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Yiddish Research: Sheet Music

Yiddish research guide covering general resources, article and books, folklore, genealogy, linguistics, literature, music and dance, oral history, theater, film, radio, translation and student resources.

Sheet Music

Online Collections

Yiddish American Popular Sheet Music (Library of Congress)

The largest online collection of its kind, with 1, 340 pieces of mostly Yiddish American sheet music from before 1923.

 

Yiddish Sheet Music, Brown University
Online collection of about 800 pieces from Brown University. Search in transliteration; browse by creator (lyricist/composer/singer), title, or cover art.

 

Print collections

 

Dorot Jewish Division, New York Public Library

Print collection of 940 pieces. Search the catalog by lyricist, composer, or title. Most pieces are in the Dorot Jewish Division -  browse by searching the call number **P (Sheet Music)Contact staff to request use in person and/or to purchase scans.


Record Group 112, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Massive print collection of Yiddish and Jewish sheet music. Search the online finding aid and contact YIVO for more information.

 

Books

 

Heskes, Irene. Yiddish American Popular Songs, 1895-1950. Washington: Library of Congress, 1992.
This is a bibliography of Yiddish sheet music deposited for copyright purposes at the Library of Congress is listed here, with description and details. An essential source for finding American Yiddish songs.

 

The New York times great songs of the Yiddish theater . arr. for voice, piano, and guitar; lyrics transliterated [and music editing by Zalmen Mlotek]; selected by Norman H. Warembud; foreword by Molly Picon. New York : Quadrangle/New York Times Book Co., 1975. 

Collection of many classic Yiddish theater songs, rendered in standard transliteration from the original sheet music.

 

Peppler, Jane. Yiddish songs from Warsaw 1920-1934 : the Itzik Zhelonek collection. Chapel Hill, NC : Skylark Productions, [2014].

Annotated this collection of transcribed song scores for Yiddish theater hits (including kleynkunst repertoire) of 1933-1934, originally published by book and record-store owner Itzik Zhelonek of Warsaw, Poland. 

--Itzik Zhelonek Working Files. Chapel Hill, SC: 2014.

Companion volume to Yiddish Songs from Warsaw 1920-1934: the Itzik Zhelonek collection. It contains fascimiles from Zhelonek's original publication.

 

-אַמעריקאַנער ייִדישע ניקל־לידער פֿון מאָריס רונד און אַנדערע

--American Yiddish penny songs by Morris Rund and others = Ameriḳaner Yidisher niḳl-lider fun Morris Rund un andere : the Hebrew Union College collection of Yiddish broadsides, 1895-1925. [Charleston, SC, 2015. Compilation of fascimile broadsides for popular American Yiddish songs. Includes lyrics only.

ייִדישע לידער פֿון דער גאַזלאָמפ תקופֿה: זעט דאָ נאָטן פֿאַר די ניקל־לידער וואָס פּעדלערס האָבן זיי פֿאַרקויפֿט אויף דער איסט סײַד פֿון אַמאָל

--Yiddish songs of the gaslight era : a sampling of sheet music for broadsides sold by peddlers on the Lower East Side = Yidishe lider fun der gazlamp-teḳufe : zet do noṭn far di niḳl-lider ṿos pedlers hobn zey farḳoyfṭ oyf der Ist-Sayd fun amol. Chapel Hill, NC: 2016.

Notated music for popular  American Yiddish songs, including fascimiles and transcribed scores, with transliterated and translated lyrics. The set includes two volumes.

 

Slobin, Mark. Tenement songs : the popular music of the Jewish immigrants. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 1982.

Classic ethnomusicological study of Yiddish sheet music.