This is my personal list of sites with mp3 and other recordings of nusach and Jewish liturgy. I collected these links because I am deeply interested in the music of Jewish liturgy, and I want to learn every melody there is for everything. I am not likely to ever reach this impossible goal, but this list is my attempt at it, at least!
These resources are arranged by an algorithm that considers how extensive a resource the resource is in each area. This consideration is subjective, but if you are looking for a particular High Holiday tune, you are more likely to find it toward the top of the High Holiday page than the bottom. Resources in gray boxes contain significant non-Ashkenazi nusach, in some cases alongside Ashkenazi nusach and in other cases to its exclusion.
Keep posted, since I add new resources to this list from time to time. I am also working on a larger project, NusachDB, to collect the melodies themselves. If you know of any useful sites not on this list, or notice a miscategorization, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Notable missing (or not well-covered) recordings include the Saturday night portions of Maariv, Kiddush Levanah, the Hoshanot of Sukkot, the Hakafot and Chatan Torah passages of Simchat Torah, the Al Hanisim paragraph in the Amidah and Birkat Hamazon of Chanukah, Purim, and Yom Haatzmaut (in the Conservative tradition, anyway), the Haggadah chanting of the Magid and others, and, of course, any less famous melodies for well-covered services like Kabbalat Shabbat and Hallel. If you know of any sites with these, please send them along, or hey, record them yourself if you'd like!
Click "Catalogued recordings" to see which recordings or sheet music in a particular site have been added to NusachDB. For the foreseeable future, these do not represent the totality of recordings for most sites, but the lists will get more complete with time.
Please enjoy this list and may it increase your learning.
This is really, really cool. It's a very complete resource for London Sephardic nusach. This main site focuses on congregational melodies, but it links to Shaar Hashamayim for the chanting and the London Sephardi Choir Archive for choral recordings. Here, I consider them all together.
Simchat Torah songs! Many of them! The Sheva Brachot are here, too.
Great site with mp3's of nearly everything. This should always be the first stop. His nusach can be unique, at times, and he has great melodies that are hard to find elsewhere.
Note: Geshem only; no hakafot
This is a project by Faraj Samra to preserve and present Sephardic chazanut (the title probably gave that away, didn't it?). It's actively growing and receiving regular updates, so this information may soon be out of date. It contains Torah, haftarah, and Tehilim readings, and a very large chunk of the siddur (including melodies sometimes).
Note: includes a bunch of pizmonim
In Hebrew. It's a site where users can upload their own recordings of piyutim and make their own piyut-centered pages. There's a ton of stuff on here, in various traditions (emphasis on Moroccan and Yemenite, but there's Ashkenazi as well), with a LOT of non-piyut recordings as well; it's affiliated with Invitation to Piyut, so you know it's good. However, unlike its relative, browsing for anything is an absolute nightmare, since within each occasion, they're ordered by *date*. However, there's much more than just piyutim -- there's laining and tefilah as well, but you have to dig. There's a Google-powered search engine too, which helps.
Note: includes the paragraphs of Geshem
In Hebrew. This is an institute for the preservation of the traditions of Libyan Jews, and there are TONS of recordings WITH text! Oh, and they're all neatly organized from the side menu.
An Orthodox congregation, with plenty of great nusach recordings and audio classes. Other recordings are in the pages under Resources, including some beautifully harmonized recordings for Shabbat.
Note: includes a file with 20 minutes of songs for Simchat Torah, though the PDF doesn't work
A RIDICULOUS Mediafire archive of chazzanut. RIDICULOUS. Great cantors, old recordings, many live and of low quality but still, and it's enormous. MANY recordings of Slichot -- more than you'd think exist! Shabbat, holidays, weekdays, you got it. Seriously cool stuff. It is chazzanut, though, mostly in the Golden Age style.
A collection of videos of the instructor chanting a lot of nusach (using nusach Sfard), including Shabbat, High Holidays, and even Simchat Torah. There are many interesting tunes throughout the videos! The Nigunim section contains only samples of tracks, though.
