Puritan Board Junior
I am interested in finding the original melodies that were composed for the 1650 Psalms of David in Metre. Could anyone point me to a place where I might buy a book or a website where I might find these scores?
Well, one wonderful thing about the 1650 psalter is that all of the psalms have a Common Meter selection. ("Meter" refers to the number of syllables of the words in each line.) So by having all the psalms in one meter, if you know one "Common Meter" tune (ie, Amazing Grace, etc), then you can sing every psalm in the psalter! That would be a good place to start. You could also look into buying a psalter with musical score (such as a split-leaf psalter from the Free Presbyterian Bookroom) to learn some different tunes for the psalms...or do some searching on old PB threads for places to listen to different psalm selections online...or buy some cds from the Presbyterian Reformed Church website.Where does a Reformed Baptist go in order to learn to sing these Psalms?
I thought you were going to ask for the *original* melodies, as in King David's!I am interested in finding the original melodies that were composed for the 1650 Psalms of David in Metre. Could anyone point me to a place where I might buy a book or a website where I might find these scores?
According to the musical scholars I've studied, they have lost tract of the original melodies. They believe a lot of the marks in the old texts may be musical notation of some kind, but no one really knows.
There are a few groups who've taken a stab at it, but even there work is not considered to be scholarly.
---------- Post added at 08:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:41 AM ----------
Yikes! This is what I get for reading in a hurry.... I didn't see the the 1650 when I was scanning the OP.
I'm sure Sharon's right. Nobody sat down to compose tunes for that psalter - they came from all over the place, and probably many if not most are the work of that well-known composer Mr AnonFirst of all, I don't think that many tunes were composed specifically for the 1650 Psalter. I think most of the tunes used circa 1650 were borrowed from earlier Scottish psalters, or borrowed/adapted from the Genevan psalter. I could be wrong on that though.
We do know many of the tunes used at that time, though. The split-leaf psalter published by the Free Church includes the date of each tune's composition. Many pre-date the Scottish Psalter, some from as early as 1562 (one of the earliest I see as I open my psalter at random).
You might try to get a hold of the split-leaf psalter from the Free Church (best price online is from the Free Presbyterian Bookroom), which includes many of the early tunes. Or if you want to find an earlier source, you might try looking online (try Google Books or archive.org) for:
Early editions of the Scottish Psalter--1615, 1635
English Psalter, 1562
Ravenscroft's Psalter, 1621
But to warn you--some of the earlier tune books are hard to read, because the notes were written differently back then.
And we're off!