Related: What were Chazal referring to when they said there were 7 notes in a musical octave?

There is a well known Medrash (anyone help with the source?) [I think on the Posuk 'Lamnatzeich Al HaShminis - A Sing on the Eight Note Instrument'] that when Moshiach comes the octave will be made up of eight notes instead of seven!

Can anyone point to a source where I can find out if this a new note which is not yet possible to reach or if the scale will just be divided differently into 8 instead of into 7 but will essentially remain the same octave?

Where can I learn more about this new note?

  • 1
    How is this different from judaism.stackexchange.com/q/20550/472? Oct 4, 2012 at 13:10
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    @MonicaCellio Very simple. One is asking what are these 7 notes based on. This question is asking what is the long term plan of the eighth note regardless of how to understand the seven at the moment. Is it a note that we cant fathom, or is it a new way of dividing up the octave!
    – Yehuda
    Oct 4, 2012 at 13:36
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    @yehuda, I think you did a good job in making these distinct questions. It would probably be nice to include explicit cross-references within the questions, since they're so closely linked.
    – Isaac Moses
    Oct 4, 2012 at 14:15
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    you don't think this is just homiletic? Oct 27, 2014 at 19:06

1 Answer 1


The reference can be found in Eruchin 13b

דתניא רבי יהודה אומר כנור של מקדש של שבעת נימין היה שנאמר (תהלים טז, יא) שובע שמחות [את] פניך אל תיקרי שובע אלא שבע ושל ימות המשיח שמונה שנאמר (תהלים יב, א) למנצח על השמינית על נימא שמינית של עולם הבא עשר שנאמר (תהלים צב, ד) עלי עשור ועלי נבל עלי הגיון בכנור ואומר (תהלים לג, ב) הודו לה' בכנור בנבל עשור זמרו לו שירו לו שיר חדש

It says that according to Rabi Yehudah, the כנור of the Beis HaMikdash had 7 strings, but during Yemos Moshiach, it will have 8 strings and in Olam HaBah, 10 string.

According to the Meharsh"a, the strings here represent שירה, with each additional string representing an additional שירה that we will do. In this world, all the קדושות occur in groups of seven, seven days of the week, shvi'is, yovel the sefiros. (Perhaps these are the 7 שיר של יום that were said in the Beis HaMikdash). During Yemos Moshiach, an additional שירה will be said, according to the concept of "there is no difference between Olam HaZeh to Yemos Moshiach, except for subjugation of the kingdom". Since we will have that additional quality of no longer being under the subjugation of foreign governments, we add an additional שירה. The 10 strings represent Olam HaBah when we will be exalted above all 10 קדושות in the world (here he gives examples of the 10 קדושות).

The Ben Ish Chai takes a slightly different approach that might indicate that the strings refer to actual notes. In בניהו בן יהוידע he explains that the first 7 represent the שפע from the lower seven ספירות. The 8th string of Yemos Moshiach represent the additional שפע of the 8th ספירה from top to bottom, בינה. The 10 strings represent the שפע of the top most ספירה of כתר.

Perhaps according to the Ben Ish Chai's interpretation, with the additional שפע will come additional notes.

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