Just starting out and need some guidance.

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by Quickened, Mar 17, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Quickened

    Quickened Puritan Board Senior

    Hey I have been attempting to incorporate Psalm singing in private worship but the concept is foreign to me. I have no experience.

    What I did was purchase "Sing Psalms" and figured it would list the meter, which it does and that I could easily find a matching Hymn of the same meter. While working through this I said "Surely someone has a list compiled online"

    Is there such a list available? I would simpily like to pick a psalm, look at the meter and then refer to a list quickly as work through these. As I was not reformed all my life a lot of these hymns are new to me.

    I do have The Trinity Hymnal and Hymns of Grace that I am slowly working through.

    Any help would be appreciated
  2. Afterthought

    Afterthought Puritan Board Senior

    Hymnals usually compile such lists. I know the Trinity Hymnal does. Look in the back of the hymnal for a list of tunes with their corresponding hymns grouped by meter.

    The revised Trinity Hymnal has such a list online (click the index for listing by meter): http://www.hymnary.org/hymnal/TH1990

    And here is the 1961 Trinity Hymnal that the OPC lists on their website: http://www.hymnary.org/hymnal/TH1961

    I don't know what Hymns of Grace is, but here are some results: http://www.hymnary.org/all?qu=hymns+of+grace

    Although you have likely considered it, allow me to put in a plug for the 1650 Scottish metrical version. You won't **have** to spend any more money. There are a variety of places where you can find it for free online. In fact, if you were not aware, there is now a free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire that has both the words and playable tunes (and John Brown's commentary). If you want a hard copy in your hand, you can order a cheap words-only edition (up to $8, for the large print, most expensive edition) of the 1650 psalter at places like Reformation Heritage Books or Trinitarian Bible Society. OR you can just use the 1650 edition that is in the Sing Psalms book!

    Furthermore, you say you do not know a lot of hymn tunes and are just getting started with psalm singing. Well, the 1650 version has a copy of all but one of the psalms in C.M. And the psalm that does not have a C.M. version is close enough to C.M. that you only need to know one tune, and you can sing every verse of every psalm. Sure, there are some peculiarities in using the 1650, but it really isn't that bad: my family who does not sing psalms were able to adjust right away, and I have seen psalm sings with people who were used to using modern psalm books and were able to adjust reasonably quickly. In fact, you can find some free advice online for those who are just getting started with psalm singing, including the Amazon preview of this book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K64HFVW

    Or the sample pages (they may have more on the website too; I don't recall) of the Supplement here, which perhaps explains the peculiarities more briefly: http://psalmsingers.com/

    I'm sure there are more (just can't think of them right now off the top of my head). There are also plenty of free audio recordings to assist with singing/learning tunes. But anyway, there is my plug.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  3. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    Great news that you are learning to sing the Psalms. Just a quick suggestion to try out. I NEVER use existing tunes in my private devotions. I make up the tunes on the fly. First, I look over the Psalm to get its theme. Then I let er rip. I do not consider myself musical at all, but I love to sing the Psalms with my original tunes. I even think God likes them too. Just a thought. It was part of my keep it simple approach to singing the Psalms.
  4. Cymro

    Cymro Puritan Board Junior

    Try PCC church website Singapore. They have all the psalm tunes audio to use.
  5. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    There's an app for Android and IOS that Rom (from PB) made called "1650 split leaf psalter". It is really good, you should check it out.
  6. johnny

    johnny Puritan Board Sophomore

    Reverend Ruddell's site has excellent resources on it including recommendations for psalm tunes.

