This article tracks changes in conceptions of American Jewish congregational prayer music during the second half of the twentieth century, paying specific attention to the late 1960s and early 1970s. During those years, more than fifty albums of new American Jewish synagogue music were released. These drew on the sounds of folk and rock music, and they represented a shift from the sounds of classical cantorial synagogue music. These changes have largely been understood as a shift away from cantorial styles, which emphasized performance and virtuosity, and toward more accessible and more participatory forms of prayer. This article contributes to our understanding of the sounds of American Jewish prayer practices by attending to the larger discourses in which the musical changes were situated. By listening to the music, reading album liner notes, and contemporaneous writings about Jewish prayer music, we discover a shift in descriptions and expectations of how Jewish prayer ought to work, from one that emphasizes the aesthetics of the music to one that emphasizes the experience of the music. We argue that music is one element of a larger shift in how people who made music for congregational prayer understood prayer and how best to engage congregations in that practice.