Research Guides to Jewish Studies: Jewish Music


I. Using the JTS Internet Catalog to Find Music

A. Audio recordings

1. In BASIC SEARCH choose WORD(S) ANYWHERE from the drop-down list.

2. Type any one of the following media keywords, along with other keywords describing the item you are seeking:

  • sound recording
  • CD
  • compact disc
  • cas
  • record
  • tape
  • sound disc
  • rec
  • cassette
     Example 1:

You are looking for a CD recording of music by Salamone Rossi.
Type: CD Rossi

     Example 2:

You are looking for any recording of Yemenite music.
Type: sound recording yemen  [to retrieve both Yemen and Yemenite]

     Example 3:

You are looking for an album entitled "Cantor Pinchik Sings."
Type: CD cantor pinchik sings    OR    Type: cassette cantor pinchik sings

B. Scores by a specific composer or arranger

1. In BASIC SEARCH choose AUTHOR (LAST NAME FIRST) from the drop-down list.
2. Type the name of the composer or arranger, last name first.

C. Archival Scores


2. In first box,
    type: synagogue music collection
    specify: YES in WORDS ADJACENT column

3. In second box, type keywords.
For example: the composer's name, the collector's name, or the type of music.
[Check the list of music subject headings.]

JTS holds archives of the following collectors:

    You want to see Rosh Hashanah music from the Rosowsky collection.

Type:   Line 1: synagogue music collection
             Line 2: rosowsky
          Line 3: high holiday    OR    Line 3: rosh hashanah

For detailed information about the JTS Music Archive collections, see the Music Archives section of The Library's website.

D. Individual Songs
1. Songs published individually, as sheet music

b. Type the exact title [omit initial article: a, an, the]


b. Type keywords, using any combination of words from the song's title or a combination of words from the title and composer's name.

Example: To find Samuel Adler's score of Maoz Tsur
               Type: maoz tsur adler

2. Songs in collections (both audio recordings and notated music)

a. The titles of individual songs in selected audio recordings and songbooks are listed in the catalog and are searchable:

2) Type keywords from the song's title

Example 1:

You want to find a recording of Yosele Rosenblatt singing kol nidre
Type: kol nidre rosenblatt

Example 2:

You want to find a score of Jerusalem of Gold.
Type: music jerusalem of gold not sound

b. The titles of individual songs in audio recordings and songbooks are not always listed in the JTS catalog. If you can not find the song you need, please consult a bibliography or a song database.

E. Hebrew Songs

1. Search using the Hebrew alphabet:

a. Click on the LANGUAGE ICON to choose Hebrew [HE].
The LANGUAGE ICON, located in the lower right corner of the screen, is a small blue square, with white letters.


c. Choose TITLE BEGINS WITH from the drop-down list.

d. Type the exact name of the song in the blank text-box.

e. Do not omit an initial, even when it means " the. "


2. Search in transliteration, using the Roman alphabet. Try many spelling variations.

The catalog uses a standard transliteration system, but music publishers use a variety of transliterations in song titles.



c. Type transliterated words from the song title.

II. Using the RAMBI Index to Find Articles about Music

(RAMBI indexes articles in journals, magazines, and in collections of essays)
A link to RAMBI is also available from the JTS library website: E-content/E-indexes. The most precise search option is BASIC SEARCH, using KEYWORDS ANYWHERE.

In the text-box, type: subjects, composer's name, and/or type of music, etc. in any combination.

B. Broader searches:


Type: Hazzan, hazzanut
            OR Liturgy and prayer: music
            OR Music [lots of subdivisions]

III. Additional Electronic Resources

Unless otherwise noted all electronic resources are available to JTS students and faculty remotely via the E-Content section of The Library's website.

A. Cantors Assembly CD

Only available on campus from the Reference and Music Librarians.

Includes Proceedings of the Cantors Assembly 1947-1997, Journal of Synagogue Music vols. 1-25, and essays by Samuel Rosenbaum.
The entire text of this CD is fully searchable: Click on EDIT. Then click on SEARCH. At right side of screen, choose "All PDF documents in." From drop-down list choose CANTORS ASSEMBLY(D). Type your search terms in the empty box at top of screen.

