Judaism and Music

Music plays an important, if often unacknowledged, role in Judaism. Prayers are often sung, making participation in prayer services more enjoyable and adding an emotional aspect which would otherwise be lacking. We speak of the Torah being ‘read’ in synagogue, but in fact it is chanted. Zemirot (songs) are a feature of Shabbat and holyday meals, and social occasions are frequently punctuated with song. For details about two specific areas of Jewish musical development, please see our Klezmer and our Chassidic Song pages.


The Torah being ‘read’ (in fact, chanted)