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I noticed that during the High Holidays there isa special trope mode that is used in Nusach Ashkenaz shuls. I assume they do the same in many Nusach Sefard shuls as well.

When and where (or who composed it) did this special tune / mode begin, and why was a special mode made just for High Holidays?

  • "I assume they do the same in many Nusach Sefard shuls as well": They do. – msh210 Aug 28 '15 at 17:21
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    Nusach S'fard is not the same as Sephardic. Nusach S'fard is what's used by Ashkenazic chasidim, not by S'fardim. – Mauro Braunstein Aug 29 '15 at 3:31
  • @MauroBraunstein Thanks for the clarification for our readers. I knew that which is why I specifically mentioned Nusach Sefard. I don't enter too many Nuscah Sefard shuls on Rosh Hashannah to know what they do. – DanF Aug 31 '15 at 0:52
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This is only a partial answer (in that I don't know the original sources) but such a custom is mentioned in Matteh Efraim 584:18 (by R. Efraim Zalman Margolios, 1762-1828 Brody, Ukraine) and the Aruch Hashulchan 584:3 (R. Yechiel Michel Epstein, 1829-1908 Belarus). I assume that the reasoning is the same why we would change the tune for tefillah: to reflect the mood of the day.

  • Thanks, Matt. I'll try to view these sources, later. While I didn't include it in my question, I wonder why there is no special tune for Yom Tov Torah reading (though, I change the tune in honor of Yom Tov, when I read.) – DanF Dec 29 '15 at 15:16

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