Music Review: The Collegeville Psalter

The Collegeville Psalter

Paul Inwood. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2018. Pages, 166. Spiral-bound, $39.95. ISBN: 9780814646168.

The Collegeville Psalter by Paul Inwood challenges the misconception that musically satisfying psalmody is inaccessible for the gathered assembly. Inwood’s refrains invite assembly participation through simple, sing-able melodies that still manage to hold enough depth to make each antiphon interesting and unique. A number of psalms include both full and simplified accompaniments, easing accessibility for novice accompanists. Similarly, both beginner and veteran cantors can take ownership of the metrical refrains and chant-style verses. Musically diverse psalm refrains paired with verbatim text from the Lectionary for Mass offer a fresh alternative to existing psalmody resources.

Another highlight of this collection is the grouping of refrains by psalm number. Psalms are ordered numerically, rather than liturgically. For example, Psalm 16 is prescribed for both the 33rdSunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, as well as the 3rdSunday of Easter, Year A. Both antiphons are included on the same page in separate systems for ease of accessibility.

The book itself is spiral bound with an elegant and durable matte cover, making it a practical and worthy edition to proclaim the Word both as cantor and accompanist. The music engraving is legible for easy reading and spaced appropriately throughout the book. A complete set of indices include Liturgical Index by Use, Numerical Index of Psalm Tones, Index of Psalm Tones by Category and Key, Index of First Lines of Psalm Extracts, and Index of First Lines of Responses.

The Collegeville Psalter by Paul Inwood is a welcome addition to today’s psalm resources. The next volume in the series, The Collegeville Chant Psalter by Anthony Ruff, OSB has an expected publication date of April 15, 2019.

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2 comments

  1. “Another highlight of this collection is the grouping of refrains by psalm number. Psalms are ordered numerically, rather than liturgically. For example, Psalm 16 is prescribed for both the 33rdSunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, as well as the 3rdSunday of Easter, Year A. Both antiphons are included on the same page in separate systems for ease of accessibility.”

    That’s the method Theodore Marier used in Hymns, Psalms and Spiritual Canticles: a given psalm might not only have multiple antiphons (and verses associated therewith), but also more than one psalm tone on succeeding pages, to accommodate more versifications and antiphons.

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