June 10, 2021

YouTube introduced me to Philip Moody’s “Laguna Concerto,” and as with all music I enjoy, I looked to see what else was on YouTube. It offered me (among other things) this setting of the Lord’s Prayer:

It also shared “Prayer” which is a title that always leads me to have a listen/take a look, since the text sometimes is biblical and sometimes is not. In this case it is Kyrie Eleison together with Psalm 23 in a beautiful work:

Of related interest:

Drew Longacre and Jim Davila both drew attention to an article about an ancient “paperback” edition of the Psalms.

Bob MacDonald blogged about assonance in the Psalms (in general) and then specifically Psalm 7, as well as comparing translations.

Bob Cornwall preached on Psalm 138

Psalm 119:17–24 (Gimel)

The point of Psalm 139

Commentary on Psalm 49

Commentary on Psalm 50

Commentary on Psalm 51

Commentary on Psalm 52

Commentary on Psalm 53

Commentary on Psalm 54

The Heavens are Torn

Psalm Reader Part I: Confidence in God in the COVID Chaos, A word from Sri Lanka

This actually has to do with the reception history of a Psalm:

The Amulet’s (Weird) Tale

Another piece of biblical music: Robert Nathaniel Dett’s setting of Ave Maria:

Also worth highlighting if you’ve never listened to it is Florent Schmitt’s music exploring the story of Salome. This isn’t Oscar Wilde’s version. NAXOS has notes including details from the program at performances in Schmitt’s time, which show how the story relates to and how it elaborates on its biblical source material.

Finally, have a listen to this work by Jonathan Pease, composed for use on Maundy Thursdays, drawn from the Gospel of John:

Pease has also set the Song of Zechariah and written an opera based on the Book of Acts called “St. Luke’s Shipwreck.”

Finally, if you haven’t heard Nightbirde’s song “It’s Okay” on America’s Got Talent, it isn’t biblical music but her song and story are inspirational and her website shares how God figures in it all. Whatever you’re going through, I suspect that this song may be what you need to hear right now.


February 3, 2023

A press release about my latest book, now available for free: The Bible and Music.

PALSave Textbook Creation Grant program releases first open textbook, “The Bible and Music”

ebook cover for the Bible and Music depicting an artistic image of a Biblical figure playing the harpWhat do works like Handel’s “Messiah” and Bach’s “Passions” have in common with contemporary songs like Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” or Kendrick Lamar’s “How Much a Dollar Cost?”

Like much of the world’s favorite music, these songs draw inspiration from biblical stories, and a new, free and open textbook published by the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) offers a unique learning approach to the subject.

In “The Bible and Music,” the first open textbook published with a grant from the PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning program, author James McGrath, Ph.D., Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, explores the intersection of faith and music while inviting readers to experience the material firsthand through interactive video and audio clips.

“The chance first to teach a course on the Bible and music, then write a cutting-edge textbook on the topic, has been a dream come true,” says McGrath. “My career has been in the academic study of the Bible and religion. Alongside that has always been a love of listening to and playing music I never did anything with professionally, but that has been profoundly important to me nonetheless. Teaching the course provided the opportunity to figure out how best to explore this intersection for an audience that may not have a background with either the Bible or music. Writing the book has given me the opportunity to share what I have learned and what I teach, and to make it available not just for my future students, but anyone interested.”

“The Bible and Music” offers what no previous textbook on the subject has before. It provides readers with an overview of the highly influential—yet sometimes surprising—connection between song and faith, with material dating back from ancient Israelite music and the musical notation in ancient Hebrew manuscripts, to the reception of the Bible in classical, rock, hip hop, country, and other genres of today.

Offered digitally, it is the first textbook of its kind to engage readers in actively listening to the subject matter as they follow the readings. Best of all, it does this as an open educational resource (OER), meaning it costs readers—primarily college students and their instructors—nothing.

James McGrath holding acoustic guitarMcGrath was one of the first open textbook authors to apply for and receive a PALSave Textbook Creation Grant from PALNI in 2021. Offered to faculty from PALNI-supported institutions, the grant allows educators to develop open textbooks that are freely available online, making them part of a nationwide effort to reduce the cost of course materials for college students. Financed with support from Lilly Endowment Inc., each grant provides a maximum of $6,500 per project or $5,000 per author.

As an inaugural grant recipient, McGrath agreed to have his book serve as the pilot project for the entire Textbook Creation Grant program. Since the release of McGrath’s book, there are now eight grant-funded titles in production with seven additional titles to be selected for creation in March 2023.

“It is extremely rewarding to see faculty authors like Dr. McGrath, who is so committed to creating high quality, low-cost course material, receive funding for a project and then see it come to fruition,” says Amanda Hurford, PALNI Scholarly Communications Director. “It is because of these educators that textbook affordability is becoming a reality. PALNI is grateful to them, and to our funding organization, Lilly Endowment, for enabling us to support them in the process.”

PALNI’s OER Publishing Task Force, including Project Manager and Butler University Librarian Jennifer Coronado and PALNI Publishing Project Coordinator Heather Myers, supported the creation of the book.

“The Bible and Music” by James McGrath is available for free through the PALNI Press.

Visit PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning online to learn more about Textbook Creation Grants and other OER opportunities offered through PALNI.


About the PALSave Textbook Creation Grant Program

With support from Lilly Endowment Inc., PALNI’s PALSave Textbook Creation Grant Program awards funding to faculty members from PALNI-supported institutions to create open textbooks.

Faculty are periodically invited to submit creation grant proposals for the courses they teach. Textbooks may cover any discipline at the undergraduate or postgraduate level. PALNI seeks proposals for textbooks geared toward specific fields of study that meet the inclusion criteria for the Open Textbook Library.

The PALNI Open Educational Resource (OER) Publishing Task Force selects projects for funding based on proposal quality, clearly defined goals, need within the current open access body of work, and adoption potential within PALNI schools and beyond.

PALNI coordinates peer review, copyediting, layout, and hosting services to assist grant recipients in their textbook creation. Each textbook is also supported by a local project manager to monitor progress and answer questions throughout development. The open textbooks are published on the PALNI Press-supported Pressbooks platform alongside other faculty-contributed works and are ultimately submitted to the Open Textbook Library and OER repositories.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family — J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli — through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. More information can be found at www.lillyendowment.org.

About the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana

The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) is a non-profit organization that supports collaboration for library and information services for 24 colleges, universities and seminaries throughout the state. From its inception in 1992, the PALNI collaboration has been a key avenue for its supported institutions to contain costs while providing more effective library services. More recently, PALNI has adopted a model of deep collaboration that pools resources and people as a tool to expand services while keeping costs down. PALNI’s board of directors, composed of all 24 library deans and directors from the supported organizations, convened a Future Framing Task Force in 2019 to address ongoing demographic challenges in higher education. The board has escalated this work in the wake of COVID-19, as the consortium seeks to manage the increased need for online support while reducing costs. Simultaneously, PALNI is expanding collaboration within its institutions and with external library partners to address challenges and build cost-effective services. Visit the PALNI website for more information.

PALNI Supported Institutions

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary | Anderson University | Bethel University | Butler University | Concordia Theological Seminary | Christian Theological Seminary | DePauw University | Earlham College | Franklin College | Goshen College | Grace College | Hanover College | Huntington University | Manchester University | Marian University | Oakland City University | University of Saint Francis | Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College | Saint Mary’s College | Saint Meinrad’s Seminary and School of Theology | Taylor University | Trine University | University of Indianapolis | Wabash College


That’s the end of the press release, but as I so often do, I will share links to recent articles that are of related interest:

Bob Macdonald (whose work I discuss in the book) has continued to make resources available on his blog in pdf form related to the musical notation in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible

There are several articles about Psalms in this JANES special supplement

Philip Jenkins has been writing about Psalm 91:

War, Pestilence, and the Life Verse(s) of Victorian America

Claude Mariottini on praying the Psalms:

Praying the Psalms

Video introductions to the Psalms from Peter Mead:

Psalms Today Complete

September 19, 2022

I watched the Queen’s funeral live this morning. In addition to having lived in the UK for many years and being about to live there again for a few months, and in addition to simply wanting to be part of this historic moment, I also have a great love of modern British music and a strong interest in how the Bible is interpreted through music (the focus of an open textbook I have written that will be published soon). When I am in Oxford in the coming months I hope to make it to chapel as often as I can as much for the music as anything else. I was eager to hear the new works by Judith Weir and James MacMillan. I hadn’t looked up the order of service beforehand but unsurprisingly there was also music by Hubert Parry, and a Psalm setting by Ralph Vaughan Williams. I am not certain who composed the music for the Funeral Sentences with which the service began.