Note: includes examples of Hakafot nusach (Ata Horeta Ladaat and Elohei Haruchot), and a Simchat Torah niggun
In Hebrew. An Israeli synagogue with a bunch of recordings (Ashkenazi melodies, including Carlebach). These include Shabbat evening and morning, birkat hachodesh, Geshem, several selections from Shalosh Regalim and High Holidays, and even a kinah from Tish'ah B'av.
In French. It has recordings of the Portuguese rite, some with choir, at Manuel d'étude. It's got quite a bit, including taamim for prose and poetry, Eicha, Geshem, L'chah Dodi, etc. There's more in the Ceremonie de la Bar Mitzwa. The first track even has a pronunciation guide for the French rite (nasal ע, for instance).
This is a big collection of very musical Dutch Jewish nusach, including sheet music in many cases. It covers many services, including weekday, Shabbat, chag, and High Holidays, with multiple versions at times. This is a very extensive resource. The nusach is in large part compatible with the common Eastern European nusach, and a large number of lectures are provided on the subject as well. The sheet music uses Dutch transliteration, however, so it will look funny to English speakers!
A cantor's website with a nice full section of recordings. Most of them are under Ritual Resources, especially under Services, but a few are under Music instead, including motif samples from High Holidays and scanned wedding music. Under Ritual Resources -> Torah -> Special, you can also find the Megilot, including Kohelet.
Note: includes Geshem
A big collection of songs, focusing on zemirot and piyutim, with words, translation, and often multiple recordings (though some have none). It's not organized by occasion, so I could be off in my categorizations, but this should be a primary resource for zemirot. There are some Indian (Bene Israel) tunes, but they're all cut off after exactly one minute. Be careful, too, because a few of the recordings are sung without particular attention to pitch!
Note: includes Sephardic and Indian tunes for Ata Horeita Ladaat, Mipi El
In Hebrew. A site with Moroccan videos and such. Most are on YouTube, but it's fairly extensive. There are bakashot, Shabbat piyutim, etc.
Interesting melodies from an Iraqi tradition, for a variety of texts including Kol Nidrei, Shabbat piyutim, etc.
A Modern Orthodox synagogue; hidden well within the website are a sizable collection of Simchat Torah songs (and two Sukkot songs as well).
In Italian. Huge archive of Italian recordings, including Italian laining, Italian nusach, and classes. There's a lot more there than I've been able to properly categorize, especially without an Italian siddur, so the notes below are (and will probably always be) incomplete.
Note: includes Yafutzu, a piyut associated with Simchat Torah and Yom Kippur in the Italian rite, as well as part of the Hakafot and Torah service at the bottom of the section on parshiyot
A huge and fairly comprehensive collection of German-tradition nusach recordings by a Marcel Lang. There's nusach for everything, and sometimes even several different versions. This site is superlatively good for Friday night recordings and has several unique tracks like the Purim Kiddush!
Note: includes the Kaddish of the Year, a Kaddish Shalem with quotes from throughout the year, traditional on Simchat Torah Maariv
In Hebrew (the English version has the same stuff, but not everything has been translated). Absolutely wonderful collection of piyutim (and regular blessings and psalms too, if you look hard enough) from all over the world. It's no longer updated, with the new site being Atar Hapiyut V'hat'filah. The old content uses Flash, so it might be, well, very difficult to get to it right now.
Note: Hakafot (called Elohei Haruchot)
In Hebrew. This is the remake of Invitation to Piyut and Shituf Piyut. It's more difficult to navigate but has more stuff, and it includes most of the old stuff as well (but not all, for legal reasons).
In Hebrew (the English version is the legacy site, Invitation to Piyut, which is no longer maintained). Absolutely wonderful collection of piyutim (and regular blessings and psalms too, if you look hard enough) from all over the world, run by the National Library of Israel. It's massive, constantly updated, and it takes submissions if you want to send in your own recordings that they don't yet have. It's the successor site to Invitation to Piyut and Shitufiyut, containing (most of) the recordings from both.
