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(t’amim, or trope). Signs above and underneath letters of the Scriptural texts, indicating how the text should be chanted to make the meaning clear and the reading pleasant. Thus, accents serve both as musical notes and as punctuation. The signs are the same in all books of the Bible, but are read differently in certain passages and sections. Jews of various countries have evolved different chants for them. This system of accents is said to date back to Ezra the Scribe (5th century B.C.E.) and the Great Assembly.

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