Anyone know of any good sources for Ashkenazi prayer modes and melodies for the whole year? I'm looking for traditional Ashkenazi nusach, but perhaps not embellished like concert chazzanut. A good book recommendation is great, as are recordings; if you know of good online resources (I know Virtual Cantor, Siddur Audio, and the rest of the sites at Offtonic), those are great too.

Specifically, I'm looking for older-style nusach from the middle of the last century, rather than the simplified nusach used by laypeople today. One thing I'm specifically looking for is the traditional melody for Tisha B'Av maariv, which I've heard of and seen quoted but have never heard from a cantor. P'sukei D'zimrah also has a major mode nusach on Shabbat that I've only heard once, but apparently that's the traditional way.

Thank you very much!

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    Mauro, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks very much for this detailed question! I hope you'll look around the site and find other material you resonate with, perhaps including our 57 other music questions. – Isaac Moses Mar 12 '13 at 4:11
  • In my town, our hazzan sings the major mode nusach every Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat P'sukei D'zimrah. It is interesting because it is such a contrast from the daily prayers and even from the rest of Shabbat. – Mike Apr 10 '14 at 2:16
  • In addition to @MeirD's answer, I'd suggest Abraham Baer's Baal Tefillah oder der Praktische Vorbeter, the classic western-Ashkenazi book for nusach throughout the year. – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 2 '15 at 22:20

I suggest contacting the folks at Machon Moreshet Ashkenaz, which is (in their words) "dedicated to the research, preservation and transmission of the unique religious values, customs, and folklore of German Jewry, as they existed prior to the Holocaust." This includes research into nusach and liturgigal minhagim.

This page discusses liturgy and has some online resources and links that you may find useful. They have also published materials about a range of minhagim related to the Ashkenazi annual life cycles that you may find pertinent, and they would probably be able to point you towards other published information.

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