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Chanting the Hebrew Bible: The Art of Cantillation, 2nd ed.

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Digital list price: $89.99
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In this encyclopedic text, completely revised and updated in this second edition, Joshua R. Jacobson presents the history of the ancient Jewish tradition of chanting the Bible and a comprehensive explanation of cantillation practice with its grammatical rules and regional variations. His unique system of analysis shows step-by-step how chanting dramatizes and interprets the meaning of the biblical text. Jacobson also provides complete notation for performing all six musical systems, an extensive guide to pronouncing biblical Hebrew, and pedagogical tips for cantillation teachers.

Chanting the Hebrew Bible will be invaluable to anyone interested in chanting, from beginners to advanced readers—from haftarah readers who want to chant from the Torah, to Bible students seeking greater insight into Masoretic texts, to Torah chanters who wish to fine tune their skills, fill gaps in their knowledge, and understand the system they have known only intuitively until now.

This second edition features a week-by-week guide to Torah, haftarah, and megillot readings for Shabbat and holidays; useful new examples and exercises; a new comprehensive general subject index; a new, easy-to-read, clear Hebrew font; and a link to a new website with audio recordings and video lessons.

Chanting the Hebrew Bible will continue to be the definitive work on Torah chanting—the most authoritative guide and reference on the subject.

Key Features

  • Explores the history and rules of cantillation
  • Connects the practice of cantillation to Biblical interpretation
  • Provides an encyclopedic guide for teaching, pronunciation, and performance


  • Cantillation
  • Parallelism
  • The Primary Dichotomy: Siluk and Etnahta
  • Level Two: Tippeha
  • Conjunctives
  • Substitutions
  • Level Two: Zakef
  • Level Two: Segol
  • Tevir
  • The Remote Conjunctives of Tevir
  • Revia’
  • Pashta
  • Zarka
  • Level Four: Geresh
  • Level Four: Legarmeh
  • Level Four: Pazer
  • Level Four: Pazer Gadol
  • Telishah Gedolah
  • Pronunciation
  • Canon and Masorah
  • The Te’amim
  • Two Te’amim on a Single Word
  • Troubleshooting
  • Parsing the Hebrew Bible
  • The Pedagogy of Cantillation
  • Interpreting the Te’amim
  • Torah
  • Haftarah
  • The Festival Megillot: Song of Songs, Ruth, and Ecclesiastes
  • Esther
  • Lamentations (Ekhah)
  • Torah for the High Holiday Morning Service
  • Comparison Chart
  • The Ideal Reader
  • Guide to the Readings

Praise for the Print Edition

Monumental in scope and richly detailed, this revised edition of Chanting the Hebrew Bible—enriched by a week-by-week guide to the Torah, haftarah and megillot readings, and a comprehensive index—is an invaluable contribution to the study and practice of biblical cantillation. Jacobson’s work of impressive scholarship is simultaneously an accessible and engaging practical resource.

—Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit, author of Singing God’s Words: The Performance of Biblical Chant in Contemporary Judaism

Jacobson has delivered an indispensable teaching tool that, quite unusually, is a genuinely fascinating read. . . . Even those who consider themselves experts will learn a lot from this book. . . . Jacobson consistently provides a wealth of interesting historical material to make this a great reference book.

—Susan Miron, The Forward

This encyclopedic volume is a ‘must have’ for all serious students of cantillation—and for anyone who wants to learn how to chant Hebrew texts and understand the whys of the cantillation systems.

—Nancy Abramson, cantor and director of the H. L. Miller Cantorial School at Jewish Theological Seminary

Product Details

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Joshua R. Jacobson is a professor of music and director of choral activities at Northeastern University, the founder and director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston, and a visiting professor and senior consultant in the School of Jewish Music at Hebrew College. He has guest-conducted and lectured throughout the United States, Europe, Israel, and Australia. Jacobson is the coauthor of Translations and Annotations of Choral Repertoire, vol. 4: Hebrew Texts.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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  1. Felmar Roel Rap. Singco
    Amazing book, I should have a copy of this one. As a lover of Classical music, the inter relations be twixt theology and music, and be tween the Sacred Writs and the musical arts, are all ways of heightened importance to me. Various Psalmists, poets, Prophets, Popes, theologians, Saints, mystics, and musicians through the ages have demonstrated to all of us, that music is an art that is very close to God and to His divine intention and appreciation of beauty, and that music is one of the primitive and pure forms in which we can approach Him, communicate with Him, praise Him, and do homage to Him. As Saint Augustine aptly tells us: He [or she] who sings [sacred hymns] prays twice.


Digital list price: $89.99
Save $40.00 (44%)

Gathering interest