I would like to draw upon your expertise in this confusing issue for me. I am at a big loss and hope for some clarification from you about the history and the actualities of singing this hymn.
Basically, I set upon learning this hymn from cantor Gad Lewis; there were some broken parts, so I thought I will patch it up from cantor Zaher, and cantor Ibrahim, and here the confusion begins. What happens is that cantor Zaher is very close (if not THE SAME) in his style of signing the hymn as cantor Gad. However, cantor Ibrahim has some major shifts, and I found an old recording (probably downloaded from this website) from HICS (possibly cantor Sadek ???) who agrees with cantor Ibrahim. I doubt that cantor Ibrahim's style is correct. Anyway, this is what I mean to ask you about:
--- the characteristic musical segment of this hymn is repeated 3 times; in /e/ of Yasos (sorry because the correct pronunciation is not adhered to by any of the cantors unfortunately, but that is definitely a side issue), and /a:/ of attaham, and /e/ of heshenowfa. What appears to happen is that Ibrahim modifies the second part of three (first of repetitive sentence). He cuts it much shorter, while both Gad and Zaher lengthens it with a somewhat lower tune. The latter makes sense to me as Ibrahim seems to have borrowed his modification from another hymn (most possibly maghalo).
---- the second issue I have a big problem with is the /a/ of attaham. Just before switching to the "ham" part Gad and Zaher raises the tune of /a/ and then switch to ham. Ibrahim however starts the /a/ (it is /e/ according to them) of ham raising the tune at that point. That doesn't make sense; it doesn't sound right musically. How can you close a segment with a new vowel?!!! You close a musical segment with the end of the vowel you were already in!!! I am not trying to complicate things, but I would like to think of myself as a perfectionist, and therefore I am trying to find subtle answers.
There are other differences of course, but too little to be mentioned, and they are not a confusion. Looking forward to your help...