The Shofar: An Early Ancestor of Modern Brass Instruments


The Shofar is a natural horn constructed from the keratin shell of a ram’s horn. Like the bugle it is a conic shape and features no holes, valves, or slides to assist in the changing of pitch. It is an ancestor of modern-day brass instruments and the only surviving biblical instrument after the destruction of the second temple in Jerusalem. It that has served four primary functions throughout history: Signaling on the battlefield, accompanying religious ceremonies, proclaiming kingship, and announcing the divine presence. The construction and production requirements are more stringent when compared to other modern horns. Shofarot are primarily used in Jewish culture and religious ceremony, particularly during the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah. There are four types of articulated groupings, called blasts, that are sounded in the synagogues religious during temple ceremonies. These are the Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah, and Tekiah Gedolah. The shofar has also found its way into musically applications from symphonies and musicals to modern folk and popular music.

Year Manuscript Completed

Fall 2020

Senior Project Advisor

Dr. Tricia Jordan

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

Arts & Humanities

Document Type


This document is currently not available here.

  Contact Author