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Download The Psalms

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  • The 1650 Scottish Psalter

    Download introduction and sample of the psalter.

    Download sample midi file (Psalm 1).

    Download the entire psalter (223 pages) — link at bottom of this page.

    During the early 1600′s, an English committee under the direction of King James I undertook to translate the Bible as accurately as possible from the oldest available manuscripts. At this same time, a similar committee organized by the Church of Scotland was busy translating the Psalms of David, also from the early manuscripts. Their goal was to translate the Psalms into singable verses in standard rhyme and meter. Further, they composed four-part chorale tunes (the musical style of the day), for each Psalm. The result was the 1650 Scottish Psalter, a songbook whose content is perhaps as authentically inspired by יהוה as is the King James Version of the Bible.

    The edition offered here has introductory suggestions for employing the psalter in a wide variety of musical practice contexts. Four-part harmony with chord changes on every beat is the preferred format for studying music theory due to its musical compactness. One can learn sightsinging, sightreading, analysis, composition, improvisation, performance, and text writing from the psalter.

    Additionally, sound files provide an accompaniment for singing the psalms. This will make it easier for nonmusicians to sing along during worship services. David originally wrote the psalms to worship יהוה, and they are still ideally suited for that purpose. In a liturgical setting, they provide scripture reading, Hebrew historical education, and worship singing all in one serving.