The Genevan Psalter in the 21st century

A Presbyterian colleague referred me to a project that has intrigued me. The Psalm Project is a group of musicians who pair contemporary translations of the Psalms with contemporary versions of tunes from the Genevan Psalter (encouraged, in part, by the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship.)  Sheet music for a number of their psalm settings is available. Although these psalms may have limited liturgical usage, some may find them inspiring for devotional listening.

Here’s their take on a familiar melody:

(Your church music trivia for today: the tune we know as OLD HUNDREDTH is actually paired with Psalm 134 in the Genevan Psalter.)

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  1. We see just one ensemble here, performing in a contemporary Praise genre. I wonder whether they have rendered all their work in a single genre, as for example traditional liturgical chants and Psallite have done. In my own psalms project, I took into account that the psalms were originally composed for different occasions, so that some could be rendered more profitably by, say, a solo or choral voice accompanied by a solo cello, a blues quartet or even a marching band.

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