Prof. Nicholas Adams’ added some additional commentary on the service on Facebook and since the post is public I presume it is okay to quote it in the same manner one would any public social media post. I excerpt the points about music here:

The order of service broadly follows the Book of Common Prayer (BCP, 1662), opening with sentences from John 11 (‘I am the resurrection and the life…’), Job 19 (‘I know that my Redeemer liveth’) and I Timothy 6 (‘We brought nothing into this world’)…

Two of the musical Funeral Sentences published by William Croft in 1724 follow. They are ‘Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts’ (a text from the original 1549 edition of the BCP) and ‘I heard a voice from heaven’ (from Revelation 14). Croft wrote his setting of the latter perhaps for the funeral of Queen Anne in 1714. Croft’s composition is by his own admission a pastiche of Purcell. Purcell had himself set the ‘Thou Knowest’ text, which Croft published as part of his suite of Funeral Sentences, obviously not recomposing it himself. (‘The reason why I did not compose that verse anew (so as to render the whole service entirely of my own composition) is obvious to every Artist’. Modest but true.) The published order of service obscures this somewhat in the attributions by separating the composers and the texts – they form a unity from a 1724 publication. The text ‘I heard a voice from heaven’ would, in the 1662 BCP, have been said or sung (it is not clear what setting – I guess Thomas Morley) while the earth is cast upon the body. It has here been transposed earlier in the service…

The first lesson ‘Now is Christ risen from the dead’ (1 Cor 15) is the set reading in the BCP funeral service. The psalms set there (‘I said, I will take heed to my ways’, Ps 39 and ‘Lord thou hast been our refuge’ Ps 90) have been replaced by ‘Like as the hart’ (Ps 42). There was an opportunity later in the service to set Ps 90 in one of the two anthems (it is unusual to have two anthems), but alternatives were chosen.

The text ‘Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live’, which is at the heart of the BCP funeral service, and sung as the corpse is made ready to be buried, and which Purcell set in his Funeral Sentences, has been entirely omitted. The same is true of the prayer of thanks ‘Almighty God, with whom do live the spirits of them that depart’.

‘God grant to the living grace; to the departed rest; to the Church, The King, the Commonwealth, and all people, peace and concord, and to us sinners, life everlasting; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.’

…The final hymn is the Methodist Charles Wesley’s ‘Love Divine’…

The Music is exemplary. There are two new compositions: a setting of Psalm 42 (‘Like as the hart’) by Judith Weir and the anthem ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?’ (Romans 8 ) by James MacMillan. It would have been tempting to serve up a dish of old faves, but this is more like Last Night of the Proms (which has a first half of new music and a second half of warhorses). Judith Weir is Master of the King’s Music (and obviously before that of the Queen’s Music), and the first woman to hold that honour. She has written church music but it is not the major focus of her work. James MacMillan holds no royal position, and his commission derives presumably from his life-long track record of sacred music, which reflects considerable learning (he is an honorary fellow of Blackfriars Hall at Oxford – a centre of Dominican scholarship, where the Aquinas Institute was set up in 2004 by Fergus Kerr) and profound Roman Catholic religious formation. This is an especially intense ecumenical expression.

Scottish musicianship is well represented (Weir’s family is Scottish, although she was born in Cambridge; MacMillan is arguably the most famous active Scottish composer, and the Crimond setting of Psalm 23 is Scottish). Welsh musicianship is properly recognised in Rowlands’ Blaenwern (for the hymn ‘Love Divine’) and Vaughan Williams ‘O Taste and See’ (from Psalm 8 ), which as the order of service tells us was composed for the Queen’s Coronation.

Birmingham gets a look in, by the way: the St Clement hymn tune for ‘The day thou gavest’ is probably by Clement Scholefield, an Edgbaston lad, although this authorship is disputed. Vaughan Williams thought it was not very good, incidentally, but the Queen loved it. And so do I.

Adams also noted the representatives of diverse religious traditions present at the service, concluding his comments with the remark, “All in all a fascinating performance of British religious complexity.” My wife noticed that there appears to be a Sikh member of the choir, and I’d love to find out more about that.

I mainly watched via the BBC’s livestream on YouTube but also had the television on. The ABC news broadcasters brought in Terry Moran who commented on how remarkable Queen Elizabeth’s Christian faith has been in an era in which British religiosity has declined.

You can find complete information about the music that was part of the service in many places online, but this one from Classic FM is particularly helpful.

If you missed the service, or want to hear the music again, the video is available here:

August 27, 2021

Returning to the topic of the Bible and music with some items that are new to me and will likely be of interest to you. First, here is a song sung from the perspective of Rachel’s sister Leah:

Next, here is a press release about a new book with accompanying app focused on Psalm 27:

New smartphone app, based on the a book by Rabbi Debra J. Robbins, helps users engage in personal contemplation during the month of Elul and the High Holy Day season
New York, NY – August 2021 – CCAR Press, a division of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, is honored to announce its newest smartphone app, Psalm 27: Opening Your Heart. The app, available for iOS and Android phones, is based on the book Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27: A Spiritual Practice for the Jewish New Year by Rabbi Debra J. Robbins, which was published by CCAR Press in 2019. Rabbi Robbins serves Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas.
The Psalm 27: Opening Your Heart app similarly guides the user through a reflective process in the weeks leading up to the High Holy Days and through the festival of Sukkot. Each day presents a phrase from Psalm 27, a focused reflection, and an opportunity to write and sit quietly. The app includes all the essentials: spoken versions of the psalm, daily reminders, writing prompts, and a meditation timer. Also included are a variety of meaningful photographs and musical settings of the text by contemporary musicians and cantors.
Rabbi Dan Medwin, CCAR’s Director of Digital Media, said, “This is the most beautiful app we have created so far, with design elements intended to convey the calm which can be achieved through the meditative practice. We have gathered an amazing collection of original music to further enhance the experience.” While the app is intended to be used to help users prepare for the High Holy Days, it can also be used all year round by those who would like to engage in a more consistent routine.
The app’s companion book emerged from Rabbi Robbins’s own spiritual practice. She began reading the psalm daily in Elul, then began writing, and then added specific reflections and music to her ritual. When she shared her reflections with others, they encouraged her to compile a book. What emerged was a volume that helps us consider the deeper meaning of Psalm 27’s fourteen verses and reflect on our relationships, choices, beliefs, and practices during the month of Elul and the High Holy Day and Festival season.
“We created the app in response to requests from many people who have used the book, lay people and clergy alike. I’m grateful to everyone who shared their feedback and encouraged us to develop this twenty-first-century digital tool for spiritual practice,” said Rabbi Robbins. “I hope people will use the app in a variety of ways. It can be a complement to using the book or it can be used on its own. What I hope most is that people will use the app to do the real work of this season, open their hearts, and then be moved to continue that spiritual work into the new year.”
The Psalm 27 app joins CCAR’s preexisting collection of mobile applications. Among them are the Reform Luach, a calendar app designed specifically for the Reform Movement; Omer: A Counting, which, like its companion book, helps users along the transformative path from Passover to Shavuot; and Daily Blessings, which offers a full array of traditional and innovative blessings for life’s sacred moments. All CCAR Press apps are available for use on both Apple and Android devices.
The Psalm 27: Opening Your Heart app is now available to download in the Apple App Store and on Google Play. The book can be ordered on ccarpress.org. CCAR Press also offers a free downloadable study guide ideally suited to adult education, book clubs, or individual study. Rabbi Robbins is available to teach at community events.

Another recommendation that came my way: Daniel Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata (sorry to be sharing it at the wrong time of year!):

This orchestral work by Arthur Bliss is thematically linked to Psalm 23:

I have been working on a section of my Bible and Music textbook that is about allusions to the Bible, especially in secular popular music, but also in others. Amy Gordon has set just the word Alleluia to music with a view to liturgical use. Would you consider that an allusion to the Bible? Why or why not?

See also:

How Were Biblical Psalms Originally Performed?

Charles Savelle has been sharing links related to Psalms on his blog lately. Here are his posts on Psalm 50, Psalm 51, and Psalm 52 as examples.

