A cantor is a person who leads people in singing, or sometimes in prayer. In formal Christian worship, a cantor is a person who sings solo verses or passages to which the choir or congregation responds. In Judaism, a cantor is one who sings and leads people in prayer in a Jewish religious service, and may be called hazzan. "Cantor" is used as a translation of equivalent terms in other languages, such as for the leader of singing on a traditional Kerala snake boat, a Chundan Vallam.
A similar term is precentor, defined as a leader of the singing of a choir or congregation.
More specific types of cantor include:
- Cantor in Christianity, an ecclesiastical officer leading liturgical music in several branches of the Christian church
- Hazzan (Judaism) a singer and/or musician. Orthodox Judaism only allows men, while the other branches allow women.
- American Conference of Cantors (Reform)
- Cantors Assembly (Conservative)