Sheet Music: Ma'oz Tzur

TitleMa'oz Tzur
Alternate titlesMaoz Tzur
Rock of Ages
ComposerTraditional German
Also attributed toTraditional Jewish
InstrumentationFlute and Piano
KeyD major
Time signature4/4
Tempo100 BPM
Performance time0:50
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (66 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (725 kB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (759 kB)
Date added2009-12-04
Last updated2009-12-04
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 0.4 (below average)
Hanukkah music, Hymn tunes, Jewish music, Traditional/Folk


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Friday 4 December 2009

Tune of the Day: Ma'oz Tzur

Traditional Hanukkah song

“Ma'oz Tzur” is without any doubt the most popular Hanukkah (Chanukah) song. Written in Hebrew, it is traditionally sung after lighting the festival lights. The hymn is named for its first two words in Hebrew, which mean “Stronghold of Rock” as a name or epithet for God. There is also a popular non-literal translation of the song in English, called “Rock of Ages”.

The bright and stirring tune now so generally associated with “Ma'oz tzur” serves as the “representative theme” in musical references to Hanukkah; indeed, it has come to be regarded as the only Hannukah melody, four other Hebrew hymns for the occasion being also sung to it. This melody has been identified as an adaptation from the old German folk-song “So weiss ich eins, dass mich erfreut, das pluemlein auff preiter heyde”, and was widely spread among German Jews as early as 1450.