Stuff specific to Cantorial program goes here.

Modal Harmony

This is a 1/2-semester course (6 full sessions). The material covered will be basic harmonization of modal melodies in terms of chord choices, modulations, and  harmonic rhythm/speed, with a concentration on harmonizing melodies in the classical liturgical modes (e.g, freygish) using litiurgical material and niggunim. Competence in this skill set will be recognized as part of completion of the music theory requirement.


This six session (1/2 semester) seminar will explore the background and overall message of some of the Piyyutim known as Zemirot. These table songs have enriched the Shabbat experience of Jews throughout the world and continue to be the basis for musical creativity today. We will engage in literary and rhetorical analysis of the texts including attention to the value-concepts which are explicitly mentioned or embedded in them. Sessions will be conducted with the assumption that assigned readings have been completed in advance.

Pedagogy: Teaching Tefillah

This seminar establishes a methodological approach to the teaching of the Siddur and the Mahzor. Theological issues arising from these prayer books will be discussed. Affective approaches that complement cognitive and skill learning will be explored. Observation and micro-teaching are required.

Middle Eastern Maqam

Exposure to the classical modal tradition of the Middle East, in which most Jewish music is grounded. A number of basic modes will be studied, with access to online resources. As part of the work,talmidim will be expected to demonstrate their knowledge by composing their own melodies in these modes. 


The Chassidic realm of Niggun (wordless melody) is a vast, deep tradition of pure melody as a vehicle for spiritual ascent. This course explores the classic niggunim of the major dynasties. The goal of the class is to become a baal niggun: someone who can teach and transmit the essence of the process in contemporary settings.

Hazzanut Masterclass

Yearly course as part of the Study Intensive Week attended by all ALEPH Ordination Programstudents and faculty. Study sources: music by Cantorial composers, e.g. Leib Glantz, Moshe Koussevitsky, Adolph Katchko, etc, plus audio tracks of the great Hazzanim. The class includes analysis and performance in masterclass format, including work on stylistic aspects, vocal issues, and emotional communication.


Goal: to understand the poetic structure of the Psalms of Hallel, and the predominant themes of this sequence of Psalms of praise. The class will discuss various interpretations of these themes, looking at the text through the lens of PaRDeS: P'shat, Remez, D'rash, and Sod. We will work with the ancient custom of zogn tehilim, working with diverse customs of psalmody, and re-new it as a spiritual path to open the gates into the deep joy of praise. Study sources include Talmud references, Rambam Torah Sefer Z'manim, Rashi and others.