Pizmonim

SEPHARDIC HAZZANUT PROJECT
תכנית של חזנות ספרדי
WELCOME
ברוכים הבאים


WHAT'S NEW
מה חדש


TANACH
תנ''ך


DAILY TEFILLAH
תפילה בחול


BERACHOT
ברכות


HAZZANUT
חזנות


PIZMONIM
פזמונים


HOLIDAYS
חגים


OCCASIONS
שמחות


SHABBAT
שבת


BAKASHOT
בקשות


DEDICATIONS
הקדשות


BACKGROUND
רקע

PIZMONIM פזמונים 

The word pizmonim is a defined as a collection of traditional Jewish songs and melodies. Pizmonim are used throughout the year with specific pizmonim written for different occasions (such as Brit Milah, Baby girl, Bar Mitzvah and wedding), Holidays (Pesach, Succot, Shavout, Purim and Hannukah) and the Shabbat. There are pizmonim that discuss the Jewish nation's love for Israel and Jerusalem. Many pizmonim describe our relationship with God. Some of the Pizmonim date as far back as the Middle Ages or earlier and many are based on biblical text. Other songs may be based on popular Middle Eastern music, with the words composed specially to fit a tune (source: Sephardic Pizmonim Project).

The pizmonim are classified according to the Arabic maqam. Arabic maqam is the system of melodic modes used in traditional Arabic music. Each maqam is built on a scale, and carries a tradition that defines its habitual phrases, important notes, melodic development and modulation. I have recorded a selection of pizmonim in many of the maqamot that we usually use. Please click on the maqam you're interested in to listen to the pizmonim from the table below.

PIZMONIM פזמונים
RAST
ראסת
Rast is the first maqam in the arrangement of the Oriental maqamot and therefore represents a beginning. The word Rast sounds similar to RAS, the Arabic word for head.
AJAM
עג'ם
Maqam Ajam originated in Persia and therefore it was named after Persia, which translates into Ajam in Arabic. Ajam contains many pizmonim that are associated with holidays and weddings.
BAYAT
ביאת
Maqam Bayat is a slumber sounding maqam and does not necessarily imply a given theme. It is the most commonly used of the Syrian Maqamot and more songs are classified under this maqam than any other.
NAHWAND
נהוונד
Nahwand is named after a city in Iranian Kurdistan. This maqam was popular in Iran and Turkey before it made its way down to Syria and Egypt. Nahwand is the closest equivalent of the Western Minor Scale.
SABA
צבא
The Arabic word Sabi means baby boy, and this is why Maqam Saba is used for the Berit Milah (circumcision). Many of the pizmonim that we sing during Brit Milah are in maqam Saba.
SIGAH
שיגא
Maqam Sigah, from the Persian for "third place", is applied when there are special Torah readings. Additionally many of the pizmonim related to purim come from this maqam. 
HIJAZ
חג'אז
Hijaz refers to Saudi Arabia, which in Arabic is still known as the Hijaz. This maqam, which originated in Saudi Arabia, is linked with death, and is used to mark sad occasions that occur on the calendar.
OTHER MAQAMOT
עוד מקאמות
While the maqamot listed above are most commonly used in our culture, there are hundreds of other maqamot that are sometimes used. If you click on the link, you can listen to some of the pizmonim in these maqamot.

©Faraj Samra 2009-2015