Music Resources

As part of our mission to document the Jewish experience, the HUC-JIR library system has an extensive collection of recorded music (lp's, cassettes, and CD's), scores, and books about Jewish music and musicians.

Each campus has its own policy on checking out the different formats of music.

Finding music in the Catalog

You can search for music by form (ex. Songs, Choral music, etc.), function (ex. Sabbath songs and music, etc.), genre (ex. Jazz, Popular music), or instruments (ex. Piano music, etc.)
You can also look for the music of a particular group of people followed by "music" (ex. Sephardim -- music), or by topic followed by "songs and music" (ex. Freedom -- songs and music)

Use the filters to limit your search to books, recorded music or scores.

Finding music on the shelf

Scores are usually shelved in the "M" section, although many are stored in Special Collections areas. Ask your local librarian if you are having problems finding a score.

Books about music are shelved in the "ML" section.

Books on music instruction are shelved in the "MT" section (for books on how to chant the Bible, see MT 860)

Internet Sites

Birnbaum Collection
Description and finding aids

National Sound Archives, The David and Fela Shapell Digitization Project /NLI
The  National Library of Israel has sections with audiofiles of High Holy Days, Sukkot and Simhat Tora, Hanukka, Purim, Passover, Nostalgic Hebrew Songs, and Lag BaOmer

Judaica Sound Archives (in the Recorded Sound Archives Research Station)

"The Judaica Sound Archives is a major center for the collection, preservation and digitization of Judaica audio recordings."

Jewish Music Download Links
Links to many different artist's websites and sites which make their music available for downloading.

Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation
This site strives to rediscover lost Jewish classic on LP's "The stories that accompany them have yet to be told: hybrid identities, eclectic communities, racial dialogue, and pioneering musical style." The Society hosts a blog and wiki.

An Invitation to Piyut
This site contains words, recordings, and scores of piyutim (Jewish religious poetry) from many different regions and traditions.

Yiddish Sheet Music Collection 
Part of the Brown University Library Center for Digital Intiatives, this collection contains digital images of approximately 700 pieces of pre-1923 Yiddish sheet music. While most of the collection is from Yiddish musical theater, it also contains cantorial works and folk music.

While the Library thinks that these sites are useful, their content is not under our control and may express views that are not shared by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

If you have any further questions about finding information on this, or any other topic, ask your local HUC-JIR librarian or email  us.