The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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A Neo-Hebraic noun formed from the "pi'el" of the verb = "to play strings," "make music"; hence meaning generally "tune," "melody." In the rubrics of the Maḥzor of the northern uses "be-niggun N." heads a piyyuṭ with the signification "to the tune of N," as does "laḥn N." () in the southern liturgies. The word is also used to designate a droning, formless intonation set to a text, and, more especially, the particular mellody-type or prayer-motive to which a service is traditionally rendered, e.g., the Sabbath Niggun. See Music, Synagogal.

A. F. L. C.
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