Date of this Version
© 2014 by Steven J. Kaup, all rights reserved
Suite for Kabbalat Shabbat: Five Hebrew Prayers is a setting of five Hebrew prayers that are presented during Kabbalat Shabbat, the welcoming portion of a customary Shabbat service. The musical setting for each prayer strives to embody characteristic feelings conveyed by the text in order to capture the essence and power of the Shabbat tradition. One of the primary goals of this composition was to explore new harmonic possibilities using tonalities derived from traditional Jewish musical structures and motivic ideas as a point of departure, and then find ways to fluidly blend them within the more common compositional practices of tertian harmony. In order to provide a unique contrast, the melodic motives are centered around two Jewish Ahava rabbah modes, with their first scale degrees set to the intervallic distance of a tri-tone. Significant elements of the harmony were derived from the juxtaposed pitches of these two scales, forming a commonly used chord throughout the entire suite that offered interesting compositional possibilities for exploration and provided flexibility when moving between the two main tonal centers that are studied.
Advisor: Eric Richards