We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Cantor?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 02, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A cantor is a singer. When a singer is referred to as a cantor, it usually means that the singer leads other singers and takes some responsibility for directing musical performance. The position of cantor is often seen in a religious context as many religions incorporate singing into their services and the practice of religious faith and they rely upon cantors to lead the faithful through traditional songs and prayers. However, cantors can also appear in secular musical settings.

In Judaism, where the cantor is known as a hazzan, by tradition the cantor is a lay member of the congregation who is appointed to lead people in chanted prayer. Historically, congregations relied on cantors to help them through unfamiliar prayers, while today, many congregations know most prayers and do not need a leader. The position of cantor can still be seen in some synagogues and Jewish communities, and in some nations people have adopted it as a profession instead of a form of lay service to the faith.

The cantor is not equivalent to the rabbi, who has more extensive religious training, although historically cantors sometimes stood in for the rabbi or were viewed as deputy rabbis of sorts who could lead congregations through prayer when a rabbi was not available. Many traditional Jewish songs and chanted prayers have been preserved through oral history passed down through generations of cantors.

In Catholicism, the cantor is called a precentor, and leads the chorus in prayer. Other Christian faiths with songs and chanted liturgies may also utilize a cantor to lead the chorus. The cantor also takes on solo parts and brings the chorus back on track if it starts to stumble. This member of the church is usually a trained musician with extensive experience. Cantors usually lead choir practices and teach new choir members in addition to appearing in performance.

This term may be used in a secular sense to refer to a lead vocalist or a vocalist with a number of solos. Just as religious cantors do, secular cantors help keep singers on track, set the tone, style, and pace of the music they perform, and work with the singers to develop new music and to expand their skills. Some cantors also work as singing teachers, providing instruction in singing for various settings to students at many different ages and levels of ability. Working as a teacher usually requires training and extensive experience in the singing community.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.