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Responsorial Psalms


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Sorry if this is considered off-topic by anyone :D

 

Having used some of the Responsorial Psalm settings at the back of the New English Hymnal I am keen to get a "full set" of responsorial settings of all the Psalms, at least all that feature in the Common Worship lectionary. Does such a collection exist? I looked at the Hymns Old & New - Liturgical book which has RPs for the three-year lectionary but I think this book is designed for the RC church and I suspect the Ps. numbers refer to the Vulgate numbering so I'm not sure that I'd be able to find the right Psalm. I'd like the texts to be as close to Common Worship as possible. Any comments gratefully received.

 

Michael

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  • 3 years later...
Sorry if this is considered off-topic by anyone :mellow:

 

Having used some of the Responsorial Psalm settings at the back of the New English Hymnal I am keen to get a "full set" of responsorial settings of all the Psalms, at least all that feature in the Common Worship lectionary. Does such a collection exist? I looked at the Hymns Old & New - Liturgical book which has RPs for the three-year lectionary but I think this book is designed for the RC church and I suspect the Ps. numbers refer to the Vulgate numbering so I'm not sure that I'd be able to find the right Psalm. I'd like the texts to be as close to Common Worship as possible. Any comments gratefully received.

 

Michael

Apologies for bumping this up to the top. I didn't get any replies 4 years ago but maybe the membership of the board has expanded. Any helpful ideas about Responsorial Psalms? I am happy to compose my own music but can't find the words!

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Apologies for bumping this up to the top. I didn't get any replies 4 years ago but maybe the membership of the board has expanded. Any helpful ideas about Responsorial Psalms? I am happy to compose my own music but can't find the words!

First up, I have used responsorial psalms on and off for about 16 years, but I rate them low on my Christmas List (!) so I admit that I have not sought out a great variety of resources. However, at morning services we still have the opportunity to use Anglican Chant, (and sometimes plainsong in Lent), but have also used the ones at the back of NEH. I alternate now, using the now quite old Gelineau Gradual, alongside Mayhew's 'New Psalms for Common Worship' and its cohort 'Sunday Psalms - Musical Settings for Common Worship' . These include nearly all the psalms you need, but are perhaps a little less 'strong' in tune for my liking than the NEH ones. Given the repetitive nature of the cantors parts from psalm to psalm, and the cringeworthy feel of some responses, (in the Mayhew vols), I also write my own - what that often means is just the response (using the existing cantor part) as I do not have a music progam that easily allows speech rhythm setting for the cantor. There is also the RSCM's Music for Common Worhsip/Music for Sunday Service' ed Harper, which has a variety of psalm styles but a fairly limited selection.

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We use Resp psalms at school on Sundays, (we attempt to chant a canticle during the week, with varying degrees of success!). I started with the NEH ones, and have progressed onto the Mayhew/Mawby volume. There are some good and singable ones, but like the previous post, it is a bit patchy, so I'm grateful to the other suggestions too.

 

There are several ones in the NEH supplement as well, so it has some use other than Coe Fen, Corvedale, Guiting Power, Sagina and East Acklam.

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Unfortunately we do use such things, and use the Mayhew publication.

 

These things are not, by any means, a favourite of mine, nor is the kind of bowdlerisation of the psalms themselves which is indulged.

 

Nevertheless, it does include a version of all the psalms, though the chants (as opposed to the responses) are somewhat repetitive.

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The trouble is that there is so much rubbish on the market.

 

I always used a variety of books - mostly 'A Responsorial Psalm Book' - for Sundays & Feast Days' by Geoffrey Boulton-Smith. There were a whole variety of settings in there of varying quality, and of varying difficulty - some were good, some were ok and some were awful - but at least you will have the words if you are prepared to compose music of your own. I'm, not sure whether the book is still in print though! I also used 'The Responsorial Psalter' - edited by Stephen Dean - it came in three volumes - but I used it rarely, the quality in here was less good.

 

A Responsorial Psalm was an integral part of our Sunday Mass - my Cantor and I would sit down at the beginning of the term and go through the next three months - which we were going to use - and which I was going to write or re-write!