B. ATLA/ATLAS Religion Database

This scholarly index of articles on religious studies (all religions) includes selected full-text articles and many citations to articles on Jewish music.
Relevant subject headings: Music, Jewish; Synagogue Music; Judaism-Liturgy.

C. Music Archives

The music archives section of the JTS Library website provides finding aids to the Fromm, Rosenbaum, Rosowsky, Wohlberg, Beimel, Heskes, Wecker, Klein, Putterman, Schalit, and Jakob Schönberg collections.

D. Project Muse

Full-text articles from journals in the arts and humanities published in the last five to ten years; good coverage of Jewish music.


Full-text articles from journals in the arts and humanities published in the last century; good coverage of Jewish music.

IV. Websites

   (Library of Congress Subject Headings)

Compiled by Dr. Eliott Kahn, JTS Music Archivist
With Additions by Ina Rubin Cohen, JTS Music Librarian

  • Cantatas, Sacred.
  • Cantillation—Instruction and study.
  • Cantillation.
  • Cantors (Judaism).
  • Cantors (Judaism)—Biography.
  • Cantors (Judaism)—History—Sources.
  • Cantors (Judaism)—History.
  • Cantors (Judaism)—United States.
  • Children's songs, Hebrew.
  • Children's songs, Jewish.*
  • Children's songs, Ladino.
  • Children's song, Yiddish.
  • Choruses, Sacred (Men's voices, four parts) with organ.
  • Choruses, Sacred (Men's voices, four parts), unaccompanied.
  • Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices) with orchestra.
  • Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices), unaccompanied.
  • Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices, four parts) with organ.
  • Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices, four parts) with piano.
  • Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices, four parts), unaccompanied.
  • Choruses, Sacred (Unison) with organ.
  • Choruses, Secular (Mixed voices), unaccompanied.
  • Choruses, Secular (Mixed voices, four parts) with piano.
  • Choruses, Secular (Mixed voices, four parts), unaccompanied.
  • Conductors (Music).
  • Fasts and feasts—Judaism—Songs and music.
  • Folk songs, Hebrew.
  • Folk songs, Ladino.
  • Folk songs, Yiddish.
  • Hanukkah—Songs and music.
  • Hasidim—Songs and music.
  • Hymns, Hebrew.
  • Jewish chants.
  • Jewish hymns.
  • Jewish musicians.
  • Jews—Italy—Music.
  • Jews—United States—Music.
  • Jews—Austria—Vienna—Music.
  • Jews—Germany—Music.
  • Jews—Music.
  • Musical sketches.
  • Nigunim.
  • Ninth of Av—Songs and music.
  • Organ music.
  • Passover— Songs and music.
  • Passover music.
  • Psalms (Music).
  • Psalms (Music)—92nd Psalm.
  • Psalms (Music)—93rd Psalm.
  • Psalms (Music)—etc.
  • Purim - Songs and music.
  • Sacred songs (High voice).
  • Sacred songs (High voice) with orchestra.
  • Sacred songs (High voice) with organ.
  • Sacred songs (Low voice) with organ.
  • Sacred songs (Medium voice) with organ.
  • Sacred songs (Medium voice) with piano.
  • Sephardim—Music.
  • Sephardim—Songs and music.
  • Song cycles.
  • Song of Solomon (Music).
  • Songs (High voice) with piano.
  • Songs (Low voice) with piano.
  • Songs (Medium voice) with piano.
  • Songs, Hebrew.
  • Songs, Ladino.
  • Songs, Yiddish.
  • Synagogue music—Austria—Vienna.
  • Synagogue music - Collections.
  • Synagogue music—Day of Atonement services.
  • Synagogue music—Festival services.
  • Synagogue music—Germany.
  • Synagogue music—Hallel.
  • Synagogue music—High Holiday services.
  • Synagogue music—History and criticism.
  • Synagogue music—Israel.
  • Synagogue music—Juvenile.*
  • Synagogue music—Marriage services.
  • Synagogue music—Memorial services.
  • Synagogue music—Pilgrim Festival services.
  • Synagogue music—Romania - Bucharest.
  • Synagogue music—Rosh ha Shanah services.
  • Synagogue music—Sabbath services.
  • Synagogue music—Selihot services.
  • Synagogue music—United States.
  • Wedding music, Jewish.*
  • Zionism—Songs and music.

