Is there any group that does this regularly? I went to a concert of Jewish music yesterday given by the Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal. There was a long piece of music set to Yiddish poetry. They included the original words, which were in Yiddish, but were written left to right. I was astonished. Is this something done regularly by anyone?
Yiddish is written in Hebrew characters and reads from right to left.
If the poem was translated or transliterated into English characters, it would be written from left to right.
Example: A song called Baym Fentster (Beim Fenster in German) was written in this order (sorry, I don’t know how to make Hebrew letters):
beth yud yud mem fe ayin nun zadeh tof ayin resh (of course tof is pronounced as s in yiddish).
That was the title, but the verses were written in the same way. I have never seen this before.
In countries where text is written right to left, is music also written right to left?
I have seen Hebrew sheet music, and it is written from left to right. The lyrics are also shown left to right; this is done by showing each syllable by its note and then connecting the syllables of a word with hyphens. It’s okay for singing, I suppose, ing-read cult-i-diff ly-treme-ex for makes it but.
I thought I’d be able to find an example to show you, by googling “yiddish song sheet music images”, but the first ten that I looked at were all transliterated into English letters.
There was no printed music and it was done by letters not syllables, but I suppose that could be the beginning of an explanation. I don’t read Hebrew fluently (I did when I was 13, but that was 66 years ago), but I can mostly pick out the letters and this was clearly just written left to right.
This is right. The direction of writing usually depends on the alphabet used, not the underlying language. There is a standardized system to write Spanish using Arabic characters, and the resulting text is written right to left, like all Arabic-alphabet texts.