An open access article by Carine Botha has appeared in Verbum et Ecclesia, “The role of David in the composition and redactional grouping of the final davidic Psalter.” There’s also a new open access article out on Orthodox hymnography as biblical interpretation by Constantin Oancea in HTS  77.4 (2021), “The trees in the middle of Paradise (Gn 2:9) during the Great Lent: Orthodox hymnography as biblical interpretation.”

Musica Universalis

This article includes discussion of Spirituals in the context of exploring intersections between Christianity and environmental studies:

Expanding the Christian Boundaries of Environmental Studies: Chicana Novels as Environmental Literature and African American Spirituals as Nature Poetry


May 7, 2021

I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Esau McCaulley’s Reading While Black. In it he offers a wonderful discussion of Psalm 137, musical settings of which I have mentioned here before. After helpfully categorizing the demand for mirth from those one has exiled and imprisoned, whose children and relatives one has murdered, as “psychological warfare,” McCaulley presents the presence of Psalm 137 in the canon as authorizing the oppressed to express their rage and hand it to God. It doesn’t authorize taking vengeance into one’s own hands, but it also ought to silence those who, from a place of privilege, try to silence the uncomfortable expressions of frustration and anger from those disadvantaged and oppressed by the status quo. This should be connected with the recent white reactions to the “Prayer of a Weary Black Woman” by Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes. What she wrote there is far less harsh than wishing that white Americans be enslaved, exiled, lynched, slurred, beaten, and mistreated. White American Christians are given in this prayer a toned-down version of what it might be like to hear Psalm 137 as a Babylonian. rather than to sing it as an Israelite. Most couldn’t handle it, objecting strongly that it was inappropriate to express frustration in that way. The presence of Psalm 137 in the Bible should offer a clear rebuke. The Bible authorizes the expression of rage in prayer. It does not authorize the oppressors or their descendants to use piety as a basis for demanding that their victims not express their rage to God. Psalm 137 is part of the canon. The Babylonian response is not.

New to YouTube: “This is a recording of “Opera and Christianity: Grace, Faith, and Miracles,” the 2021 Spring Theology Lecture at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. The lecture was delivered on April 20, 2021, by Ms. Desirée Mays, a renowned lecturer with the Metropolitan Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, and other opera companies across the country. The operas that were discussed included Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise, Pizzetti’s Murder in the Cathedral, Massenet’s Thaïs, Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites. The lecture was hosted by The Rev. Dr. Patrick Cheng, the Theologian in Residence at Saint Thomas Church.”

John Rutter blogged about the music at the funeral for Prince Philip:

Did they mention the music?

Here’s a Psalm setting I only just discovered recently, by Uroš Krek:

Also on the Bible and music:

The Gathered Redeemed

Never on a Sunday : Psalm 2, clash of God and kings

Bob MacDonald on Makarisms (Beatitudes) in PsalmsPsalms 1-3 (plus a separate post on “you are my son” in Psalm 2), Psalm 11, Psalm 12Psalm 82Psalm 83Psalm 98, Psalm 99, and Psalms 2 and 149 (as well as Jonah and climate with a hint of music, and Lamentations 5)

Commentary on Psalm 46 and commentary on Psalm 47

Etti Ankri sings the Psalms

Helen Leneman has a new book about musical explorations of the story of Judith

New book on music in ANE religions

Signal Musicians in Roman Legions

Kenneth Leighton’s Fantasy on an American Hymn Tune

Theodicy in visual art and music, in particular Handel

Longtime Indianapolis pianist helps preserve church hymns for future generations to enjoy

Black Like Jazz: Imagining a World Without Police

Do We Deprive Music of Its Mystery by Writing About It?

Joshua Albrecht, Kent State University – Music and the Language of Emotion

Bob Dylan: Still Slipping In and Out of Time

ProDeum – Crestinul clasic contemporan, primul episod

Hebrews set to music by Psallos:

Biblical Theology Set to Music: ‘Hebrews’ by Psallos

February 12, 2021

I wish I could find a recording of Amy Beach’s work “Jephthah’s Daughter.” That story is one of the many challenging and tragic ones in the Bible, and I would very much like to hear Beach’s treatment of it. Female readers of stories like this one often immediately notice the patriarchal cultural values embedded in it in ways that male readers may not. I would thus like to hear what female composers do when exploring the story. Clarissa Aaron has written on the subject: “A Story of Feminine Sacrifice: The Music, Text, and Biographical Connections in Amy Beach’s Concert Aria Jephthah’s Daughter.The complete score of Beach’s aria is on IMSLP.

Ernst Toch wrote an instrumental work exploring the story after reading a novel based on it.

G. F. Handel has an oratorio about Jephthah:

There are also musical treatments by Giacomo Meyerbeer (Jephtas Gelübde) and Giacomo Carissimi (Jephte). Claude Mariottini blogged about the story recently:

Jephthah’s Daughter: A Hero in Israel

Returning to Amy Beach, having been unable to share her “Jephthah’s Daughter,” here is her setting of famous words from Philippians:

There is much more about this work online, including on a website dedicated to the music of Amy Beach:

Works List

Herbert Howells is another composer whose biblical music I want to talk about. My Sunday school class has been discussing lament, and a song by Howells, “King David,” came up, prompted by my having previously shared settings of “When David Heard.” I will get to that song below. First, however, let me share another work of Howells’ which includes words from Psalm 23, Psalm 121, and Revelation together with mass texts and others, and which arose out of Howells’ own personal experience of tragic loss.

Andrew Green writes about Howells’ Hymnus Paradisi:

Howells was later to describe himself as having been ‘frozen’ by Michael’s death, although he threw himself back into his teaching at the Royal College of Music in an effort to come to terms with the unanswerable. As far as composition was concerned, Hymnus Paradisi became what he called ‘a  medical document’, helping him to work through his grief… a deeply personal masterpiece which transfigured that grief into a whole range of emotions – hope, defiance, consolation, even ecstasy – while still giving eloquent expression to the pain of bereavement. For many years it was not realised that Hymnus is also in large part a transfiguration of what is now known to be a pre-existing work: Howells’s unaccompanied Requiem.

Hymnus Paradisi was finished by 1938, but remained hidden away. It was, Howells said, ‘a personal, secret document’. Eventually his idol Vaughan Williams encouraged him to offer the work for performance, resulting in a premiere at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester in 1950, almost fifteen years to the day since Michael’s death, with Howells conducting.

Howells has also set Psalm 42:1-3, Psalm 84:9-10, and Psalm 118:24. Although not a setting of a biblical text, Howells’ song “King David” explores the story of a biblical character as I already mentioned:

I should also mention that Howells’ father played organ at a local Baptist church.

Here are some more musical things to share. Next up, Bob MacDonald’s rendition of Psalm 65 based on the cantillation markings in the Hebrew text:

Although only rarely have they been set to music (that we know of), and extrabiblical, the Odes of Solomon are an important worship text from the early church. Mark Mattison contributed a couple of things about them to Shirley Paulson’s website on early Christianity:

The Odes of Solomon: Jewish Wisdom and Christian Worship

How the Beautiful Odes of Solomon Enhance Jewish-Christian Dialogue

I encourage you to support Dr. Charlotte Naylor Davis’ work on the Bible and heavy metal music.

The story of Judith has also been set to music, and so let me mention the article “Considering Judith” by Gerhardus van den Heever.

Finally, for Evolution Weekend, here is a hymn by David Lee that seeks to bring together biblical ideas of creation and modern science: “In Chaos and Nothingness.”