* NOT a Library of Congress Subject Heading.


All the items in this list are located in the Music Library, with the exception of those marked RESERVE and RESTRICTED, which are available from the Circulation Desk.

I. Bibliographies and General Works

  • Appleton, Lewis. Bibliography of Jewish Vocal Music. 1968. REF ML 128 J4 N32 1968
  • Nulman, Macy. Concise Encyclopedia of Jewish Music. 1975. REF ML106 J49 N84
  • Sendrey, Alfred. Bibliography of Jewish m\Music. 1951. REF ML128 J4 S4 1951
  • Weisser, Albert. Bibliography of Publications and Other Resources on Jewish Music. 1969. REF OVERSIZE ML128 J4 W4
  • Heskes, Irene. The Resource Book of Jewish Music: a bibliographical and topical guide to the book and journal literature and program materials. 1985. RESERVE ML128 J4 H48 1985
  • Adler, Israel. The Study of Jewish Music: a bibliographical guide. 1995. REF ML128 J4 A352 1995

II. Journals

  • Musica Judaica (American Society for Jewish Music)
  • Journal of Synagogue Music (Cantors Assembly) (Index in vol. 24)
  • Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy (Yeshiva University)
  • Proceedings of the Cantors Assembly
  • Orbis Musicae (Tel Aviv University)
  • Yuval (Jewish Music Research Center, Jerusalem) ML3776 Y89

III. Biographical Sources

  • Cantors Assembly 50 Years Jubilee Journal. 1999.   REF OVERSIZE BM658.2 C36 1999
  • Lyman, Darryl. Great Jews in Music. 1986. REF OVERSIZE ML385  L95 1986
  • Jubilee Volumes of the Jewish Ministers & Cantors Association of America
    • 1924 volume: ML3195 R67
    • 1937 volume: OVERSIZE ML3195 J49
    • 1947 volume: RESTRICTED OVERSIZE ML3195 J492
    • (An index to biographies included in these 3 volumes is available from the Music Librarian)
  • Ravina, Menashe. Who is Who in ACUM: authors, composers and music publishers, biographical notes and principal works. 1965. ML106 I75 R3
    • Published by the association of composers and music writers in Israel; useful as an historical resource.

IV. Jewish Music Education

  • Richards, Stephen. Manginot: 201 Songs for Jewish schools. 1992. RESERVE OVERSIZE M1994 M3
  • Project Manginot: Guidelines for music education: Lesson plans and learning activities, nursery-grade 6. 1992.  RESERVE OVERSIZE MT10 P87 1992
    • Precise and practical outline describing how to incorporate specific musical works into Jewish education lessons. Arranged by level: pre-school, primary, and intermediate.
  • The Complete Shireinu: 350 fully notated Jewish songs. 2001. RESERVE OVERSIZE M1850 C67 2001
  • The Complete Jewish Songbook for Children. 2002.  2 volumes. M2194.3 C58 2002
  • Edelman, Marsha Bryan. Bibliography of Jewish Music: resource materials for educators. 1986. REF OVERSIZE  ML128 J4 E34 1986
  • Goldstein, Shlomo. A music Celebration: Israeli feast and holiday songs. 1998 - 2002. (2 books and 6 CDs) KIT 77

V. Catalogs of Manuscripts and Archives

  • Kahn, Eliott. An Inventory of the Herbert Fromm Collection. 1995. REF ML134 F76 K35 1995
  • Kahn, Eliott. An Inventory of the Max Wohlberg Collection. 1999. REF ML136 N5 J48 1999
  • Kahn, Eliott. An Inventory of the Samuel Rosenbaum Collection. 2002. REF ML136 N5 J49 2002
  • Kahn, Eliott. An Inventory of the Solomon Rosowsky Collection. 1996. REF ML134 R68 K35 1996
  • Adler, Israel. Hebrew Notated Manuscripts Sources up to Circa 1840: a descriptive and thematic catalogue with a checklist of printed sources. 1989. (2 volumes) REF ML128 J4 A34 1989
    • Detailed descriptions of all Hebrew and Yiddish manuscripts containing notated music. The 230 manuscripts were written from 1100 to 1848; they comprise 3,798 items located in twenty-two libraries throughout the world. Half the items are in the Birnbaum collection at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati.
  • Adler, Israel. "Key to the Eduard Birnbaum Collection of Jewish Music at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati" Orbis Musica vol. 10 (1990/91) pages 144-151.
    • Describes the contents of the most extensive collection of Jewish music manuscripts in the U.S. Includes a chart correlating the manuscript numbers according to the numbering systems of the three different catalogers.  Note: JTS has a microfilm copy of this collection.

