Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Explanations of Psalmody's Decline

Jonathan Moersch at Detergere has provided an interesting, if cursory, discussion on the causes of the sad decline among American Evangelicals in the singing of the divinely inspired Psalms. (link)

H.T. to R. Scott Clark for pointing this out to me (link).



Gordan Runyan said...

TFan, there are zero psalm-singing churches in my area; and I know that God's Word is drawing me in that direction.

Personally, my experience has been that a major hold-up to psalm-singing is a fairly pitiful lack of musicality: I mean, I bought a Psalms CD and have listened online to others, and the music is well-nigh unsingable, having a complete lack of elementary things like melody and rhythm. I believe I could get my congregation to sing the Psalms with gusto if they were set to decent music (in terms of singability.)It's tough to get modern Protestants to rejoice in singing what sounds like an aimless Gregorian chant melody.

So, while God has supplied the lyrics, I have not found man supplying decent music. I am hoping that you can offer some suggestions as to where I might find the Psalms set to music in a manner that is not actually a hindrance to their singing. Would a legitimately catchy tune be evil here? Something you might find yourself humming during the day?

Anonymous said...

I guess it's time to repent?

That article makes the case that the "world" Jesus came to save is doing a far better job of singing the Psalms than the Church. :(

Well, we do live in this world and should we expect the fight to look like something else?

There was a time in my Church when we all got together and were bad mouthing the world: "oh, look at that" and, "did you read what so and so did". Then someone said, "enough", what else could the world be doing with a god like the devil guiding them! We should pay attention to what they see we are!

Oh yeah, that's right! Didn't Jesus say:::>

Mat 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Mat 5:15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Mat 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Mat 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Turretinfan said...

Dear GR,

There are two Psalters I have seen used in Excl. Psalmody churches: the Scottish Metrical Psalter (which is mostly set in "sonnet" form to Common Meter tunes) and the RPCNA Psalter, which is generally set to tunes with more or less regular meters.

They are more less comparable to "traditional hymn tunes" - in fact, there is overlap. Some of the tunes in the Trinity Hymnal, for example, are the same as those in the Scottish metrical Psalter.

Other folks have tried to jazz up the tunes a bit. The guitar-strumming "praise song" format works for few psalms - because few are short and/or repetitive.