Seven Eights

We got a new piece in Koleinu tonight (well, when I started writing this, March 9), Vay’chulu by Karen Tarlow. That would be Genesis 2:1-3, “And the heavens and the earth were finished…”. The one word “vay’chulu” (ch as in German “ach”) is enough to identify the passage to moderately observant Jews; it’s the first paragraph of the prayers traditionally recited before Friday night dinner, the beginning of the sabbath. So I’ve sung the passage hundreds of times, but not to this tune. The cool part is that this new tune is in seven eights time. It takes a lot of getting used to.

The song in seven eights that we did last year (or two years ago? or both?), a modern Israeli song about spring coming, was counted 1,2,3, 1,2, 1,2 to a measure. This one is 1,2, 1,2, 1,2,3. The feeling is very different because the main and secondary accents are spaced differently. This one has that extra (compared to three fours time) beat at the end, so the measure has a little extra resting time. Carol said, “Just right for shabbos rest.”

Published by deanb

male born 1944 mathematician by training, software engineer by profession; retired since Labor Day 2013 birder, cyclist, unicyclist, eraser carver, knitter when possible