Music In The 3 Weeks: Recorded Music, Acapella, Kumzitz, Singing To Yourself, Music Lessons

musicThe Mishna Brura (551:16) says that it is assur to dance in the 3 weeks. This is the reason for the issur of listening to music. All the recent poskim (including Rav Moshe Feinstein and the Minchas Yitzchok) say that this includes listening to music even recorded from a tape or CD.

Rav Elyashiv, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, The Tzitz Eliezer (15:33) and others say that even acapella recordings, singing that doesn’t have musical instruments, are also forbidden.

A gathering of people are forbidden to sing if it is the kind of songs that will lead to dancing. Songs of praise to Hashem or in the spirit of the nine days are permitted.

Singing to yourself is permitted because it is just to lift your spirits and you don’t usually break out in dance. Nevertheless the Steipler Gaon did not let his children sing during the 3 weeks, only on Shabbos.

Music teachers can continue to give lessons in the 3 weeks if they need to for their livelihood. Rav Elyashiv paskens that although permissible until Rosh Chodesh Av, lessons should not be given in the 9 days. (see Pischei Tshuvos 493:4 and 551:13) Revach.

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  1. Shabbos is not included in the issur.

    It should be noted that songs of praise or any other kind are only permitted in a d’vaikus type niggun or sad niggun. A joyful happy niggun is not permitted.
    As far as where the issur comes from I believe the Oruch Hashulchon is medyek because it says rikudim & mecholos. What is the difference ? Both are dance. He is medyek therefore that mecholos means dance to music thereby implying music is osor.

  2. As a music teacher in Lakewood for many years, I’ve heard a number of p’sakim on students practicing. Everything form completly assur to completely OK…
    I don’t in any way want to make a psak here, as everyone should ask their own Rav, but from a purely musical standpoint, I would say it depends on the level of the student. Most beginners do not make music. The 1st few weeks (and for some, its months… ughh) you are simply trying to get you are hands used to the instrument. Even if some music may come out (usually not much worth listening to) that is not at all the intention.

    Please mention your level to your Rav when asking your shaila, as people just think of lessons as music. Most of my beginner students that asked a Rav and mentioned this point were told it was OK.

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