 

Hope that helps.

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I too found much of the published chants and antiphons trite - although most admirable exercises for school harmony and melody dictations. They have their use. As I was brought up with the English Gradual (where music remains the same but words change every week), I wrote my own to go with the new Mass setting(s). With a little contrivance for some of the longer antiphons, it all works well, even though I say it myself. I cannot abide hearing a congregation trying to get to grips with a new musical snippet every Sunday when if they know the music they themselves can instinctively put the syllables in the correct place. Certainly after the cantor has sung it they will have had no problem. To me, it defeats the object of expecting a congregation to add their tentative contribution if they need 4 verses to learn something.

Just a thought,

N

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I too found much of the published chants and antiphons trite - although most admirable exercises for school harmony and melody dictations. They have their use. As I was brought up with the English Gradual (where music remains the same but words change every week), I wrote my own to go with the new Mass setting(s). With a little contrivance for some of the longer antiphons, it all works well, even though I say it myself. I cannot abide hearing a congregation trying to get to grips with a new musical snippet every Sunday when if they know the music they themselves can instinctively put the syllables in the correct place. Certainly after the cantor has sung it they will have had no problem. To me, it defeats the object of expecting a congregation to add their tentative contribution if they need 4 verses to learn something.

Just a thought,

N

 

Absolutely!

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My church uses readings sheets from Redemptorist Publications which include the psalm response and they provide all the musical settings of the complete psalms for each week. I find the responses okay (sometimes the accompaniments are way over the top) and the words are Common Worship. The tones used are different every week which doesn't suit me - the choir sings the verses rather than a cantor and I use a repertoire of tones - I just cut and paste. The pointing is inconsistent and often more than two verses are squeezed into one "verse" which I think misses the point of singing poetry. So I often end up rewriting the verses as well.

 

You can see what the service leaflet looks like here (I presume you can buy the psalm booklets separately): http://www.rpbooks.co.uk/product_details.p...mp;item_id=1123

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You can see what the service leaflet looks like here (I presume you can buy the psalm booklets separately): http://www.rpbooks.co.uk/product_details.p...mp;item_id=1123

I have this publication in my village church (where I am a parishioner) and the offerings are often purgatorial. The Antiphon in my mind, should end in an Imperfect Cadence. It needs to be resolved with the beginning of the next verse and then end with a feeling of expectancy that is resolved by the Epistle. However, the scanning and the harmony are banal at best and I squirm in the pew at some of the progressions and the 'starts'. Bring back the English Gradual.

N

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We use Mayhew's Sunday Psalms and it works pretty well. The chants are repeated a lot, but that's fine by me as after 3-4 years of continuous use I have most of them memorised in my head which means I can concentrate on the words, pointing, registration etc. Some of the responses are a little odd but I'd rather we used this than nothing at all. Unfortunately, we've currently dropped it as an experiment (except for festivals) as opposed to doing a psalm every week - not sure how long this will last.

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I have this publication in my village church (where I am a parishioner) and the offerings are often purgatorial. The Antiphon in my mind, should end in an Imperfect Cadence. It needs to be resolved with the beginning of the next verse and then end with a feeling of expectancy that is resolved by the Epistle. However, the scanning and the harmony are banal at best and I squirm in the pew at some of the progressions and the 'starts'. Bring back the English Gradual.

N

Yes, I wasn't really recommending it! I haven't a choice as long as we've got the congregational sheets and it saves me writing them. Not sure what's wrong with the starts, though (I always add a little introduction for the unaccompanied choir anyway) and I would be very unhappy if the response didn't end with a perfect (or plagal) cadence. Since the Epistle is read rather than sung, I'm not sure how it could resolve anything: it doesn't usually follow the train of thought of the psalm. When I write my own I occasionally finish the response with a phrygian cadence (or the like) and change it to end on the tonic the last time.

 

I do like the format of the NEH psalms (as also in the RSCM Psalms for Singers collection of 26 psalms by Gregory Murray) except that the psalms are simplified, rather in Grail style.

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