Introducing the Ram’s horn Shofar

Anthony Thompson (no connection with North Tyneside Brass in Schools) demonstrates the shofar, a ritual musical instrument, made from the horn of a ram or other animal, and used on important Jewish public and religious occasions. In biblical times the shofar sounded the Sabbath, announced the New Moon, and proclaimed the anointing of a new king. This latter custom has been preserved in modern Israel at the swearing in of a new President.

The most important modern use of the shofar in religious ceremonies takes place on Rosh Hashana (the start of the Jewish New Year in September or October), when it is sounded in the synagogue to call people to a spiritual reawakening, and on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which ends the 10 days of repentance which follow Rosh Hashana.

The shofar can be made to produce sobbing, wailing, and sustained sounds in sequences that are varied strictly according to ritual.

Information from the Encyclopedia Britannica

Return to Introducing Brass Musical Instruments