Seder Chazzanut
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Seder Chazzanut

Seder Chazzanut describes the unique nusach of the Amsterdam Portuguese community. Up till 1950, various hand-written booklets (manuscripts) existed, made by chazzanim and shamashim for their own use. The oldest versions are in Portuguese. In later versions the Hebrew and Dutch language were used.

List of pdf documents (described in text below)

Seder Chazzanut, written around 1800

document about ceremonies in the synagogue, written between 1810-1813

Seder Chazzanut Ob Brandon from 1892

Annotated Seder Chazzanut version (JBS, in development; ready: pages 171-183) 

Article describing the development of Seder Chazzanut, written in 2019, updated 2024

.seder-oud.JPG (728078 bytes) wpe1.jpg (10531 bytes) seder 1866.JPG (654328 bytes) seder-brandon.JPG (741159 bytes) seder-Querido.JPG (351558 bytes)  seder-cardozo.JPG (1274943 bytes)
  Pinto-1758         about 1800     Brandon-1866   Brandon-1892  Querido-1929   Cardozo 1937

In the period 1949-1950, dr. J. Meijer (1912-1993), librarian of Ets Haim, published the manuscript of Ob Brandon from 1892 in the ENCYCLOPAEDIA SEFARDICA NEERLANDICA. Today, all who are involved in our services use this version. This can be found on this website as a copy and as a pdf. The pdf version is searchable and can be translated (*). The pdf can be printed as a booklet (left binding).
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dr. J. Meijer 1912-1993

In the end thirties of the last century, reverend A Lopes Cardozo added, in a very rudimentary way, some remarks about the chazzanut to his own hand-written copy.
Lecha dodi cardozo.JPG (309927 bytes)
Cardozo, Lecha dodi, and this is how it sounds. In the notation, 1 stands for do, 2 for re, 3 for mi etc. A dot on e.g. 1 makes it an octave higher, a strike-through a half tone etc.
All these notes, including recordings, can be found elsewhere on this site.

The full transcription of an anonymous Dutch Seder Chazzanut, written around 1800, can be downloaded (*). There are two identical copies of the same text in Portuguese, read more in the article mentioned below.
The full transcription of an anonymous Dutch document about ceremonies in the synagogue, written between 1810-1813,  can be downloaded  (*).
An article describing the development of Seder Chazzanut in the last three centuries can be downloaded.

Mid sixties, our late Chazzan S. Nunens Nabarro made recordings of almost all services and the belonging chazzanut. In total he recorded 34 tapes. The Lecha dodi recoding above is one of his many recordings.

tapes-nn.jpg (3803576 bytes)

Above picture shows four generations of the recordings. From left to right: 10 of the original 34 master tapes form the 1960's, 10 of the 23 cassettes from 1993, 2 MP3 CDs from 2002 (1bout 1G) and finally, the compressed version on USB stick and on the website (310MB). The first digital version was made by son of Chazzan Nunes Nabarro, the compressed version was made by the owner of this website. The cassettes were given by parnaas A.M. Samson ז"ל to young men who were about to be the (informal) chazzanim in the next generation. This indeed turned out to be a major contribution to the preservation of the nusach in our services. Today, the next generation is using the digital version of those tapes. 

This site aims to bring together the what and when from the Seder Chazzanut with the how from the recordings in a multi-media way.

The level of detail in this site will exceed the old manuscripts. Many details used to be common knowledge and not worthy to mention. However, due to the post-war diminishing of our community and the recent influx of Sephardim from Iraq and Morocco, these details ceased to be common knowledge and need to be documented.


The first pages of this site found their origin in a demonstration of the possibilities and were made in Dutch. To open our unique nusach to a wider audience, it was decided to publish the site in English. Existing Dutch pages will be replaced in due time.

(*) using online translation tools and adding some common sense will enable anyone to understand the text.


Copyright JBS, 2005-2024; The information on this website may be used for non profit purposes.
Reference to the source required at all times.        Page last update: 19 maart, 2024