January 29, 2021

I have a document that is now 34 pages long in Word that is a place for making note of compositions I come across that set or otherwise intersect directly with a biblical text. I have been trying to decide what to do with it. Clearly if I had foreseen how it would grow I would have made an Excel or Google spreadsheet. I may still do that, but what is really needed is a database of music related to the Bible, not only indicating the texts that a song is related to but whether it is a more-or-less direct setting of words from the Bible, a paraphrase, an expansion on a biblical story, or merely contains an allusion. Perhaps something like the Deus Ex Musica database project for non-choral sacred music. Anyone have time and interest to create something like that? If so, here are some you can start with. Sorry for not having compiled them in a more orderly fashion…



Genesis Suite

Joseph Haydn, Creation

Jean-Francois Laseur, La mort d’Adam

Franz Baur, Genesis ; Amartema – Der Sündenfall

Darius Milhaud, La creation du monde, op.81 ; Reves de Jacob, op.294

Aaron Copland, In The Beginning[2]

Thomas Adès, In Seven Days[3]

Vicente Barrientos Yepez, Creationem[4]

Charles Wuorinen, Genesis[5]

Larry Alan Smith, Symphony No.2 “Genesis/Antietam”[6]

Genesis, “In the Beginning”

Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, The Apple Tree, Act I: The Diary of Adam and Eve

Xavier Montsalvatge, El Arca de Noé

Oscar Navarro, El Arca de Noe

Richard Strauss, Josephslegende

Robert Starer, Joseph and His Brothers; Va’ahavta

Anne Dudley, The Testimony of John

Gabriel Jackson, “In The Beginning Was The Word”; also (in addition to others mentioned in this document) Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Truro Service); Ecce venio cito; Psalm 112: Laudate Pueri

Knut Nystedt, The Word Became Flesh op.162

Enjott Schneider, In Principio Erat Verbum

Elinor Remick Warren, “Abram in Egypt”

Benjamin Britten, Canticle II, Op. 51, “Abraham and Isaac”

Igor Stravinsky, The Flood, Abraham and Isaac

Franz Schubert, Hagar’s Lament

Arvo Pärt, Sarah was Ninety Years Old

Schoenberg, Die Jakobsleiter



Psalm 150 reconstructed[8]

Halleluyah betziltzelei shama (performed by Shoshanim)[9]



*Barukh Habba (Psalm 118:26-29, on the album Jewish Voices in the New World)

Giacomo Meyerbeer, Psalm 86, Psalm 124[10]

Salomone Rossi, Shir hammaalot leDavid (Psalm 124)

*Louis Lewandowski, Psalms 16, 21, 23, 25, 36, 37, 39, 42-43, 46, 51, 62, 67, 84, 85, 90, 100, 103 (Enosh, vv15-17), 121, 130, 134, 150[11]

Julius Chajes, Psalm 134; The 142nd Psalm

*Isadore Freed, Psalm 8

Salomon Sulzer, Psalm 133

Bonia Shur, Psalm 23

Herbert Fromm, Psalm 23; also Song of Miriam, many other works

*Srul Irving Glick, Psalm Trilogy

*Darius Milhaud, 3 Psalms of David, Op. 339

Hans Schanderl, Psalm 90

Nicola LeFanu, Verses from Psalm 90[12]

Alfred Rose, Psalm 92

Eric Zeisl, Requiem Ebraico[13] (also Jacob and Rachel)

*Leo Rosenbluth, Psalm 93

Miriam Gideon, Adonai Malakh (Psalm 93); Psalm 128

Yehudi Wyner, Shiru Ladonai (Psalm 96)

*Leonard Bernstein, Chichester Psalms

* Herman D. Koppel, 3 Psalms, op. 48[14]

Abraham Kaplan, Psalms of Abraham

Aharon Harlap, Tehilim (Psalms)

Jean Berger, Psalm 23, “The Lord to me a shepherd is”

Heinrich Schalit, Psalm 23: The 23rd Psalm

Maurice Jacobson, The Lord is My Shepherd

Martin Kalmanoff, The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23)

Avner Dorman, Psalm 67

Robert Strassburg, Psalm 117

Greg Knauf, Psalm 117 “Laudate Dominum omnes gentes”

Ioseb Bardanashvili, Psalm 121

Leon Algazi, 3 Chants Hebraiques Traditionnels: No. 3. Psaume 144

Jack Gottlieb, Shout for Joy and Psalmistry

Gershon Kingsley, Jazz Psalms

Aaron Copland, Four Motets[15]

  1. Klein, Psalm 150 (from Hear O Israel)

Samuel Adler, Psalm 23; A Psalm Trilogy

Robert Starer, Psalms of Woe and Joy; Two Sacred Songs; A Psalm of David (13th Psalm); others

Abraham Kaplan, Glorious

Shlomo Carlebach

Debbie Friedman

Arnold Schoenberg, De Profundis Psalm 130 op.50b

Richard Danielpour, String Quartet No. 7, ‘Psalms of Solace’



Rachmaninov, Vespers (excerpts)

Taneyev, Sergei, On The Reading of a Psalm (based on Psalm 50)

Viktor Kalinnikov, Blazhen Muzh

Liadov, Perelozheniya iz obikhoda – No.9 “Khvalite Gospoda s nebes”

Alexander Zemlinsky, Psalm 13 Op.24

Alexander Arkhangelsky, Psalm 141

*Cyrillus Kreek, Psalms 22, 104, 121, 137, 141

Vladimir Fainer, Accedite ad eum (Ps.33:6)

*Igor Stravinsky, Symphony of Psalms

*Alan Hovhaness, Make Haste, Op.86; Out of the Depths, Op. 142, No. 3; “Psalm 130”, Cantate Domino, Op. 385; “Psalm 143, Hear My Prayer, O Lord, Op. 149” (and others)[16]

Carmen Petra-Basacopol, Din Psalmii lui David

Sofia Gubaidulina, Jauchzt vor Gott, De Profundis[17]

John Tavener, Psalm 121

Dinos Constantinides, Concerto of Psalms (inspired by Psalms 19, 130 and 150)



Gregorian Chant (e.g. Psalm 121)

*Hildegard of Bingen, Dixit Dominus (Psalm 109/110); Spiritus Sanctus (Psalm 110/111)

Daniel Selichius, Opus novum

William Byrd, Laudibus in sanctis. Psalm 150; Hear My Prayer O Lord; O Lord Rebuke Me Not; Haver Mercy Upon Me O God; Teach Me O Lord; I Will Give Laud[18]

Orlando di Lassus, Psalmi Davidis poenitentiales[19]

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Genevan Psalter (Psalms 1, 2, 6, 7, 24, 25, 27, 36, 47, 77, 90, 96, 98, 112, 135, 137, 141, 150) [excerpts]

Kaspar Förster, Benedicam Dominum[20]

Peter Philips, Ascendit Deus

Alberik Mazak, Psalms 109-112, 116[21]

  1. A. Mozart, Laudate Dominum K339

Nicolas Bernier, Laudate Dominum quoniam, Miserere mei Deus

Franz Schubert, Psalm 23, Op. 132, D. 706

Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger, 3 Psalmen op. 40

George Palmer, 3 Psalms

Théodore Dubois, Cantate Domino

Imant Raminsh, Cantate Domino

Joseph Vella, Salm 89, Op.43[22]

Marty Haugen, Psalms 16, 23, 66, 136



*Martin Luther, Psalm 46 “A Mighty Fortress”

*Ali Ufki (Wojciech Bobowski), Genevan Psalter: Psalms 2 and 6

Philipp Dulichius, Motets[24]

Andrzej Hakenberger, Pelplin Tablature[25]

Louis Bourgeois, Ainsi qu’on oit le cerf bruire, “Psalm 42” (from Pseaumes Octantetrois de David, mis en rime Françoise par Clément Marot et Théodore de Bèze)

Claude Goudimel, Psalms (40, 137)

Claude Le Jeune, O Dieu, je n’ay Dieu fors que toy, “Psalm 63”; Du fons de ma pensee, “Psalm 130”

Paschal de l’Estocart, Reveillez vous chacun fidele, “Psalm 33”; Estans assis aux rives aquatiques, “Psalm 137”

Nicolas Vallet, Psalm 8

Melchior Franck, Laetatus sum (Psalm 121)

Crato Bütner, Psalm 113 (Laudate Pueri Dominum), Psalm 147

Leonhard Paminger, Domine, ne in furore tuo (Psalm 38); In exitu Israel de Aegypto (Psalm 114/115); Psalm 110

Johann Gottlieb Naumann, Psalms 96 and 103

Michael Praetorius, Das ist mir lieb, “Psalm 116”

Heinrich Schütz, Psalmen Davids samt etlichen Moteten und Concerten, Op. 2, SWV 22-47; Der 100. Psalm, SWV 36

Henry Lawes, Psalm VIII

Orlando Gibbons, “O Clap Your Hands” (Psalm XLVII); “O Lord in Thy Wrath” (Psalm 6:1-4); “Lift Up Your Heads” (Psalm 24); Psalm 47

John Mundy, Sing Joyfully

Constantijn Huygens, Pathodia Sacra et Profana

David Moritz Michael, Der 103te Psalm

Pelham Humfrey, O Give Thanks Unto The Lord; O Lord My God; By the Waters of Babylon; also Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

Georg Friedrich Händel, Coronation Anthems (Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened; The King Shall Rejoice)

