This site's definition of Jewish Liturgical Music (JLM) is any music intended for use in (mostly) Ashkenazi synagogues (shul is Yiddish for synagogue) or in other Jewish religious ceremonies.
A distinction should be made between Hazanut, which is music primarily sung either by a solo hazan (cantor), with or without choral, organ, orchestral or other backing, and purely choral works with few if any solo parts. It is the latter that has yet to see a comeback in the Jewish world and it is particularly for this purpose that shulmusic.org was created.
The objective of this site is to provide a means of promoting the Jewish liturgical choral music that is part of our Jewish musical heritage and that is in danger of becoming forgotten through disuse, unlike Hazanaut which is today seeing a rebirth, with Hazanut concerts, once a rarity, now frequently offered in many locations around the globe.
The music of some 1,700 JLM composers lies gathering dust in private collections and on the shelves of institutions around the world. This site provides a centralised location for JLM in electronic formats.
A major innovation using a digital library is the ability to download sheet music and MIDI music files or recordings, which allows amateur choirs or singers to begin learning pieces, even in 4-part harmony, with very little effort.
The music on this site has been selected in the belief that it is in the public domain or that due permission has been received.
Thousands of sheets of JLM music are available for download, printing and use, including the complete works of Alman, Hast, Himelstein, Lewandowski, Mombach, Saqui, Sulzer, and Weisser to name but a few, as well as compendiums of works for Shabbatot and Chagim used by shul choirs.
Shul choir teaching kits
Download zipped packs containing the musical score and relevant midi or mp3 files to help choir members learn their parts even if they have minimal training in music.
Video and audio recordings of JLM including purely choral, purely Hazanut, amateur recordings, professional recordings, live concerts, and links to these. Today, armed with a digital camcorder, very passable recordings can be produced quickly and cheaply. This site encourages recordings by providing an outlet for those whose great efforts usually only find expression through that one service or concert rehearsed for. Now, by recording a pre-service or concert dress rehearsal, these efforts may be enjoyed by a far wider audience than originally intended.
A debt of gratitude is owed to those who have allowed their entire CD/s to be reproduced on this site for the enjoyment of all.
Please submit your recordings using the Submission form.
As far as the producers of this Web site are aware, nothing herein constitutes an infringement of any global copyright law, and the material may be copied. If this assumption can be proven to be incorrect, please contact us. While everything provided on this site is offered in good faith, and to as high a degree of accuracy as possible, the producers of this Web site take no responsibility or liability for anything appertaining to the material on this site, nor for any consequences, actual or implied, deriving from the use thereof.
You are cordially asked to refrain from using the material on this site for any purpose that could be deemed an inappropriate use of synagogue music of this kind.