VI. Cantillation

  • Rosowsky, Solomon. The Cantillation of the Bible: the five books of Moses. 1957.
    REF ML166 R67 C3 1957
    • Detailed analysis of Lithuanian te'amim for Shabbat
  • Jacobson, Joshua. Chanting the Hebrew Bible: the art of cantillation. 2002. REF OVERSIZE MT860 J32 2002
    • Encyclopedic work treating all aspects of cantillation. Includes CD.
  • Portnoy, Marshall. The Art of Torah Cantillation: a step-by-step guide to chanting Torah. 2000. Vol. 2: A Step-by-Step Guide to Chanting the Haftarah and M'gillot. 2001. OVERSIZE MT860  P67
    • CDs accompany both of these how-to volumes aimed at the layman.

VII. Cantorial Anthologies

  • Alter, Israel. The Sabbath Service: the complete musical liturgy for the hazzan. 1968. M2187 A53 S3
    • Also volumes for:
      • The High Holidays - M2187 A53 H5
      • Three Festivals - M2187 A53 F4
      • HallelM2187 A53 C3
      • Selichot - M2187 A53 S4
  • Baer, Abraham. Baal Tfillah oder Der practische Vorbeter. 1901. [First edition: Leipzig, 1877.] OVERSIZE M2186 B3 1953
    • Extensive collection of chants from the siddur and mahzor. Includes instructions for liturgical customs and Torah trope. Various musical traditions are noted: Eastern European/Polish rite, German/Ashkenazic rite, new melodies and older melodies. Includes his own melodies and those of Sulzer, Lewandowski and others.
  • Ephros, Gershon, ed. Cantorial Anthology of Traditional and Modern Synagogue Music. 1953. (6 volumes) M2186 E5 C2
    • Ephros was a cantor, composer and teacher. He was born in Poland, studied with Idelsohn and served as a cantor in New Jersey. Cantorial Anthology includes music for the entire year. Includes both older and newer melodies. An index (listing composers, arrangers, and titles) was published in Musica Judaica vol. 2.
  • Friedmann, Aron. Schir Lischlaumau. 1901. OVERSIZE M2186 F92 S3 1901
    • Born in Lithuania, Friedmann was a pupil of Lewandowski. This volume includes chants for the entire year, in the West European/German style.
  • Idelsohn, Abraham Z. Thesaurus of Hebrew Oriental Melodies. 1973. [originally published 1914-32.] 10 volumes in 4.  REF M1850 I34
    • Idelsohn was a musicologist, cantor, and pioneer of ethnomusicology. He made recordings in the "field" on cylinders and discs (numbering over 1,000). The recordings are invaluable since they were made under conditions of cultural isolation which have since disappeared. He then transcribed and analyzed the music. The Ashkenazi material in volumes 6-8 is based on manuscripts rather than field recordings.
  • Katchko, Adolph. A thesaurus of cantorial liturgy. 1952. (3 volumes)  OVERSIZE M2186 K25 O8
    • This work was written as a textbook for the cantorial school at Hebrew Union College, and represents the American/Lithuanian practice.
  • Lewandowski, Louis. Kol Rinnoh uTfillah: ein und zweistimmige Gesänge für den israelitischen Gottesdienst. 1921.  [First edition: Berlin, 1871.] OVERSIZE M2186 L4 K6 1954.
    Also: "Todoh Wesimroh." OVERSIZE M2186 L4 T6 1954.
    • Composer, music director; first synagogue choirmaster. Kol Rinnah is for solo and two-part voice for Sabbath, festivals and High Holy days. Todah Wesimrah is for four-part choir, congregational singing, and includes solo pieces with organ accompaniment, for the entire year.
  • Ne'eman, Joshua. Nosah Lahazan, the Traditional Chant of the Synagogue  According to the Lithuanian-Jerusalem Musical Tradition. 1968/69. (2 volumes) M2186 N43 N42 1963.
    • Israeli cantor, writer and teacher. Sang under Idelsohn and studied with Rosowsky. Ne'eman was director of the school for hazzanim at the Israel Institute for Sacred Music
  • Sulzer, Salomon. Schir Zion: Gesänge für den Israelitischen Gottesdienst. Revised by Joseph Zulzer. 1905. [First edition: Vienna, ca. 1838.] OVERSIZE M2186 S9 S5 1922
    • Sulzer, who lived from 1804-1890, was a cantor, composer, and a reformer of synagogue music. Schir Zion is a monumental work; it includes both his own compositions and works by other composers. Cantors throughout Western Europe consulted Sulzer for advice in Jewish music education and the musical service.

