THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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ASOR (Hebr. for “ten”), an instrument “of ten strings” mentioned in the Bible, about which authors are not agreed. The word occurs only three times in the Bible, and has not been traced elsewhere. In Psalm xxxiii. 2 the reference is to “kinnor, nebel and asor”; in Psalm xcii. 3, to “nebel and asor”; in Psalm cxliv. to “nebel-asor.” In the English version asor is translated “an instrument of ten strings,” with a marginal note “omit” applied to “instrument.” In the Septuagint, the word being derived from a root signifying “ten,” the Greek is ἐν δεκαχορδῷ or ψαλτήριον δεκάχορδον, in the Vulgate in decachordo psalterio. Each time the word asor is used it follows the word nebel (see Psaltery), and probably merely indicates a variant of the nebel, having ten strings instead of the customary twelve assigned to it by Josephus (Antiquities, vii. 12. 3).

See also Mendel and Reissmann, Musikalisches Conversations-Lexikon, vol. i. (Berlin, 1881); Sir John Stainer, The Music of the Bible, pp. 35-37; Forkel, Allgemeine Geschichte der Musik, Bd. i. p. 133 (Leipzig, 1788).

(K. S.)
Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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