The Shofar is one of the oldest musical instruments. It was developed by the early Hebrews and is blown on many different occasions like in religious rites, or as a call to war, etc.
The Shofar is made from the horn of a ram (as shown in the picture above) but since ram is not available easily therefore sometimes horns of a sheep or goat or mountain goat or antelope or gazelle are used.
It is a very old tradition to blow a Shofar on the Jubilee Year on Rosh Hashana (New Years) also known as Yom Teru’ah (the day of blowing). Today the shofar is synonymous with the High Holy Days. Laws related to the form and use of the shofar and on the religious services during Rosh Hashanah are described in Rabbinic literature such as the Mishnah that formed the basis of the tractate “Rosh Hashanah” in both the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud. This also contains the most important rules concerning the calendar year.
The shofar is blown in long, short and staccato blasts that follow a set sequence:
|Shofar Sound Description||Play Audio|
|The Tekiah: the “blast,” one long blast with a clear tone.||[audio:http://enjoyfestivals.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/tekiah.mp3]|
|The Shevarim: a “broken,” sighing sound of three short calls.||[audio:http://enjoyfestivals.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/shevarim.mp3]|
|The Teruah: the “alarm,” a rapid series of nine or more very short notes.||[audio:http://enjoyfestivals.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/teruah.mp3]|
|The Tekiah Gedolah: “the great Tekiah,” a single unbroken blast, held as long as possible. (A combination of Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah, ending with a Tekiah Gedolah.)||[audio:http://enjoyfestivals.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/combination.mp3]|