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Finding Yiddish Music: A Quick Online Guide

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Molly Picon
Molly Picon. Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library. Image ID: TH-43802

Use these resources to find Yiddish music online and in libraries and archives: search for sheet music, audio recordings, catalogs, and print anthologies.

Yiddish Sheet Music Online

Name Description Search terms Access
Brown University 700 pieces of digitized Yiddish sheet music Author, title, keyword. Free access and download
HathiTrust 98 digitized books with or about Yiddish songs Author, title, keyword, subject. Free access and download (where copyright allows)
Internet Archive 11K+ digitized Yiddish books, audio and video from the Yiddish Book Center; also materials from YIVO and other libraries Author, title or keyword. Use Yiddish, English and transliterated terms such as “Yidishe lider” and “Yiddish songs” for best results. Free access and download
Library of Congress -Yiddish American Popular Sheet Music 1,340 pieces of digitized Yiddish sheet music Author, title, keyword. Free access and download
Tara Publications Yiddish and Jewish sheet music, books and ebooks for sale Search the category “Yiddish” - arrangement is alphabetical by title Downloads and print books for sale
Hay-gelebt
Hay-gelebt. Music by Henech Kon. Dorot Jewish Division, New York Public Library. Image ID: 435143

Audio Recordings Online

Name Description How to use Access
Judaica Sound Archives, Florida Atlantic University Hundreds of albums and individual tracks of Yiddish and other Jewish music. Search or browse by artist, title or genre. Free streaming access for many items, others are excerpted or require an authorized “listening station.”
Milken Archive of Jewish Music American Jewish music archive and publisher Search for articles and artists by name and subject Some free content; digital and physical recordings for sale
National Jukebox Collection, Library of Congress 60 commercial Yiddish song recordings. Sort by author, title, location, and more. Free streaming access
Stonehill Jewish Song Collection Ben Stonehill’s field recordings of Holocaust survivors with texts and notes, edited by Dr. Miriam Isaacs. Browse by song title or theme. Free streaming access
Yiddish Song of the Week (An-Sky Institute, Center for Traditional Music and Dance) Field recordings with texts and notes by researchers, edited by Dr. Itzik Gottesman (ongoing). Search by keyword or artist. Free streaming access
Bill Arents Collection
Bill Arents Collection, New York Public Library. Image ID: 1519225

Libraries and Archives: Shared Catalogs

Library and Archival Collections Search tips:

  1. Use the subject heading “Songs, Yiddish”
  2. Search in Yiddish (using the Hebrew alphabet) as well as transliteration (try UYIP for more information about Yiddish word processing)
  3. Vary your spelling—most publications use non-standard orthography
  4. Delve into archival finding aids to uncover deeper content; song titles and lyricists/composers may not be immediately apparent
Name Description How to search
American Jewish Archives Judaica library and archives Search by author, title, subject in catalog; also search finding aids for archival collections.
Robert and Molly Freedman Jewish Sound Archive, UPenn 4,000+ Yiddish and Hebrew recordings Search by author, title, keyword or the first line of the song.
Hebrew Union College Books, sheet music, manuscripts, recordings Search by author, title, subject in catalog; also search finding aids for archival collections.
Jewish Theological Seminary Major Judaica library and music collection with printed music and sound recordings Search by author, title, subject in catalog; also search finding aids for archival collections
National Library of Israel Books, sheet music, manuscripts, recordings Search the "Yiddish Song Index" of the music collection; search by author, title, subject in catalog; also search finding aids for archival collections.
New York Public Library 800+ pieces of Yiddish sheet music, plus manuscripts, song collections and recordings Search by author and title in English, Yiddish or transliteration. Browse call numbers *PVO and **P (Sheet Music) - limit language to Yiddish
YIVO Library, Sound Archive and Music Archive Books, printed music, manuscripts, and sound recordings Search by author, title, subject in catalog; also search finding aids for archival collections.
NYPL 1916
NYPL in 1916. Irma and Paul Milstein Division, New York Public Library. Image ID: 1557923

Popular Yiddish Song Collections (Print)

Available at the reference desk in the Dorot Jewish Division.

Author(s) Title Description
Heskes, Irene Yiddish American popular songs, 1895 to 1950: a catalog based on the Lawrence Marwick roster of copyright entries Catalog of Yiddish sheet music in the Library of Congress.
Mlotek, Eleanor and Joseph Mir Trogn a Gezang! Songs of Generations. Pearls of Yiddish Song. New York: Workmen’s Circle Anthologies of Yiddish songs. Arranged thematically. Texts in Yiddish, transliteration and English translation. Combined index is online: A-K and L-Z
Mlotek, Eleanor and Gottlieb, Malke Yontevdike teg: liderbukh far di yidishe yontoyvim New York: Jewish Education Press, 1972 Anthology of Yiddish songs organized by Jewish holidays. With Yiddish, transliteration and English translation.
Mlotek, Eleanor and Gottlieb, Malke Mir zaynen do = We are here : songs of the Holocaust New York: Arbeter-ring bildungs-komitet, 1983 Anthology of Yiddish songs of the Holocaust. With Yiddish, transliteration and English translation.
Mlotek, Zalmen (music editor), Warembud, Norman (selector); The New York times great songs of the Yiddish theater. (foreword by Molly Picon) New York: Quadrangle/New York Times Book Co., c1975. A classic selection of Yiddish theater songs, arranged for voice, piano, and guitar. Lyrics are transliterated.
Vinkovetsky, A. et al. Anthology of Yiddish Folksongs Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1983. In Yiddish, Hebrew and English. Arranged thematically. Includes volumes for Mordecai Gebirtig, Mark Warshawsky and Itzik Manger.

Need additional help? Contact us at dorotjewish@nypl.org or view the full Yiddish Research Bibliography.

Comments

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Yiddish MUSIC

Dear Friends Lots of THANKS for your Great and Extremely Useful WORK And Contribution into Our Knowledge ... :)

Finding Yiddish music online guide

Wonderful resource! A groysn dank!

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