“THE HEBREW LANGUAGE HAS BEEN RETURNED TO THE REPOSITORY OF AFRICAN LANGUAGES”. – H.E. Ben Ammi, 1997.
These are H. E. Ben Ammi’s words as announced to the world during the 1997 Panafest in Ghana. The idea behind this statement infers not only to value and safe guard the Hebrew language just as any other African language, but it points one back to its base of strength and spiritually. Any concept rooted in or derived from this language thus becomes and should by all means be considered African as well.
In regards to sound composition, there are three basic elements that we use to build from. TONE, TEMPO and RHYTHM, with the later being the most important. It is here we will begin to see how RHYTHM is defined according to THE HEBRAIC SYSTEM OF SOUND.
RHYTHM is a very important concept in the lifestyle of the African Hebrew, using the progression of holydays, as stated in the Hebrew canon, we refer to them as the rhythm of life for they set the spiritual tone for day to day, week to week, year to year advancement in all we do. There are six holydays in the Hebraic calendar and according to the Genesis man was “created” on the six day. The Rhythm of 6.
“THE MUSICIANS JOB IS TO MASTER THE MUSICAL COMPOSITION THAT WORDS FORM WHEN PLAYED RHYTHMICALLY INSTEAD OF SPOKEN”- H.E. Ben Ammi, “An Imitation Of Life”, pg. 144.
The Hebrew alphabet/ letters are not only for forming words but they are also numerical/ numbers within themselves. The 22 Hebrew letters have the following numerical values; 1 – 9, 10 – 90, 100 – 900. They provide us with a quantitative as well as a qualitative perspective and insight into the meaning and spirit of a word, sentence and whole passages. If we were to drop the zero the letters values would be the following, 1 – 9, thus we have nine basic rhythms to create from, with 3 letters to each RHYTHM.
The primary instrument used in actualizing these RHYTHMS is the hand drum. There is no barring or pre-determined meter, esp. according to the ” common practice”. We use three basic sounds of the drum:
The following is a chart of how RHYTHM is assigned to TONES in deriving a melody or phrase. We know each Hebrew letter is a tone, so each letters numerical value is what we use to determine the duration of that tone in a melody or phrase.