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‘What did Jesus sing?’

December 22, 2010

Anthropologist Geoffrey Clarfield, writing in a leading Canadian newspaper, explores the relation between the synagogue music of Jesus’ time and Gregorian chant.

The Sacred Bridge, a CD recording that features Psalm 114, “oscillates between Latin and Hebrew, Gregorian chant and synagogue cantillation,” writes Clarfield. “The melodies are identical and despite the alteration between Hebrew and Latin you would think you were listening to the same song. In fact, you probably are, for no doubt this is a distant echo of what Jesus sang.”


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  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Dec. 22, 2010 7:25 PM ET USA

    Willi Apel wrote about this in his classic book GREGORIAN CHANT. Ethnomusicologists found strong similarities over 100 years ago between tribal Jewish chants and Gregorian chant, even to the psalm they were used with. Let's bring it back; the only cultural continuity in art that we can be confident of sharing with the early Church.