The Psalms could well be termed ‘Israel’s Hymnbook’. It is quite clearly the collection of words that were sung to praise God in biblical times. We are privileged to have this ‘hymnbook’ preserved for us and yet the actual music has not been passed down.
For some, the words of most hymns are man’s words poetically woven to produce lyrics. This can cause problems of an individual interpretation of the words.
Many years ago I decided to play safe and only use God’s words recorded in His word, the Bible. So, although every verse has not been used, here is music that allows all the Psalms to be sung.
To publish all 150 Psalms in one book would not have been convenient, so they have been published in 4 volumes which equate to the divisions of the Psalms into 5 books (with 3+4 being combined in one volume). The aim of this project was to produce settings of all the Psalms which would be easy to learn by congregations and amateur singing groups. There are, therefore, a variety of different styles and formats to cater for a wide range of abilities and circumstances. Some of the Psalms are for unison singing with independent piano accompaniment whilst others have the vocal melody integral within the piano accompaniment (enabling the pianist to sing whilst playing). There are also plenty of Psalms which are in 4 part harmony (SATB). Some of these have independent piano accompaniments whilst others have no separate accompaniment and can be sung unaccompanied or with the piano playing all 4 vocal parts.
The text for these Psalms has been taken exclusively from the Authorised Version (King James Version). Although in the vast majority of The Psalms the wording has been very closely adhered to, occasionally a word (usually a definite or indefinite article) has been omitted for ease of setting the phrase to music.
There are some Psalms that are set to music in their entirety, but others are only sections of a Psalm or a selection of verses taken from the Psalm.
– Steve Jones (Stapleford, Nottingham)
The songbooks can be found on Lulu.com (available in UK, United States, Canada, Australia and more).
Samples of the music can be found on this site: BibleQuoteCreations