The Aleph-Bet's of chanting Torah.
Learning to chant Torah, is very similar to learning to sing any song you might hear on the radio. The meaning is what makes it sacred. Chanting is indeed a form of singing. When we sing, regardless of the language, every word we form is actually divided into syllables. Take the song "Ma-ry Had A Li-ttle Lamb." Now, I"m sure you all just sang that in your head! But what did you notice? I"ll bet you noticed that the words with more than one syllable were divided into more than one pulse, or in other words the melody divided the words by their syllables! Chanting Torah, and even Haftarah, works exactly in this manner. The trop dictates which syllable gets the melody which in turn helps us to pronouce the words correctly and give proper emphasis to the the proper syllables.
Below you will find the majority of the Torah trops broken into 14 different patterns and/or individual trops. These are the most commonly used trops. Each pattern, while it does appear in its entirely often enough in the torah, many times appears in a variation as well.These variations often have one or more trops from the complete pattern missing. For the moment though, lets take a moment to learn the patterns in their entirety and the names of the symbols. It is important to not only be able to sing the pattern, but to identify each trop simply by looking at its symbol. (I recommend the use of flashcards here)
Learn The Symbols and Melodies for Torah Trop!
(Click on the link to hear the recording)
The next step in chanting Torah is learning how to fit the Hebrew and the trop together. When adding text to trop, it is important to understand that each word is separated into syllables, and only one syllable gets the bulk of the melody; The syllable with the trop above or below. Below are examples of each trop pattern set to text. Simply click on the text to hear the recording.
Pg. 21-22 in Siddur Sim Shalom for Shabbat and Festivals