Kadma (trope)

קַדְמָ֨א ֨ אָדָם֙
Sof passuk׃  paseq׀
etnachta֑  segol֒
shalshelet֓  zaqef qatan֔
zaqef gadol֕  tifcha֖
revia֗  zarqa֘
pashta֙  yetiv֚
tevir֛  geresh֜
geresh muqdam֝  gershayim֞
qarney para֟  telisha gedola֠
pazer֡  atnah hafukh֢
munach֣  mahapakh֤
merkha֥  merkha kefula֦
darga֧  qadma֨
telisha qetana֩  yerah ben yomo֪
ole֫  iluy֬
dehi֭  zinor֮

Kadma (Hebrew קַדְמָ֨א, with variant English spellings) is a common cantillation mark found in the Torah, Haftarah, and other books of the Hebrew Bible. It can be found by itself preceding certain trope groups, or together with a Geresh, in which case, the pair is known as "Kadma-V'Azla."

Kadma has the same symbol as the Pashta, though Kadma is distinct from Pashta in the placement of the symbol. In a Kadma, the symbol is always placed on the accented syllable, while Pashta is placed on the last letter and also on the accented syllable if the last syllable is not the accented one.[1]

The symbols for Kadma V'Azla are designed to resemble the fingers of an outstretched hand in a curved position.[2]

The Kadma-V'Azla pair occurs 1733 times in the Torah.[3]

The word Kadma is related to the Hebrew קדמה (kedma), east. It is also related to the root קדם, front. The combination of these words translates to going away.


Kadma V'Azla

The melody for a Kamda V'Azla is a continual string of notes without a break as follows:


  1. Chanting the Hebrew Bible By Joshua R. Jacobson, page 221
  2. Jewish liturgy as a spiritual system: a prayer-by-prayer explanation of the nature and meaning of Jewish worship , page 129
  3. Concordance of the Hebrew accents in the Hebrew Bible: Concordance ..., Volume 1 By James D. Price, page 6
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