Hermann Goetz, Psalm 137

Noel Edison, Psalm 121; Psalm 137

Kurt Thomas, Psalm 137 op.4

Philip James, By the Waters of Babylon

Havergal Brian, By the Waters of Babylon

Robert Ross, Song of Exile

Healey Willan, O Praise The Lord (various Psalms plus verses from Habakkuk)

Adrian Batten, O Praise The Lord (Psalm 117:1-2)

Charles Hylton Stewart, Psalm 23; Psalm 80

David Willcocks, Psalm 131

John Henry Maunder, ‘Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem’

Edward Elgar, Give unto the Lord (Psalm XXIX), Op. 74; Psalm 48 op.67

Charles Villiers Stanford, Psalms 147, 148, 150[26]

Hubert Parry, I was glad when they said unto me, Op. 51; Psalm LXXXIV; “Psalm 122”

Herbert Howells, Behold, O God Our Defender; God is gone up with a merry noise; Like as the Hart; Requiem (incorporates Psalm 23 and 121)

Arthur Bliss, Meditations on a Theme by John Blow[27]

Lennox Berkeley, The Lord is my shepherd, Op. 91, No. 1

Will Todd, Te Deum: No. 4. Psalm 23, “The Lord Is My Shepherd”

Howard Goodall, The Lord is My Shepherd; O Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem / rogate pacem (Psalm 122) [28]

Louise Talma, Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem (from Voices of Peace)

Leo Sowerby, Psalm 122, Psalm 130

Ina Boyle, Seven Psalms; “Wilt not Thou, O God, go forth with our Hosts?”; “He That Hath Eternal Being”; ‘Blessed Be the Lord, for He Hath Showed Me His Marvelous Kindness’[29]

*Howard Hanson, The 150th Psalm

Carson Cooman, Psalm 29 Op.643; Ps.104 Op.659; Ps. 118 Op.658; Mercy and Truth Op.938

Conrad Susa, The God of Love My Shepherd Is

Bruce Neswick, I Will Set His Dominion in the Sea; Hearken to My Voice, O Lord, When I Call

*Carl Nielsen, Three Motets

Rihards Dubra, Domine Dominus noster

Jaakko Mantyjarvi, I Was Glad

Gottfrid Berg, Huru ljuvliga aro icke dina boningar (How amiable are thy tabernacles); Om de yttersta tingen: No. 2. Lar oss betanka huru fa vara dagar aro (So teach us to number our days)[30]

Daniel Pinkham, Jubilee and Psalm; Miserere Mei Deus; Psalm Set, Psalm 24; others

*David Hurd, Miserere Mei, Deus (Psalm 51)

Gwyneth Walker, Psalm 23[31]

Richard Yardumian, Symphony No. 2 “Psalms”

Steven Faux, The Psalms Project


Romantic to Modern (not grouped according to composers’ religious affiliation)

Felix Mendelssohn, Psalms 2, 22, 42, 43, 114, 115

Nicolai Otto, Psalm 31, “Herr, auf dich traue ich”; Psalm 97, “Der Herr ist Konig”

Anton Bruckner, Psalm 112, 114, 150

Dvorak, Biblical Songs

Zoltan Kodaly, Geneva Psalms 114, 121, 150, Psalmus Hungaricus op.13

Max Reger, Psalm 100 Op.106

Marek Jasiński, Psalm 100; Cantus finalis

Dan Forrest, Jubilate Deo

Florent Schmitt, Psalm XLVII, Op. 38

E. J. Moeran, ‘Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem’

Charles Martin Loeffler, By the Rivers of Babylon, Op. 3

Emile Goué, Psalm XIII, Psalm CXXIII

Eric Delamarter, Psalms 46, 68, 80, and 104; also The Testimony of John

Lili Boulanger, Psalms 24, 129, 130: Du fond de l’abîme

Arthur Honegger, Mimaamaquim

Joachim Raff, Psalm 130 : De Profundis

Henry Wallford Davies, Psalm 130 : De Profundis ; also Lift Up Your Hearts, Op.20 ; The Temple ; Blessed are the Pure in Heart

Virgil Thomson, De Profundis[32]

Marcin Tadeusz Łukaszewski, De Profundis

Łukasz Urbaniak, De profundis

Raminta Serksnyte, De Profundis

Philippe Chamouard, De Profundis

Miłosz Bembinow, Beatus vir…

Romuald Twardowski, Chwalitie Imia Gospodnie; Chwali, dusze moja, Gospoda

Józef Świder, Laudate pueri; Deus in adiutorium; Laudate Dominum; Dixit Dominus; Beati omnes (Psalm 127)[33]

Michał Zieliński, Laudate Dominum

Andrzej Bielerzewski, Cantate Domino canticum novum

Paweł Łukaszewski, Two Funeral Psalms

Philippe Hersant, Psalm 130, “Aus tiefer Not”

Ernest Bloch, Prelude and 2 Psalms (114 and 137)

Pauls Dambis, Psalm 19, Psalm 22, Psalm 121

Sven-David Sandström, Psalm 139, “Oh Lord, you have searched me”[34]

*Victoria Bond, “How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place” (Psalm 84)[35]

*Evelyn Simpson-Currenton, My Soul Hath Refuge in Thee “Psalm 91”

Marga Richter, Psalm 91

Jacob Druckman, Psalm 93

Jean Langlais, Psalm 111, “Beatus vir”

*Charles Ives, Psalms 14, 24, 25, 42, 54, 67, 90, 100, 135, 150

Pavel Haas, Psalm 29, Op.12

Fartein Valen, Salme 121

Margaret Meachem,  Lift Thine Eyes unto the Mountains

Bruce Babcock, Be Still[36]

Arvo Pärt, Peace upon you, Jerusalem

Virpi Leppänen, Kiittäkää Herran nimeä (Praise ye the name of the Lord)

Sisask Urmas, “Laudate Dominum” from Gloria Patris[37]

Krzysztof Penderecki, Aus den Psalmen Davids

Philip Glass, Psalm 126, “Hymn” from Akhenaten (includes Psalm 104)

*Benjamin Britten, Psalm 150

John Sanders, Psalm 150

Colin Mawby, Psalm 150

Virgil Thomson, 3 Antiphonal Psalms; also “5 Phrases from The Song of Solomon”

George Rochberg, 3 Psalms

Robin Orr, Songs of Zion

Ēriks Ešenvalds, Psalm 67

Paul Creston, Psalm 23

Randall Thompson, The Lord Is My Shepherd

Allen Pote, The Lord is My Shepherd

Bo Holten, Psalm 23, 104[38]

Daniel Asia, Psalm 30

Kenneth Leighton, “Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates”

Gregory Zduniak, Psalm 96: Today Is Born Our Savior

Pamela Decker, Psalm 102, Psalm 139

Karel Boleslav Jirák, Psalm 23 for Chorus and Orchestra

Imant Raminsh, Psalm 23, 121

*Daniel Manneke, Psalm 121

David Briggs, Psalm 121

Leevi Madetoja, Psalm 121

Einojuhani Rautavaara, Psalm 23, Psalm 130

Whitman Brown, Psalm 23

David Goodenough, Psalm 133

Bruce Babcock, Be Still

Roxanna Panufnik, Love Endureth (from Psalm 136); also Deus est Caritas

Vytautas Miškinis, Dilexi, Laudate pueri Dominum, Exultate Deo, Thoughts of Psalms[39]

Stanislaw Szczycinski, Missa de Angelis: Psalm 91, Pater noster

Pawel Łukaszewski, Psalmus 120, Psalmus 129[40]

Wolfram Wagner, Ad te, Domine: Psalm 27 for Soli, Choir and Orchestra

Michael John Trotta, The Lord Is My Shepherd; Psalm 145; Psalm 150; also Set Me As A Seal

Jack Beeson, 3 Settings from the Bay Psalm Book

*Ross Lee Finney, Pilgrim Psalms

Ned Rorem, 2 Psalms and a Proverb; Praise the Lord, O My Soul

*Michael Ostrzyga, Deus in adjutorium (Psalm 70); Dixit Dominus (Psalm 109); Lauda Jerusalem (Psalm 147)

Enjott Schneider, Das ist mine Freude (Ps.73:28)

*Javier Busto, Laudate pueri (Psalm 112)

Sebastian Schwab, Nisi Dominus (Psalm 126)

*David Dzubay, Cantate Domino (Psalm 98)

Mordecai Sandberg, Psalm 130

Robin Estrada, Cæli enarrant[41]

*Deborah Pritchard, I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes Unto The Hills[42]

