A repository of mostly Ashkenazi Jewish liturgical music
Blue Book - (45Mb) - Voice of Song and Prayer, first published in London in 1899. Since then, this book has been the foundation of choral music in the UK and the Commonwealth - SATB
Song Nos.: 1 - 109 - available in .zip format
Song Nos.: 110 - 274 - available in .zip format
Song Nos.: 275 - 317 - available in .zip format
Song Nos.: 318 - 368 - available in .zip format
All the midi and Capella/Finale files based on the 'Blue Book' on this page are the fruit of the efforts of Malcolm Parker-Lisberg and Mike Rosen, who took on this project voluntarily and with amazing success! I sincerely thank them, both personally and on behalf of all the lovers of shul music around the world who will now be able, at the press of a button, to hear the contents of this more than 100-year old book, some of which is the basis for the music in regular use in many shuls today.
I was born in Prestwich, Manchester in 1948 and went to school locally. There is a large Jewish community in Prestwich. This must have had more influence on me than I had realised, though it did not show itself until much later. I returned to Manchester 20 years after getting married, graduating from Manchester Polytechnic with an Electronic Engineering degree and moving to Basingstoke, Hampshire.
I had chosen engineering after having tried to learn to play the piano as a boy and realising I did not have the ear or the talent. My return to Manchester was the result of being 'head hunted' by a large multi-national company. On our return to Manchester we had two sons, Mark and Nathan 7years and 14 years.
Jane's father was Jewish and had married out. Her grandfather, who was Ashkenazi, had been ostracised by the Manchester community for marrying his Sephardi wife. Jane told me stories of her happy early childhood spent in the synagogue with her father. Prior to Nathan's thirteenth birthday, Jane had been experiencing what I thought was anti-semitic discrimination at work, but that is another story. I told here that I wanted to convert to Judaism. The next two days after speaking those words were the most ecstatic and awe inspiring days I have ever experienced. Jane described how her father's barmitzvah siddur had fallen on her head the day before for no apparent reason. To cut a very long story short I went through conversion at Jacksons Row Reform Synagogue, Manchester and became interested in Jewish history, music and poetry.
I came across the shulmusic.org website with the Bluebook and started to convert the images of the scores to Capella scores and midi files so that I could listen to the music. Though no musician, I could employ my engineering expertise to find a combination of techniques to accomplish the task. I then noticed a line on the website requesting help to convert all the scores, as the webmaster was having difficulty finding a suitable method, so I made the offer to help. Having started producing the scores and midi files, the music somehow takes hold and won't let go. The more you hear the more you want to hear. I hope when you listen to them they give you as much pleasure as they have given me.
Born in 1949 in Baltimore, Maryland, I became Bar Mitzvah at the Beth Tfiloh Synagogue. The rabbi was Samuel Rosenblatt, the son of Yoselle Rosenblatt. This has absolutely nothing to do with my interest in shul music; simply a brush with greatness.
I sang in school choirs in high school, and did the obligatory 1960s folk music scene. My involvement with music was rekindled in the mid-1980s, when my high school choir decided to have a reunion. It was such fun for all of us that we continued to meet for over a decade. Four of us from this group formed a barbershop quartet, The Alumnotes. I also started singing with a local college/community choir, again under the direction of Dr. Richard Disharoon, my high school choir director, to whom I owe an unrepayable debt. Thanks, Dick!
In about 1990, I found myself self-employed, which gave me the freedom to start attending services at Chizuk Amuno Congregation more regularly. Their magic of their choir, under the exacting direction of Saul Lilienstein, drew me in. In addition to having a lot of music to learn, many of the scores were multi-generation copies of handwritten originals; that is, mostly illegible. Consequently, I started working with notation programs. Since leaving Baltimore for Phoenix, Arizona in 1998, and then moving to Seattle, Washington in 2005, I have honed my vocal and notation skills singing with the Beth El, Temple Chai, and Temple Beth Am congregations, Cactus Chordsmen, and Seattle Seachordsmen.
I found shulmusic.org by accident, and offered to help on this wonderful project. I hope you enjoy listening to these great pieces as much as I do!
I am a cabinetmaker in the real world.
Please visit my site at www.specialmillwork.com to learn even more about me.
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.