I understand that the Levi'im sang in the Bet Hamikdash. Considering that both of them lasted several hundred years, they undoubtedly went through numerous rounds of Levi Singers (sounds like a rock band, almost ;-).

In Tehillim, the word Lamenatze'ach - "For the choir master" is frequently used. This implies that there was a choir and a "conductor". I surmise that the Levi'im sounded quite nice and sang harmoniously. Did they have any rehearsals prior to their singing?

Related - Did every Levi have a turn singing? Didn't some Levi'im have bad voices and were immediately eliminated from being in the choir? (I was in several choirs, but they weren't all Levi'im ;-)

Note: This is not meant as Purim Torah.

  • I read somewhere that "Choirmaster" in the psalms refers to HaShem
    – SAH
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 22:31
  • Singing wasn't the only Levite job (fyi; i'm not sure if you know this or not)
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 2:15
  • @DoubleAA I'm well aware of that. What made you assume that I didn't know this? Did I miss their last concert ;-?
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 14:27
  • @DanF Liviyim who could sing just did other things. It sounded from your question about Liviyim with bad voices that you assumed all they did was sing.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 15:15
  • @DoubleAA Chas Veshalom that I should think that bad-voiced Levi'im had nothing else to do. Now as far as Kohanim ... well that's a whole other story. They could use choir rehearsal before every Yom Tov. I asked that as a MY question, BTW.
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 15:54

2 Answers 2


Yes, they had five years of lessons. See Rambam Klei Mikdosh chapter 3 halacha 7 from Chulin 24a. http://m.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1008228/jewish/Kli-Hamikdash-Chapter-3.htm

From the next halacha there, based off the same gemara, we see they lost their singing positions when their voices went bad.

See also Sota 12b where we see that having a wierd voice is a psul for a Levi to sing. See the drasha there from Shmos 2 & Rashi d.h. בעל מום.

  • 1
    The Rambam's statement there does not appear to specifically address singing. It mentions general training, which I understand means everything which PERHAPS includes singing. Possibility - not everyone has a good voice. Wouldn't it be possible that some were immediately eliminated? I assume that not every Levi sang.
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 21:59

According to Rebbe Chiya in Megila 24b they certainly disqualified those with bad voices.

The Kuzri does mention the Leviim studying music all day as their only occupation, necessitating Maaser compensation.

  • This addresses the secondary question, but can you say something about whether they rehearsed as a choir, and whether every Levi with a non-bad voice got a turn? Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 3:06
  • @MonicaCellio The Leviim were divided into 24 groups just like the Kohanim and the groups rotated. But I can't be sure that every single Levi got in every year.
    – HaLeiVi
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 4:06
  • I know about the groups (but not how frequently any given Levi got a turn). The best way to respond to comments requesting clarifications or editions is to edit the post, not answer in a comment -- that way it's there for everybody (and permanent). Thanks. Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 13:03
  • " their only occupation, necessitating Maaser compensation." I don't completely understand the point, here. Wasn't every Levi who had a turn occupied all day in the Bet Hamikdash, and thus every Levi require Ma'aser?
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 14:31
  • 1
    It figures that @HaLeiVi would answer a question about Levi'im! May you merit to be one of the future singers in the next Bet Hamikdash. Start practicing, now!
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 2:58

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