Thursday, January 18, 2007


I was listening to the Nusach Chazzanut (liturgical / cantorial music) channel this afternoon. Sometimes you just have to get your chazzanut on. I'm about a thousand miles away tonight and thinking about Shabbos dinner with my family. We're not shomer Shabbos, but we take Shabbos dinner pretty seriously. I start looking forward to it sometime Wednesday afternoon and by Thursday, I've got the chazzanut playing and am thinking Shabbos thoughts all afternoon.

So, music playing, work to be avoided, and the internet at hand, I did my usual wanna-be reference librarian thing and started looking for chazzanut websites. Chazzanut Online is a great starting point, with articles about cantorial music and important cantors, midi files, reference links and images of historic sheet music and manuscripts.

Virtual Cantor is another great site. They've got a real do-it-yourself, learn the nusach (melodies of the service) attitude. They offer .mp3 recordings of most (all?) of the important services, including Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, various Rosh Chodesh, the whole Haggadah, and the Megillah of Esther (Purim is coming!). The recordings are made for learning-from not for high style, but they still are quite listenable. Makes me want to seriously try to master some of these. Right now I can do the Kabbalat Shabbat service and random bits of the Shabbat and festival Torah services. Ah well. Maybe some day.

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