Grace Mary Williams, Two Psalms; Psalm 150[43]

Bruce Mahin, Whitman Psalms

John Cage, Harmony No. 6. Psalm 17

Iša Krejčí, Little Funeral Music for Alto, Viola, Violoncello, Double Bass and Piano to Texts of the Psalms and František Halas’ Poem “Old Women” (1933, rewritten 1936); Trio for Violin, Violoncello and Piano with a song for a female voice to the text of a Psalm

Dubrovay László, A halál félelmei (Circumdederunt me)

Kurt Estermann, “digression : memoria”

Frank La Rocca, I Will Lift Mine Eyes

Goffredo Petrassi, Psalm IX

Erkkila, Vesa, Minun sieluni halajaa sinua

Tomas Peire Serrate, Confitebor Tibi Domine

Robert Vuichard, Psaume Huictisme de Clement Marot[44]

Michael Hurd, Praise Ye the Lord; O Come Let Us Sing Unto the Lord

Don Walker, Psalms 8, 26, 96, 100, 121, 133, 134; also Magnificat

Elsa Barraine, Deuxième Prélude et Fugue (based on a Jewish Psalm melody)[45]

James Cohn, 5 Psalm Dances Op.50; 4 Psalms for Women’s Chorus and Piano, op.20



*Ralph Vaughan Williams, O Clap Your Hands[46]

*John Rutter, The Lord is My Shepherd;[47] O clap your hands; Lord, thou hast been our refuge; O Lord, thou hast searched me out; Wells Jubilate, Psalmfest, Psalm 150[48]


Rock, Pop, and Contemporary Christian[49]

U2, “40”

By The Rivers of Babylon (Boney M, Sublime)

Ian White, Psalms

Phil Keaggy, Psalm 121

Shane and Shane, Psalms 13, 27, 34, 45, 46, 51, 118, 143, 145[50]

Chris Tomlin, Psalm 100

Louise B. Calixte, Psalm 69

The Psalms Project  http://thepsalmsprojectband.com/mission[51]

The SHIYR Poets, Psalms

Jessi Colter, The Psalms


Moses and the Exodus

Franz Schubert, Miriam’s Song of Triumph

  1. F. Händel, Israel in Egypt
  2. P. E. Bach’s Die Israeliten in der Wuste

Hubert Parry, ‘Long Since in Egypt’s Plenteous Lands’

Thomas Linley’s The Song of Moses

Gioacchino Rossini, Mosè in Egitto

Anton Rubinstein, Moses[52]

*Nathaniel Dett, The Ordering of Moses[53]

Max Bruch, Moses, op.67

Herman D. Koppel, Moses, op.76[54]

Darius Milhaud, Moise, Op.219, “Opus americanum No.2”[55]

Stefan Wolpe, The Man from Midian Suite

Arnold Schoenberg, Moses und Aron

Elmer Bernstein, The Ten Commandments

The Prince of Egypt

Franz Waxman, Joshua

Debbie Freedman, Miriam’s Song



Luise Adolpha Le Beau, Ruth: Biblical Scenes Op.27

Cesar Franck, Ruth, eglogue biblique (also The Beatitudes[57]; Psalm 150)

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Naomi and Ruth, Op. 137

James Niblock, Ruth and Naomi

Georg Schumann, Ruth op.20

Lennox Berkeley, Ruth op.50

*Franz Waxman, Ruth

Sharon Farber, “For Wherever You Go, I Will Go” (from Bridges of Love)


Song of Songs[58]

*Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Song of Songs

Jacobus Clemens non Papa, Ego flos campi[59]

Thomas Morley, O Amica Mea (also Out of the Deep, Psalm 130)

Emmanuel Chabrier, La Sulamite

Paul von Klenau, Sulamith

*Percy Grainger, Love Verses from The Song of Solomon, King Solomon’s Espousals

Jean Yves Daniel-Lesur, Le Cantique des Cantiques

Patrick Burgan, Cantique des Cantiques[60]

Patrick Hawes, Song of Songs

Lazare Saminsky, Second Hebrew Song Cycle Op.13: The Song of Songs

Rued Langaard, From the Song of Solomon, BVN 381

Sid Robinovich, Song of Songs

Jorge Liderman, The Song of Songs

Nicola LeFanu, Il Cantico dei Cantici II

Ralph Vaughan Williams, Flos Campi Suite

Benjamin Britten, My Beloved is Mine

Stephen Paulus, Arise My Love

David Bednall, Rise Up My Love

Stephen Danker, Song of Solomon (Symphony No.3)

Jonathan Leshnoff, Song of Songs[61]

Zdeněk Lukáš, Písně Šalomounovy (see also Z nejkrásnějších písní Šalomounových; Mundum est cor meum; Quis potest dicere, op. 346; Psalm 126; Ave Maria; other works)

*Pablo Casals, Nigra Sum

Sebastian Schwab, Nigra Sum

Healey Willan, Rise Up My Love

Carson Cooman, The Rose of Sharon; Rise Up My Love

James Rolfe, Garden; O That You Would Kiss Me[62]

William Walton, Set Me As A Seal Upon Thy Heart

Max Helfman, Set Me As a Seal; The Voice of My Beloved

Nico Muhly, Set Me As A Seal

Rene Clausen, Set Me As A Seal

Naji Hakim, Set Me As a Seal Upon Your Heart

Anatolijus Šenderovas, “Simeni kahotam al libecha” (“Set me as a seal on Your heart”), “Paratum cor meum” (“My heart is fixed”), “Shma Israel”, David’s Song (instrumental), Song of Shulamith (instrumental), Exodus

Vytautas Miškinis, In lectulo meo

  1. C. Kostić, Pesma nd Pesmama

Ella Milch-Sheriff, Dark am I

Sergei Slonimsky, Solomon’s Song of Songs (also David’s Psalms)[63]

Forrest Pierce, The Twelve Kisses

*Sinéad O’Connor, “Dark I Am Yet Lovely,” from the album Theology[64]


Samson and Delilah



“Samson and Delilah” aka “If I Had My Way I’d Tear the Building Down” (traditional, performed by Blind Willie Johnson, Rev. Gary Davis , The Grateful Dead, Shirley Manson, and others)

Regina Spektor

Film score


Salome with and without Words[66]

Richard Strauss, Salome

Alexander Glazunov, Introduction and Dance of Salome

Akira Ifukube, Salome (ballet)

Florent Schmitt, La Tragedie de Salome

Jules Massenet, Hérodiade

Joseph Achron, Danse de Salome

Matthias Pintscher, Hérodiade-Fragmente

Madame Edwarda, Salomé



Händel, G. F., Saul

Mussorgsky, Tsar Saul

Egil Hovland, Saul, Op.74[68]

Ján Levoslav Bella, Saul und David op. 7[69]

Nicolas Gombert, Lugebat David Absalon

Josquin des Prez, Lugebat David Absalom

*Thomas Tomkins, When David Heard

Thomas Weelkes, “When David Heard” and “O Jonathan, Woe Is Me” [70]

William Billings, David’s Lamentation

*Eric Whitacre, “When David Heard”

Norman Dinerstein, “When David Heard”

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Le danze del Re David

Artur Honneger, Le Roi David

Ståle Kleiberg, David and Bathsheba[71]

Alfred Newman, David and Bathsheba

Kirmo Lintinen, David and Bathsheba[72]

David Barlow, David and Bathsheba[73]

King David (musicals by Tim Rice, Eyal Bitton)[74]

Randall Thompson, Last Words of David

*Stephen Melillo, David


The Nativity[75]

John La Montaine, Erode the Greate, a Pageant Opera in 2 acts, Op. 40

Paul Hindemith, Das Marienleben op.27

Ave Maria: Mikołaj Zieleński, *Hildegard of Bingen, Josquin des Prez, Adrian Willaert, Jacques Arcadelt, Francisco Guerrero,[76] Robert Parsons, J. S. Bach, *Franz Schubert, *Anton Bruckner, Antonin Dvořak, Théodore Dubois (3 settings), Joseph Bonnet (op.2 and op.6 No.2), *Edward Elgar Op.2 No.2, Gustav Holst, Alan Hovhaness (Op.100 No.1a), Igor Stravinsky, Vladimir Fainer, Ferenc Farkas, R. Nathaniel Dett, Peter Benoit Op.1, Alexander Albrecht, Ladislav Stanček, Mikuláš Schneider-Trnavský, Štefan Németh-Šamorínsky,[77] Viliam Figuš-Bystrý (Dve Ave Maria op. 94), Frico Kafenda, Ján Móry, Imants Ramiņš, Rihards Dubra, Robert Parsons, Vicente Barrientos Yepez, Leone Sinigaglia, Paul Creston op.57, Fartein Valen, *Morten Lauridsen, *Knut Nystedt (op.110), *Vladimir Vavilov (attributed to Giulio Caccini), Einojuhani Rautavaara, Michael Head, Colin Mawby, Gabriel Jackson, Scott Solak, Andrew Smith,[78] Hugh Benham, *Karl Jenkins, Joshua Himes, David MacIntyre; Cecilia McDowall;[79] also Pau (Pablo) Casals, Rosarium Beatae Virginis Mariae; Anthony Milner, Salutatio Angelica op.1.

