Monday, October 15, 2007

:This article is about a type of Jewish religious music, Piyyut. For the main article on religious Jewish music, see Religious Jewish music.
A piyyut (plural piyyutim, Hebrew פיוט, IPA: [pijút] and [pijutím]) is a Jewish liturgical poem, usually designated to be sung, chanted, or recited during religious services. Piyyutim have been written since Mishnaic times. Most piyyutim are in Hebrew or Aramaic, and most follow some poetic scheme, such as an acrostic following the order of the Hebrew alphabet or spelling out the name of the author.
Many piyyutim are familiar to regular attendees of synagogue services. For example, the best-known piyyut may be Adon Olam ("Master of the World"), sometimes attributed to Solomon ibn Gabirol in 11th century Spain. Its poetic form consists simply of rhyming iambic tetrameter, and it is so beloved that it is often sung at the conclusion of many synagogue services, after the ritual nightly saying of the Shema, and during the morning ritual of putting on tefillin. Another well-beloved piyyut is Yigdal ("May God be Hallowed"), which is based upon the Thirteen Principles of Faith developed by Maimonides.
The author of a piyyut is known as a paytan (plural paytanim).

Piyyut Well-known piyyutim
What follows is a chart of some of the best-known and most-beloved piyyutim. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it tries to provide a flavor of the variety of poetic schemes and occasions for which these poems were written. Many of the piyyutim marked as being recited on Shabbat are songs traditionally sung as part of the home ritual observance of Shabbat and also known as zemirot ("Songs/Melodies").

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