About these lessons

Each set is a group of trope in a common pattern one would find in the Hebrew bible. They include music notation and audio. Click on a link to launch the lesson in a new window.

MP3s and practice sheets can be found on the downloads page.

These interactive materials for teaching trope are designed to be a simple and fun supplement to a person's study of cantillation. As with any new skill it will take time and practice to become proficient, but the benefits of learning trope as a system as opposed to learning a text by rote are significant. By the end of these lessons you will be well on your way to learning Torah and Haftarah portions quickly, accurately, and without the need to refer to a recording.

About Trope

What are trope signs?

An example of trope signs
In this example, the trope signs are blue
and the pronuciation marks are red.
A set of symbols above and below a Hebrew text indicates how to pronounce its words. Text from the Five Books of Moses and other books of the bible include an additional set of symbols called trope (Yiddish) or te’amim (Hebrew). Trope show how to chant the text.

What are trope signs for?

The most obvious reason for the trope is musical. The melody of the verses elevates the spiritual effect on those listening to it and helps to distinguish that text as something holy. Depending on the occasion, the reader uses different sets of melodies which range from festive to sad. Melodies vary regionally, and they are a special part of Jewish culture and tradition.

Another reason for the trope is less obvious but more important. The trope are organized in a way that creates pauses and groups certain words together, outlining the grammar of the sentence. By chanting a verse with the proper melody (as well as pronunciation), a reader’s accuracy will improve.

Other useful resources…

Mechon Mamre ~ the entire Tana''kh and Mishneh Torah in digital format with English translations and other learning resources

Navigating the Bible II ~ a complete cantillation resource with text, transliterations, and audio files for all the Torah and Haftarah readings

Virtual Cantor ~ an excellent resource with recordings of the megillot and the nusakh for weekdays, Shabbat, and festivals

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