Note: Hakafot (called Elohei Haruchot)
In French. They sell CD's, but they also have videos and recordings, neatly categorized, including recordings and videos mostly from the Syrian and Tunisian traditions, often with the text as well. Recordings and videos range from traditional to accompanied and produced.
A wealth of Spanish and Portuguese melodies (and some chazanut), including parts of Hallel, S'lichot, festival liturgy, Shabbat, and a whole bunch of stuff, along with a bit of info on each melody.
A very nice set of recordings, some with multiple versions. It has Atah Hor'eta Ladaat from Simchat Torah!
Note: includes Atah Horeita under Weekday and Holiday Nusach
A lot of nice Chasidic niggunim, many very march-like, but it's in Real Audio format, which makes it exceedingly awkward to listen to. Many of the files don't work, either.
A few songs from different communities and languages.
What it says on the tin. Also has trope for high holidays and chag services, but it does not cover Kol Nidrei. Very good mp3 recordings, with directions. One of my top high holiday sources.
Recordings of Selmar Cerini, who was Oberkantor at the Neue Synagogue in Breslau, Germany from 1894 until his death in 1923. As can be expected from 100-year-old recordings, these are very scratchy, but they're absolutely wonderful to listen to. There are several from High Holidays, kaddish from Geshem and Tal, Mi Adir from the wedding service, and a few other tunes.
It's a live video of a Simchat Torah service, but it's *quite* Reform, so it's not very full of nusach.
In the 2002 CD Nigun Atik, there is a piece of jazz based on the hakafot of Simchat Torah. It is pretty though not specifically synagogue nusach, but it's also, sadly, the only recording of the hakafot I've yet come across.
There is a lot here! There are melodies and accompanied recordings for many things, and not so much nusach. If you aren't familiar with Chabad, you'll find exciting combinations here, like using the Hoshia et Amecha tune for the R'tzeh paragraph in the Birkat Hamazon. A fantastic resource.
Note: just one niggun, under High Holidays
An Egyptian synagogue in New York. There are many recordings and videos here. Many. There are several years' worth of Seder Tawhid, an Egyptian Jewish celebration on Rosh Chodesh Nisan. Three years of Slichot plus selections from a fourth. Several High Holiday tunes. Several kinot. Havdalah in a whole bunch of different maqamat. Torah and haftarah trope according to the Egyptian minhag. All of Esther. Under R' Yosef Hamaoui Media there are even more recordings, including all of Psalms and a wedding service.
Excellent source for Pesach, high holidays, Shabbat morning, and festivals. Big .wav files, but the nusach is really good.
Note: Kiddush before Geshem
A site dedicated to the memory of Ronny Horvitz and his melodies from Frankfurt. Contains taamim for Torah and haftarah, some Esther,
In French. A Spanish and Portuguese synagogue in Paris. It takes a very long time to load, unfortunately -- the files are large -- but they're there. There's Friday night, Saturday morning, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Shabbat Chatan, and the haftarah for Simchat Torah. They're accompanied by organ and feature a children's chorus.
In Hebrew. A website about Yemenite traditions. There are videos about how to read Torah and haftarah in the Yemenite way, for example, but the bulk of the recordings are here, organized by date. There you'll find, among other things, a Yemenite Birkat Hamazon.
A site that looks stuck in the 90's (though it's not like my site is any better). It has MIDI files for some things, some .mp3 files, and some .mp3 samples, along with links to purchase the files on iTunes or Rhapsody (so it isn't actuallystuck in the 90's).
A Conservative synagogue with some varied Shabbat recordings. There's a complete Kabbalat Shabbat, some Shabbat morning tracks including two melodies for Ps. 136 and a Moroccan El Adon, an Algerian melody for Yayin Tov (bakashah and piyut for Shavuot and Simchat Torah), and seder melodies as well. This link contains all the melodies; the other links on the sidebar each contains a subset.
Note: includes the piyut Yayin Tov, sung in the Algerian tradition
A class wiki for a liturgy class that has some recordings and sheet music on it, including a comparison of kaddish for N'ilah and Geshem. Most of the items on the wiki are notes on the liturgy itself rather than the melodies, though.