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Here are the best sites I’ve found which have anything to do with the Genevan Psalter. Of course, most of these would be found by any reliable search engine. Genevan Psalter – Psalms / Psalmen. Ernst Stolz Music; videos; , views; Last updated on May 14, Complete Psalm Project Genevan Psalter. The Genevan Psalter was the product of a collaborative effort among several people, most notably Louis Bourgeois, Claude Goudimel, Théodore de Bèze and .

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It is no exaggeration to say that I fell in love with this rich pattern of going through so much of Scripture in the course of the liturgy. They have been harmonized genevvan times, in many ways, and have been often used without harmony. Unfortunately the Genevan melodies, except for a very few tunes, did not catch on in the English-speaking world as they did elsewhere. The Genevan Psalter is the most important source of metrical psalmody in the continental Reformed tradition.

It’s one thing to describe the texts and tunes, which is as far as most history texts go. There aren’t many, because the English and Scottish traditions prevailed in North America, not the continental Genevan tradition. Many of these have opted for metrical versifications of the psalms.

The chanting of Psalms in course over a specified period of time had developed in the monasteries under the influence of the Rule of St. The music and typesetting are not copyrighted, but the lyrics are. Like Calvin, they released groups in installments as they completed them.

Regarding the texts, new versifications are available. Website maintained by David T.

Genevan Psalter

Song of the Three Youths. They had never sung the psalms systematically, but with the revival in psalmody happening everywhere, they turned to their Calvinist roots, and although it was brand new to them, made a decision to claim the Genevan Psalter for their worship. Although my present church community has not discovered this pattern for itself, I continue to follow the daily office in the course of my own personal prayer regimen, though I have sometimes abbreviated it as my own circumstances have changed.


Wojciech Bobowski was a musically-gifted Polish-born Reformed Christian who had the misfortune to be kidnapped as a young man by Tatars and sold as a slave to the Ottoman Sultan. Meanwhile, he has already placed many of these texts on another website. Stay in touch with that. Metrical psalmody is the particular gift of the Reformed tradition to the broader Christian community. By all accounts, Calvin’s instincts were right that this particular kind of metrical structure would be embraced; the people sang them everywhere, in and out of church, in the heady exciting early days, and also in the painful times of struggle that soon came.

Our individualistic, consumer-oriented churches often seem to suffer from a lamentable inability to lament. Two versions of the Decalogue, one from Strassbourg and one from Geneva. Some of the harmonizations may sound a little dissonant to those familiar with the arrangements traditionally sung in the Dutch or Hungarian churches.

Please contact me with any additions or corrections.

Our congregations need to learn once again to sing Psalms 88 andamong many psaltrr. The biblical Psalms were meant to be sung. It must also be recognized once more that it is not always easy to write in English for the Genevan tunes. Not quite a dozen years after the publication of the Genevan Psalter, the legal scholar Ambrosius Lobwasserwho had heard the psalms sung by the Huguenots during his sojourn in the Berry region of France, published a German translation primarily for private use directly from the French text, something for which he was roundly criticized by his fellow Lutherans.

This volume contains metrical versions of most, but not all, of the Psalms, the bulk of which come from the Psalter of the United Presbyterian Church in North America, one of the predecessor denominations of the Presbyterian Church USA.

Calvin was interested in a distinctive psalmody. Rooted in ancient Jewish usage see, e. Nevertheless, despite the relative lack of familiarity with the Genevan Psalms among most English-speaking Christians, they are holding their own elsewhere in the world, as reflected in a number of recent recordings, some of which come out of surprising places, such as Japan, not usually associated with the Genevan tradition.

The melodies carried these texts, providing a way for countless Christians to memorize the psalms.

A Reformed Approach to Psalmody: The Legacy of the Genevan Psalter

To this day some 30 Reformed congregations in the province of Zeeland hold fast to Dathenus’ version. The Genevan Psalter would come to exert a considerable influence on the liturgical life of Reformed churches elsewhere as well. Even so indefatigable an apologist for the Christian faith as C. The HTM files are unaltered texts which I have collected from various Psalters and websites over the psalterr.


How were they to be sung? It was the use of the Psalms that most impressed me. Thank You for Your Contribution! Psalm singing had all but disappeared. Or might it be that the feminine i. The liveliest of the Psalms, e. Moreover, if one follows the suggested tempos, the traditionalist is likely to find them entirely too rapid.

I have sometimes joked that, had Prozac been around two and a half millennia ago, a third of the Psalms and the whole of Ecclesiastes and Job might not have been written!

Genevan Psalter Resource Center, MP3 PDF music articles

In my undergraduate and graduate student years I began to discover the liturgical practices of the most ancient of the Christian churches, including the Roman Catholic and Orthodox, many of which survived within the Anglican and Lutheran churches.

To be sure, the Genevan Psalms were eventually retranslated into English, though their use was largely restricted to those denominations with continental European roots. At least since the Enlightenment many Christians have genwvan to find the psalms something of an embarrassment.

Please see the Book of Praise committee’s website, www. Many North Americans like to sing in harmony, grnevan most hymnals include harmony. Small wonder they were attractive to worshippers then.

But giving a psalm one unvarying slot following an Old Testament reading is far too restrictive for the full-orbed role of psalmody from a Reformed perspective.

It has thus far not been published in any hymnal, but it is meant as a complement to the Philippians hymn. The page definition files PDFs are taken from a 6×9 spiral-bound psalter assembled for my private use.