name of Yahweh>, will I call:


18 <My vows—to Yahweh>, will I pay, Might it be in the presence of all his people;


19 In the courts of the house of Yahweh, In the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye Yah!



* +  SELAH!  * +




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