    I agree with Raymond just to stick with the 1650 Metrical. I generally aim at producing four part harmony which really adds to the sound but then I love acappella so I am biased towards it.
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  7. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    I third or fourth the suggestion to start with the 1650 Scottish metrical, and the app is hugely helpful (it has live recordings of many of the Psalms, all the tunes gathered together in one place). I also just wanted to comment on the four-part harmony thing- and I'm not picking on you, Johnny! I do understand where you're coming from. I have just seen in acapella singing a great emphasis on how well everybody is singing and how beautiful the harmony is. I think it's too easy to fall into a trap of an emphasis on performance, rather than on the spiritual and edifying nature of its being God's word we are "speaking" to one another (or to our own souls). Calvin insisted on unison singing in the congregation, for unity's sake, and I absolutely get that. I don't expect a return to it but it should at least be kept in mind as a tempering toward our natural tendency to performance. By all means let there be people singing harmony- I have to find a harmony part because the pitch is generally too high for me to sing the melody- but I hope we won't judge our singing together by how it sounds, or even make it our aim to produce a pleasing sound to the ear. I find all the voices, including the way off-pitch ones, to make a lovely sound to the Lord when singing with grace in our hearts to him. I just wanted to toss these thoughts out there into the mix (ha!)

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. johnny

    johnny Puritan Board Sophomore

    Ahh yes, I did say I'm biased towards it (harmony singing)

    There is always a learning curve in any endeavour and since we have harmony in our psalter tunes then I believe we should make every effort to utilise it, sing well, and with a pleasing sound. One advantage of using harmony correctly is that those with lower voices can sing the lower parts, those with higher voices the higher parts. I wish more people would take advantage of this fact.

    I understand that perhaps some here on the board would prefer singing in unison with no harmony but this is technically not possible to do with male and female voices because two part singing on octaves is not unison is it? (That is harmony singing on octaves) If I was to put forward an argument that I don't want to study Gods word because I find reading english overly complex and unspiritual then I would rightly be admonished for this thinking. So my argument is "What is the danger in doing something correctly?"

    Please don't be offended at my rebuttal, I do take your point that the heart is deceitfully wicked and seeks its own glory and there will always be an element of this in any endeavour we pursue in life, and we should indeed be mindful of this, but let us also not use that reason as an excuse for not endeavouring to learn something because the reverse is possible as well.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  9. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    Sure, Johnny! Just a cautionary note put out there for what it's worth. I'm thankful for your commitment to singing the Psalms in worship; what a privilege to be able to do so in our times.
  10. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    It's not a substitute for family worship, but one thing we do since we attend a church in which we are lucky to sing more than a handful of psalms in an entire year is listen to a webcasted service together from a psalm singing church and sing along with that congregation at home. Greenville Presbyterian's (FCoSC) second service is convenient for us to that end and has become part of our Sabbath routine. Singing along with someone else is a good way to learn tunes and psalms. I just wish they would pick up the tempo a tad, it's distractingly slow at times!
  11. Matthew1344

    Matthew1344 Puritan Board Freshman

    I like the "Psalms of David in Metre" and I sing just about every one of them with the tune of Amazing Grace.

    I am not a music guy. (strike 1)
    I grew up in a contemporary church with no hymns. (strike 2)
    But I did know the tune of Amazing grace (contact!)

    You can sing the psalms from this psalter with any tune that is in common metre. When I survey the wondrous cross is another one. But, like I said, I am not a music guy. I cannot remember any tune but amazing grace! ha
  12. johnny

    johnny Puritan Board Sophomore

    Actually, Rockingham and Hamburg (When I survey the Wondrous Cross) are in 8888 and do not fit Common Meter which is in 8686. Also, the Amazing Grace tune is called New Britian.

    The psalms of David in metre is generally the Scottish Metrical psalter.
    (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong)
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  13. Matthew1344

    Matthew1344 Puritan Board Freshman

    Yeah I have no idea ha. My church just started doing this about 6 months ago
  14. johnny

    johnny Puritan Board Sophomore

    I am the precentor at our church but having said that, I'm only six months in front of you, as far as learning to sing the metrical psalms so we are both novices at this. :)

    I do have some acappella training thanks to years of barbershop competition singing.
    So the tunes are pretty easy to learn compared to that, like learning a simple tag.
    There is a reasonable Christian wittness in the acappella fraternity (because Christians like to sing)
    But my wife and I have left competition singing behind now to concentrate on psalm singing.

    Sorry to derail the thread with stuff about meeeeeeeee,,,,,
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page