John Speller's Web Pages The Psalms of David

John Speller's Web Pages - Anglican Chant Chant Index Untitled

The Psalms of David
You will find on this page the complete Psalter from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer pointed for Anglican Chant. The object is to create a pointed psalter that is very different from and much more accessible to the average choir and congregation than the late Dr. Alex Wyton's Anglican Church Psalter, however fine that may be for expert choirs. My intention is that my online Psalter should be easy enough to be sung by congregations as well as choirs. To facilitate this I recommend that the pointing, and preferably also the chant, be printed out in the church bulletin.

I have tried as far as possible to use chants that are familiarly associated with the psalm concerned for example, by using Sir John Goss' well-known chant for Psalm 23, as was done by Sir David Willcocks in his memorable recordings of The Psalms of David with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. This has the added advantages that all these chants are long since in the public domain and may be freely reproduced, and also that they are particularly melodious and tuneful. More recent chants, though often creative and musical, do not always have a melody that a congregation may easily latch onto. I have tried achieve variety by using a different chant for each psalm (or in some cases sections of psalms) and everyone should feel free to mix and match; some churches find it helpful to keep the same chant for several weeks, so that the congregation can get familiar with it.

The pointing system I have adopted is a modified version of that used in the Episcopal Hymnal of 1940. An asterisk * is used to designate the two halves of the verse, as in the Prayer Book. Whereas the Prayer Book prints some half-verses on more than one line, I have avoided this since it encourages sloppy breathing. The bar-lines correspond with those of the chant; a dot indicates a change of note within a bar; bold type indicates that two notes are to be sung on the same syllable. Though it sometimes makes musical sense to omit the reciting note in short verses, I have avoided doing this since this often tends to confuse a congregation. I have felt free to include passing notes, however, since, contrary to what some may think, it is my experience that choirs and congregations easily get the hang of them. Those who would prefer to omit the passing notes, however, should feel free to do so. indicates that the second half of the chant is to be repeated. I have avoided the use of brackets above the text rather than bar-lines, since congregations also seem to find these rather confusing. Note, however, that when there are three syllables in a bar they should as far as possible be sung as a triplet. In common with many recent psalters I have printed the chants in 2:4 rather than 4:4 time; this is simply to make the chants easier to read.

With regard to the Gloria Patri, this is not normally used at the Eucharist, where the Psalm is considered to be part of the Ministry of the Word from the Hebrew Bible. In the choir services of Mattins and Evensong, however, the Psalms are considered to be Christian hymns and the Gloria Patri is generally added, at least at the end of the last psalm. It might be pointed as follows:

Glory to the Father, and | to the | Son, *
and | to the | Holy | Spirit:

As it was in the be- | ginning, is | now, *
and will be for | ever. | A- |men.

Those who disagree with the particular pointing I have adopted should feel free to change it, or even to produce their own psalter. Some choirs change the pointing even during the final rehearsal.

Psalm 1

Psalm 2

Psalm 3

Psalm 4

Psalm 5

Psalm 6

Psalm 7

Psalm 8

Psalm 9

Psalm 10

Psalm 11

Psalm 12

Psalm 13

Psalm 14

Psalm 15

Psalm 16

Psalm 17

Psalm 18

Psalm 19

Psalm 20

Psalm 21

Psalm 22

Psalm 23

Psalm 24

Psalm 25

Psalm 26

Psalm 27

Psalm 28

Psalm 29

Psalm 30

Psalm 31

Psalm 32

Psalm 33

Psalm 34

Psalm 35

Psalm 36

Psalm 37

Psalm 38

Psalm 39

Psalm 40

Psalm 41

Psalm 42

Psalm 43

Psalm 44

Psalm 45

Psalm 46

Psalm 47

Psalm 48

Psalm 49

Psalm 50

Psalm 51

Psalm 52

Psalm 53

Psalm 54

Psalm 55

Psalm 56

Psalm 57

Psalm 58

Psalm 59

Psalm 60

Psalm 61

Psalm 62

Psalm 63

Psalm 64

Psalm 66

Psalm 67

Psalm 68

Psalm 69

Psalm 70

Psalm 71

Psalm 72

Psalm 73

Psalm 74

Psalm 75

Psalm 76

Psalm 77

Psalm 78

Psalm 79

Psalm 80

Psalm 81

Psalm 82

Psalm 83

Psalm 84

Psalm 85

Psalm 86

Psalm 87

Psalm 88

Psalm 89

Psalm 90

Psalm 91

Psalm 92

Psalm 93

Psalm 94

Psalm 95

Psalm 96

Psalm 97

Psalm 98

Psalm 99

Psalm 100

Psalm 101

Psalm 102

Psalm 103

Psalm 104

Psalm 105

Psalm 106

Psalm 107

Psalm 108

Psalm 109

Psalm 110

Psalm 111

Psalm 112

Psalm 113

Psalm 114

Psalm 115

Psalm 116

Psalm 117

Psalm 118

Psalm 119

Psalm 120

Psalm 121

Psalm 122

Psalm 123

Psalm 124

Psalm 125

Psalm 126

Psalm 127

Psalm 128

Psalm 129

Psalm 130

Psalm 131

Psalm 132

Psalm 133

Psalm 134

Psalm 135

Psalm 136

Psalm 137

Psalm 138

Psalm 139

Psalm 140

Psalm 141

Psalm 142

Psalm 143

Psalm 144

Psalm 145

Psalm 146

Psalm 147

Psalm 148

Psalm 149

Psalm 150

Psalm 151

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