Metrical Psalms

   A rhymed vernacular translation of a psalm sung to music with a regular pattern of beats (meter). Because the poetry of the Hebrew psalms has neither rhyme nor meter, but rather depends on semantic parallelisms between verse pairs, singing complete psalms before the 16th century had traditionally been the province of trained singers, cantors or choirs. When Protestantism insisted on a singing congregation and, in its Reformed and Puritan churches, on the psalms as the only appropriate texts to be sung, the metrical psalms provided, at first, simple tunes and strong memory cues in its meter and a familiar language so that the musically untutored might sing them.
   Versified psalms at first appeared without explicit musical settings. Two of the earliest influential sets are by Clément Marot in France (1532) and Thomas Sternhold in his Certayne Psalmes Drawen into {}Englishe Metre (c. 1549). But Sternhold’s psalms were likely meant to be sung to popular tunes, and Marot’s were similarly set in the three editions of the Genevan Psalter. Both became mainstays of Reformed traditions. Robert Crowley also published a Psalter in 1549 whose homorhythmic harmonizations suggest the English liturgical practice of faburden. Polyphonic versions of the Genevan melodies and Sternhold’s psalms (harmonized by John Day, 1563) soon followed. Eventually the line between metrical psalmody and hymn blurred as the translation of psalms became a rhymed, metrical paraphrase, as in IsaacWatts’ The Psalms of David (1719).

Historical dictionary of sacred music. . 2006.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • metrical psalms —  Метрические псалмы …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • Metrical psalter — For earlier rhymed translations of Psalms, see rhymed psalter. A metrical psalter is a kind of Bible translation: a book containing a metrical translation of all or part of the Book of Psalms in vernacular poetry, meant to be sung as hymns in a… …   Wikipedia

  • Psalms — Psalm redirects here. For other uses, see Psalm (disambiguation). Hebrew Bible …   Wikipedia

  • metrical — adj. 1 of, relating to, or composed in metre (metrical psalms). 2 of or involving measurement (metrical geometry). Derivatives: metrically adv. Etymology: ME f. L metricus f. Gk metrikos (as METRE(2)) …   Useful english dictionary

  • Psalms — • The Psalter, or Book of Psalms, is the first book of the Writings , i.e. of the third section of the printed Hebrew Bible of today. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Psalms     Psalms …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • PSALMS, BOOK OF — This article is arranged according to the following outline: < <title> > place in the canon number of psalms verse division division into books composition of the psalter date of the psalter ascription to david types of psalms psalms… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Hymnbooks of the Church of Scotland — Decisions concerning the conduct of public worship in the Church of Scotland are entirely at the discretion of the parish minister. As a result, a wide variety of musical resources are used. However, at various times in its history, the General… …   Wikipedia

  • Genevan psalter — The Genevan Psalter is a collection of metrical psalms created under the supervision of John Calvin. Metrical Psalms are rhymed versions of the songs from the Book of Psalms, found in the Bible.OriginsBefore the Protestant Reformation the singing …   Wikipedia

  • psalmody — psalmodic /sah mod ik, sal /, psalmodical, psalmodial /sah moh dee euhl, sal /, adj. psalmodist, n. /sah meuh dee, sal meuh /, n., pl. psalmodies. 1. the act, practice, or art of setting psalms to music. 2. psalms or hymns collectively. 3. the… …   Universalium

  • hymn — hymner /him euhr, neuhr/, n. hymnlike, adj. /him/, n. 1. a song or ode in praise or honor of God, a deity, a nation, etc. 2. something resembling this, as a speech, essay, or book in praise of someone or something. v.t. 3. to praise or celebrate… …   Universalium

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