Hildegard of Bingen, Magnificat

Cristobal de Morales, Magnificat (Octavi toni)

Orlando di Lassus, Magnificat tertii toni, Magnificat octavi toni

Michael Praetorius, Magnificat per omnes versus super ut re mi fa sol la

Jehan Titelouze, Magnificat (too many to list!)

Thomas Morley, Thomas Tomkins, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis (Fifth Service)[80]

Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Fauxbourdons)

Marcin Mielczewski, Magnificat primi toni a 12

Isfrid Kayser, Magnificat

*Francois Couperin, Magnificat

Antonio Vivaldi, Magnificat

J. S. Bach, Magnificat in D Major BWV243

Arnold Bax, Magnificat

Alan Hovhaness, Magnificat

Ruth Watson Henderson, Magnificat[81]

Arvo Pärt, Magnificat

John Rutter, Magnificat

Fredrik Sixten, Magnificat

Krzysztof Penderecki, Magnificat

John Wood, Magnificat in G

Basil Harwood, Magnificat in A flat

Wolfram Buchenberg, Magnificat

Joep Franssens, Magnificat

Peter Benoit, Magnificat

James Burton, Magnificat

Forrest Pierce, Magnificat

Michael Kurth, Magnificat[82]

Damijan Mocnik, Magnificat

Sisask Urmas, Magnificat

Einojuhani Rautavaara, Magnificat

Goffredo Petrassi, Magnificat for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra

Paul Chihara, Magnificat

Kim André Arnesen, Magnificat anima mea

Charles-Francois Gounod, An Evening Service

Orlando Gibbons, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Second Service; Short Service)

William Child, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

Charles Wood, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in F ‘Collegium Regale’

John Henry Maunder, Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in C, D, and G

*Charles V. Stanford, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (several: in Bb, C, F, G, A)

E. J. Moeran, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in D

*William Walton, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

George Dyson, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Three: in C minor, D Major, and F Major)[83]

William Mathias, Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Jesus Service)

John Ireland, Evening Service (Two: in C and F), Benedictus[84]

Edmund Rubbra, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

Kenneth Leighton, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis ‘Collegium Magdalenae Oxoniensis’

Jeremy Filsell, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis from ‘Windsor Service’

Richard Pantcheff, Evening Service in D Major, “The Whitchurch Canticles”; St. Paul’s Service; Evening Canticles, “Aedes Christi”

Herbert Sumsion, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (in A, D, and three in G)

Bernard Rose, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis[85]

Elisabeth Lutyens, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis

*Ruth Biggs, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

Caleb Burhans, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis

Michael Tippett , Magnificat and Nunc dimittis ‘Collegium Sancti Johannis Cantabrigiense’

Ēriks Ešenvalds, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis

James Whitbourn, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, “Collegium Regale”

David Ashley White, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis[86]

Hugh Benham, Evening Service in G Major

John Tavener, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis “Collegium Regale”[87]

Paul Patterson, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, Op.59

John Høybye, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

Judith Bingham, Edington Service

Tim Knight, Unison Canticles; Evening Canticles (also Ave Maria; Rise Up, My Love; Beati Mortui; Let Us Now Praise Famous Men)

Naji Hakim, Magnificat, Nunc dimittis[88]

Adrienne Albert, Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis[89]

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Cantique de Siméon

Josquin des Prez, Nunc Dimittis

Palestrina, Nunc Dimittis

Gustav Holst, Nunc Dimittis

Herbert Howells, Nunc Dimittis

Pawel Lukaszeski, Nunc Dimittis

Peter Tiefenbach, Nunc Dimittis

*Hreiðar Ingi, Nunc Dimittis

Sigurður Sævarsson, Nunc Dimittis

Arvo Pärt, Nunc Dimittis

John Ashton Thomas, Nunc Dimittis

Jane Marshall, Song of Simeon “Nunc dimittis”

Sungji Hong, Nunc Dimittis; also Pater Noster; The Lord Is My Shepherd

Bálint Karosi, Nunc Dimittis; Ne Timeas Maria[90]

Andrew Smith, Magnificat a 4; Nunc dimittis servum tuum

Trond Kverno, Canticum Zachariae (also Ave Maria)

Rachmaninov, Vespers Op.37 No.5 & No.11

Jules Massenet, La Vierge[91]

Johann Mattheson, Christmas Oratorio

Hector Berlioz, L’Enfance du Christ, op.25

Gerald Finzi, In Terra Pax[92]

Randall Thompson, The Nativity According to St. Luke

Paul Constantinescu, The Nativity – Byzantine Christmas Oratorio

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Evangélion

Heinrich Schütz, Weinachtshistorie (Historia der Geburt Jesu Christi) SWV 435 (The Christmas Story)

*G. F. Händel, Messiah

Sven-David Sandstöm, Messiah

Hector Berlioz, L’enfance du Christ, Op. 25

CARISSIMI, G.: Jephte / BERTALI, A.: La strage degl`innocenti

Antonio Bertali, La strage degl`innocenti

Scelsi, Three Latin Prayers (Ave Maria, Pater Noster)

Marty Haugen, Annunciation/Magnificat

Demetrio Navarro, Canticle of Our Lady (Magnificat)

Vasyl Barvinsky, Ne Plach Rakhyle (“Don’t Cry, Rachel”)


The Lord’s Prayer[93]

*Jacobus Gallus (Handl), Pater Noster

*Robert Stone, The Lord’s Prayer (earliest setting in English)

Leonhard Paminger, Pater Noster

Gioseffo Zarlino, Pater Noster, Ave Maria

Tomás Luis de Victoria, Pater Noster

Cristóbal de Morales, Pater Noster

*Josquin des Prez, Pater Noster

Guillaume de Machaut, Messe de Notre Dame : Pater Noster

Schütz, Vater unser, der du bist im Himmel

Herwig Reiter, Vater unser

Nicolai Otto, Pater Noster op.33

*Albert Hay Malotte, The Lord’s Prayer

John Caldwell, Gabriel Jackson, Bernard Rose

Charles-Francois Gounod, Pater Noster

Joseph Bonnet, Pater Noster Op.8 No.1

Franz Liszt, Pater Noster

Ferenc Farkas, Pater Noster

*Albert de Klerk, Pater Noster

*Giuseppi Verdi, Pater Noster

*Maurice Durufle, Notre Pere

*John Tavener, The Lord’s Prayer; Notre Pere

Ernst Krenek, 5 Prayers, Op. 97

Felicia Donceanu, Rugăciunea Domnească

John Ireland, Communion Service in C Major: Pater Noster (note: in English)

Leonard Bernstein, Mass: The Lord’s Prayer

Thomas Bloch, Missa Cantate: Pater Noster

Alan Hovhaness, The Lord’s Prayer op.35

Andrejs Jurjāns, The Lord’s Prayer

Arvo Pärt, Vater unser

*Peteris Vasks, Pater Noster

Pekka Kostiainen, Pater Noster

Michael Bojesen, Pater Noster

Dan Locklair, Pater Noster

Arnold Strals (recorded by Sister Janet Mead), The Lord’s Prayer

*Marcin Gumiela, Pater Noster

Naji Hakim, Pater Noster

Leoš Jánaček, Otce nas (The Lord’s Prayer), JW IV/29

*Stravinsky, Otche Nash

Rimsky-Korsakov, Lord’s Prayer

*Valentin Silvestrov, Otche Nash (from Diptych)

*Apostol Nikolaev-Stroumsky, Отче на́шъ

Nicolai Kedrov, Отче на́шъ

Peter Dinev, Отче на́шъ

Dobri Khristov, Otche Nash No.2

*Alfred Schnittke, 3 Sacred Hymns, No.3. Otche nash

D. Ljubojevic, Oče naš

Dimitri Tchesnokov, Pater Noster

*Richard Einhorn, Voices of Light: Pater Noster (with film)

