- (1562)Also known as the Huguenot Psalter, the most influential hymnal supervised by Jean Calvin, preceded by earlier versions in 1539, 1542, 1543, and 1551. The texts are metrical psalms translated into French by Calvin, Clément Marot (c. 1497–1544), and Théodore de Beze (1519–1605). The chief composers involved were Louis Bourgeois (c. 1510–after 1560) and an unidentified "Maître Pierre." The simple, mostly conjunct melodies, adapted from Latin chants, folk tunes, and even Lutheran chorales, set the psalms syllabically with only minims and semiminims (half and quarter notes), with phrase endings marked by longer notes. These proved to be popular and memorable: by 1565, 63 editions had been printed. It became the standard source for psalm singing in the French-speaking world, and polyphonic versions composed by Claude Goudimel from 1551 to 1564 and then by Claude Le Jeune, published posthumously in 1601, were widely disseminated for domestic use. A German edition of Goudimel’s versions issued by Ambrosius Lobwasser (Leipzig, 1573) allowed the Calvinist repertory to intermix with the Lutheran, resulting in a partial fusing of the traditions in the 17th century.
Historical dictionary of sacred music. Joseph P. Swain. 2006.
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