There is a musical genre that exists in the twilight zone between the sacred and the secular, sung by both religious people and total atheists, by men as well as women. Its words are similar to prayer but are not prayer. It is not sung by professional singers, because it does not belong to the popular and commercial world, nor is it sung by cantors, because it is not limited to the world of the synagogue. Its text is poetic and uses high Hebrew, but this text has no right to exist without the melody. And the opposite is also true – its music, with its complex melodic and scalar structure and, frequently, exalted beauty, is meaningless without the words.
And another wonder: Here, it is permissible to adapt a new text to the lovely melody, and also various melodies are often adapted to the same text. In this genre there are ancient thousand-year-old works, as well as new ones.
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