Music for Shabbat Shacharit

Here is a list of my musical settings for the Shabbat morning service. It includes solo pieces, duets, congregational music, chants, rounds, and full choral settings. Much of it can work unaccompanied as well as accompanied, while some work better with accompaniment.

  • Adon Olam No.1 – 2 part choral setting. The refrain of ‘Adon olam’ can be sung by the congregation, while the verses are more lyrical, and more easily sung by a soloist or choral singers. I have written an alternative English version of the lyrics that keeps closely to the Hebrew original.
  • Adon Olam No.2 – This is a rousing version that can be sung by congregations, with or without accompaniment. I have written an alternative English version of the lyrics that keeps closely to the Hebrew original.
  • Adonai Malach (Ps 93) – fast, call and response.
  • Adonai S’fatai Tiftach (Amidah) – Reflective, a prayerful meditation in itself. Where the chant repeats ‘Adonai’ the word ‘Shechinah’ can be substituted for creative services. Each half of the chant can be sung as a 2 part round in itself.
  • Ashrei Yoshvei (Ps 84:5) – A simple unison chant of one verse, with optional second voice harmony. Works well with added guitar. Good for ‘setting the sacred space’.
  • Barchi Nafshi (Ps 103:1-12) – A setting of the first half of Ps 103 (originally composed for Yom Kippur). Can be solo, with or without accompaniment, and works with unison choir.
  • Ein Keloheinu No.2 – Rousing, but a little tricky – it is in 10/8. Can be done unison, or as a 2 part round. There is an optional 3rd voice part (with a clap on the last beat of each bar.)
  • Elohai N’shamah – A meditative chant / 3 part round (with or without guitar). Easy for a congregation to learn a tune with a leader to keep them on track. More confident singers can then hold parts 2 and 3. There are simply movements that can be added for those who want to sing this as a personal or group meditation/ movement experience.
  • Essa Einai (I lift my eyes) (Ps 121) – A cappella solo. Originally a setting for the Hebrew, I then created an alternative, close English translation that fits the same music, and fits the same word painting.
  • Halleluyah No.1 (Ps 150) – quiet, gentle, hypnotic setting, can be solo (with or without guit/pno accompaniment).
  • Halleluyah No.2 (Ps 150) – rousing, 4 part round (32 bar round) – word painting for the different instruments.
  • Kaddish – a rousing tune reflecting both the affirmation of life in the text, and the joy of shabbat – can be solo, unison, with optional harmonies, with / without guit/pno.
  • Ki L’Olam Chasdo (Ps 136:1, 2, 5, 6, 16, 25, 3, 26) – an abbreviated version (leaving out some verses, but maintaining the ‘narrative logic’ of the psalm.) – can also be call and response – SATB arrangement, with / without accompaniment also available.
  • Mah Gadlu (Ps 92:6) – 3 part round (with optional English alternative), with / without guit/pno.
  • Mah Tovu No.2 – quietly joyful, congregations can pick this up. The Mah tovu verse is used as a refrain – and this can be sung as a two part round.
  • Mi Chamocha No.1 – a fast, fanfare-style setting, evoking the arrival of royalty (the shabbat queen/bride), and declaration of God’s sovereignty (adonai yimloch…), for 2 or 3 voices a cappella.
  • Mi Chamocha No.2 – a lively setting, with a catchy ‘brain-worm’ chorus, set to freygish mode – congregations easily pick up the refrain.
  • Modeh Ani (or Modah Ani) – A slow, reflective chant in the major, with optional vocal harmonies. Works beautifully with accompaniment on guitar or piano.
  • Sim Shalom No.1 – reflective verses for a soloist, with a catchy refrain for everyone to join in.
  • Sim Shalom No.2 – a round for up to four voices. On other occasions, it can be sung straight after my other round, Lo Yisa Goi No.1. (Optional English alternative.)
  • Yism’chu B’malchut’cha – a gentle musical setting, to suit the introspection of the Amidah. Works best with accompaniment. The original text is used, with subtle additions to offer liturgical innovation at the same time.
  • Yotzeir Or – Lively, uplifting chant of the selected verse from the first blessing before the Sh’ma. This tune can also be sung as a nigun, and is published by Transcontinental in Nigun Anthology 3 (2019).
Optional extras
  • V’asu Li Mikdash – 2 part round – ‘Make for Me a sanctuary and I will dwell with them.’ Good for repeated chanting to create prayerful, sacred space.
  • Y’varech’cha Adonai – Can be sung solo, unison choir, or SATB, preferably with accompaniment (guitar or piano.) The middle section is a close translation of the Hebrew – to reflect the structure of the original Hebrew (first line 15 letters, second line 20 letters, third line 25 letters), the melody of this section has 15, 20, and 25 notes in successive phrases.