Original Melodies for Psalms in Metre?

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sevenzedek

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?
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
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 ----------

By the way, I'm glad we don't know. It would only make us fight more about how we should sing the Psalms.
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
Perhaps there is a relative standard by which the Psalms are sung. It would be better to know this rather than know nothing. I thought about making my own melodies; but I don't want to make the time to do it. Where does a Reformed Baptist go in order to learn to sing these Psalms?
 

nwink

Puritan Board Sophomore
Where does a Reformed Baptist go in order to learn to sing these Psalms?
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.

I know the split-leaf psalter I have lists the tune author (copyright issue), so it mentions how old some of the tunes are. I imagine a few of the tunes I know were the same tunes used by the Covenanters and others. I'm pretty sure the tune Crimond (which we use a lot for Ps 23) has been used a long time to Ps 23.

OR if you're ever in the DC area on the Lord's Day (since I see you're from Verona), you could worship at Liberty & Grace Reformed -- they use the 1650 psalter in worship.

Liberty and Grace Reformed
 

MarieP

Puritan Board Senior
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?
I thought you were going to ask for the *original* melodies, as in King David's!

---------- Post added at 10:06 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 AM ----------

By the way, I'm glad we don't know. It would only make us fight more about how we should sing the Psalms.
Amen!
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
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.
 

TexanRose

Puritan Board Sophomore
First 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
Este's Psalter
English Psalter, 1562
Ravenscroft's Psalter, 1621
etc.

But to warn you--some of the earlier tune books are hard to read, because the notes were written differently back then.
 

JennyG

Puritan Board Graduate
First 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
Este's Psalter
English Psalter, 1562
Ravenscroft's Psalter, 1621
etc.

But to warn you--some of the earlier tune books are hard to read, because the notes were written differently back then.
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 Anon
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
Thanks for the replies, everyone. I thought I heard that there were tunes originally composed for the Scottish Psalter. Now I doubt that very much.
 

Connor Q

Puritan Board Freshman
I think Sharon is right about the tunes borrowed from previous psalters and the 1650 was printed without tunes. I could be wrong but I think there were about 150 tunes in use at the time, however, this number was reduced to just 12 main/'Common tunes'. I dont know them all (mabye someone could help me out), but some are; French, Dundee, Martyrs, York, Elgin

The first collection of tunes to accompany the 1650 Psalter was published in Aberdeen in 1666, and contained only 15 tunes
 

TexanRose

Puritan Board Sophomore
I wasn't familiar with "Stilt" so I googled it. Apparently it's another name for the tune I know as York. Interesting, thanks.
 
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