VIII. Other major works

  • Adler, Israel. Hebrew Writings Concerning Music, in Manuscripts and Printed Books from Geonic tTmes up to 1800. 1975. REF  ML128  J4A35  1975
  • Fater, Isaschar. Musikah Yehudit be-Polin ben shete milchamot 'olam. 1992.  ML3776  F322  1992
  • Gradenwitz, Peter. The Music of Israel: from the Biblical Era to Modern Times. 1996. ML3776  G7 1996
  • Heskes, Irene. Passport to Jewish music: its history, traditions and culture. 1994. RESERVE ML3776.H47 1994
  • Idelsohn, Abraham Z. Jewish Music in its Historical Development. 1929. ML3776.I3 1992
    • Covers earliest times to early 20th century; treats both synagogue and folk music.
  • Werner, Eric. The Sacred Bridge: the Interdependence of lLturgy and Music in Synagogue and Church During the First Millennium. 1959-1984. (2 volumes)  ML166.W43
  • Werner, Eric. A Voice Still Heard: The Sacred Songs of the Ashkenazic Jews. 1976. REF ML3195.W43   Accompanying sound cassette: CAS 405
    • Covers Ashkenazic synagogue music from 900 to 1910. Emphasizes Western Europe.
  • Slobin, Mark. Chosen Voice: the story of the American cantorate. 1989. ML3195.S55 1989
    • Review of the history of the profession in America.

Music Library Collections and Locations

Types of Holdings

Specific Formats


Catalog Abbreviations

Sound Recordings


A-V Center*


Cassette Tapes

A-V Center*



Music Library


Reel-to-reel tapes

Music Library


Reel-to-reel tapes

Music Library - Archives in Plexiglass Cabinet*

[name] Archive**


Published as collections, in books

Music Library

LC Call Numbers

Published individually, as "sheet music"

Sheet Music File Cabinet*


Published individually, as "sheet music"

Music Archives - Plexiglass Cabinet*


Rare published materials

Music Archives - Plexiglass Cabinet*

[name] Archive or [name] Collection**

Unpublished and rare published materials

Rare Book Room




Music Library - Main Section

Music Collection


Music Library - Oversize Section

Music Oversize


Music Library - Main Reference Section

Music REF


Music Library - Oversize Reference Section

Music REF Oversize


Restricted Music Collection - Main and Oversized Sections

Restricted or RST


Rare Book Room


Journals & Periodicals

Current Issues

Music Library - Sloping Shelves

Music PER

Back issues and bound volumes

Music Library - Periodical Section

Music PER



A-V Center*



A-V Center*



Cantors Assembly Proceedings & Journals CD-ROM

Request from Music Librarian or Reference Librarians

CDR 59

CD-ROMs occasionally accompany books

Shelved with accompanying book

LC Call Numbers

Web-Based Reference Sources

Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians (accessable at JTS Campus computers)

Link from "e-Content" on JTS Library Website

RAMBI (Index of Articles on Jewish Studies)

Link from "e-Content" on JTS Library Website

* Request from Music Librarian or Library Staff
**Special Collections: Rosowsky, Fromm, Rosenberg, Schalit, Wohlberg, Putterman, Park Avenue Synagogue, Wecker, Beimel, Heskes