Psalm 137: The Oxford University Press Playlist

Songs of exile: a playlist for Psalm 137 Oxford University Press shared some settings of Psalm 137 on their blog, as musical accompaniment to their book about that Psalm, Song of Exile by David Stowe. This is a really useful resource, as it includes some classics that were unmissable, but also things that it would [Read More…]

Steve Reich, Tehillim

Indiana University has an interesting archive featuring Steve Reich’s exploration of the Psalms. And the recent Past Forward composer spotlight on Reich is also very interesting. [Read more…]

Review of Psalms and Music

My review of Max Stern’s book Psalms and Music is now available in RBL to SBL members. I inadvertently violated the SBL open access policy in sharing my last review on Academia.edu and so I will not be doing so this time. I will say that, while I did have some criticisms to offer (Stern [Read More…]

Moroccan Jewish Psalms

In exploring the traditions of chanting or singing the Psalms and other scriptures, I came across the above YouTube channel which features music of the Sephardic Jewish tradition, more specifically from Morocco. Can you detect that the tonality is not that of Western even-tempered music? You can find demonstrations of the relevant scales (also used [Read More…]

Introducing Metrical Psalms

For the first time since I’ve been teaching, I brought a guitar with me to class and sang to/with my students. Teaching a course on the Bible and music does strange things to one’s pedagogy. I decided to record the class, mainly so that I could see what it was like. Not nearly as bad [Read More…]

Ruth Watson Henderson

Another woman composer that I omitted from my post on the subject was Ruth Watson Henderson. Her Cantate Domino is above, and below is Psalm 100. [Read more…]

How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place

One piece that I omitted from my post on settings of biblical texts to music by female composers is that featured in the video above: “How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place” (Psalm 84) by Victoria Bond. You can read Bond’s notes about the composition in The Bible Retold by Jewish Artists, Writers, Composers and Filmmakers, [Read More…]

Jesus’ Coronation Anthem

As I was preparing to speak about Handel’s Messiah recently, I came across a great description of what the Hallelujah Chorus is, stylistically speaking, in Calvin Stapert’s book about the piece (p.135). It is a coronation anthem for Jesus. I think that grasps the feel of the piece perfectly, and it is striking as well [Read More…]

Psalms by Tamás Beischer-Matyó

I was delighted to discover a number of settings of Psalms, as well as other music, by Hungarian composer Tamás Beischer-Matyó. You can hear more of his works, as well as find the sheet music for them and others, on IMSLP.   [Read more…]

The Bay Psalm Book

I just learned that, through a bit of poor communication within my department, I’ll be teaching my new core curriculum course on the Bible and Music the same semester that my colleague teaches his course on the Psalms. Although we would have avoided this convergence if we had noticed it, the intersection should be beneficial and there [Read More…]