Einojuhani Rautavaara, Herran rukous (The Lord’s Prayer)

Peter Maxwell Davies, The Lord’s Prayer

Toby Young, The Lord’s Prayer

Michael G. Cunningham, The Lord’s Prayer, Op.6d

Hugh Benham, The Lord’s Prayer

Daron Hagen, “Our Father” (Second Movement of Little Prayers)

Kevin Raftery, Dimitte nobis

**Frode Fjellheim, Pater Noster[94]

Anúna, Pater Noster

** Christopher Tin, Baba Yetu


The Crucifixion of Jesus[95]

  1. P. E. Bach, 30 Geistliche Gesange mit Melodien, Book 2, Wq. 198, H. 752: No. 29. Jesus in Gethsemane

Michael Berkeley, Gethsemane Fragment (instrumental)

Hjalmar Borgström, Jesus in Gethsemane, Op. 14 (instrumental)

Volker David Kirchner, Gethsemani; also Schibboleth

Teizo Matsumura, To the Night of Gethsemane (instrumental)

Bert Breit, Meditationen

Simon Vincent, Meditations on Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane; Stations of the Cross

Gottfried August Homilius, So gehst du nun (St. Mark Passion)

Charles Wood, St. Mark Passion

Reinhard Keiser, Markuspassion

Kurt Thomas, Passionmusik nach den Evangelisten Markus op.7

Adolf Brunner, Passionsgeschichte nach dem Evangelisten Markus

Osvaldo Golijov, St. Mark Passion

Théodore Dubois, Seven Last Words of Christ

Patrick Burgan, Seven Last Words of Christ[96]

Daniel Pinkham, Saint Mark Passion; The Last Seven Words of Christ

Paul Carr, Seven Last Words from the Cross[97]

Knut Nystedt, Jesu sieben Worte, Op. 171

Enjott Schneider, Sieben letzte Worte Jesu (also Organ Concerto No.2: Hiob; Three Biblical Stories; Crucifixus; Salome; others)

Johannes Heroldt, Historia Des Leidens Und Sterbens Unsers Herrn Und Heilands Jesu Christi aus dem H. Evangelisten Mattheo mit sechs Stimmen

Johann Heinrich Rolle, St. Matthew Passion

Hans Peter Türk, Siebenbürgische Passionmusik

J. S. Bach, St. Matthew’s Passion and/or St. John’s Passion

Georg Philipp Telemann, Lukas Passion 1728; Der Tod Jesu

Heinrich Schütz, Lukas-Passion

Rudolf Mauersberger: Passionsmusik nach dem Lukasevangelium

Penderecki, St. Luke Passion

Calliope Tsoupaki, St. Luke’s Passion

Kjell-Mork Karlsen, St. Luke Passion; St. John Passion; Markuspasjon; Orthodox St. Matthew Passion[98]

Teodoro Clinio, Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Secundum Joannem

Fasch, Passio Jesu Christi

Arvo Pärt, St. John Passion

Sofia Gubaidulina, Johannes-Passion and Johannes-Ostern

Guido Mancusi, Johannespassion

James Macmillan, St. John Passion; St. Luke Passion; Seven Last Words from the Cross[99]

*Ēriks Ešenvalds, Passion and Resurrection

Frédéric Ledroit, La Passion du Christ selon Saint Jean

Carl Heinrich Graun, Der Tod Jesu

Hugo Distler, Choral-Passion, op.7

Johann Wilhelm Hertel, Der Sterbende Heiland

Robert Kyr, The Passion according to 4 Evangelists

Peter Breiner, The Story (oratorio)[100]

Hermann Reutter, Die Passion in 9 Inventionen, Op. 25

Bohuslav Martinu, Greek Passion

Tan Dun, Water Passion[101]

Torbjorn Dyrud, Out of Darkness

Adolphus Hailstork, Crucifixion

John Debney, The Passion of the Christ

Frank Martin, Golgotha; Polyptyque, Six images de la Passion du Christ

*Richard Danielpour, The Passion of Yeshua[102]

John Ireland, “Greater Love Hath No Man”

Francis Poulenc, Tenebrae factae sunt

Harrison Birtwistle, The Last Supper

Patrick Hadley, A Lenten Cantata

Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac, Страснa седмица (Strasna sedmica = Passion Week)

Haydn, Seven Last Words of our Redeemer on the Cross

Schütz, Seven Last Words of our Savior on the Cross

Michael Finnissey, Dum transisset Sabbatum[103]

Judith Bingham, Jesum quaeritis Nazarenum (also “Prelude and Voluntary” inspired by the Emmaus Road story)

Bruce Springsteen, Jesus Was An Only Son


Gospels, Teaching of Jesus

*Pärt, “Which was the son of…”, “The woman with the alabaster box”; “Tribute to Caesar”; “Zwei Beter” (also Ja ma kuulsin hääle… [And I heard a voice…])

Alessandro Stradella, San Giovanni Battista

Helge Burggrabe, Jehoschua (Rotes Oratorium)[104]

Martin Emslie, Omega and Alpha

Thomas Tallis, If Ye Love Me

Paul Mealor, If Ye Love Me; also Ave Maria; De Profundis; Jubilate Deo; The Beatitudes; The Lord Bless You and Keep You; The Selwyn Service; “All wisdom cometh from the Lord”

Benjamin Britten, Cantata misericordium, Op. 69

Ralph Vaughan Williams, Dives and Lazarus (plus original folk song)

Hugo Alfvén, Den forlorade sonen (The Prodigal Son) Suite

Keith Green, Prodigal Son Suite, Road to Jericho, The Sheep and the Goats

Kurt Atterberg, De Favitska Jungfrurna, op.17 “The Wish and Foolish Virgins”

Jazeps V­­itols, Jezus pie akas (Jesus by the Well)

Christopher Wright, “The Bread of Life”; “Hymn of Salvation” (also Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis; “Song of Praise”)

E. J. Moeran, “Blessed are those servants”

Philip Stopford, “In My Father’s House”; also Ave Maria

Vladimir Ivanovich Martynov, The Beatitudes

Damijan Mocnik, Blagri (Beatitudes)

Zoltan Kodaly, Jezus es a Kufarok

Will Todd, God So Loved The World; Passion Music

Francis Pott, Christus[105]

Patrick Burgan, Noli me tangere[106]

Graham Ross, Ascendo ad Patrem meum

Mason Bates, Sirens (5th movement, From The Book of Matthew)

Omerror Dawson (Arr. Mervyn Warren), Come Unto Me

James Lee III, “Stones and Bread”[107]

Alemdar Karamanov, Cycle of Symphonies 11-14 “Accomplished” (and many others)


Wisdom, Epistles, Apocrypha and More

Jesús Guridi, “Lamento e imprecación de Agar”

Andrea Clearfield, Women of Valor

*Elizabeth Swados, Bible Women; Esther: A Vaudeville Megillah

Giacomo Carissimi, Jephte

Darius Milhaud, Cantate des proverbes

Wolfram Wagner, Proverbia[108]

*Leo Kraft, A Proverb of Solomon

James Rolfe, Four Anthems for Four Seasons; Under the Sun

*The Byrds, “Turn, Turn, Turn”

*John Rutter, To every thing there is a season

Steven Winteregg, Reflections on Quoheleth

Stefan Węgłowski, Kohelet

Paul Patterson, Ecclesiastes (from Requiem, Op.19)

Anatoly Korolev, Ecclesiast

Ernst Toch, “Vanity of Vanities”; Jephta Rhapsodic Poem, Op 89, Symphony No 5[109]

Granville Bantock, Vanity of Vanities; The Song of Songs; In Praise of Famous Men (from Two Choruses)

William Byrd, Cunctis diebus

*Hubert Parry, The Soul’s Ransom; Judith; Job

Arthur Honegger, Judith[110]

Alexander Serov, Judith

Siegfried Matthus, Judith

William Schuman, Judith

Philip Sawyers, Songs of Loss and Regret No. 7. From the Wisdom of Solomon

David Holsinger, Deborah’s Triumph/Jael’s Revenge

Frederick Jacobi, Hagiographa[111]

Ralph Vaughan Williams, Job – A Masque for Dancing

Petr Eben, Hiob

Wolfram Wagner, Hiob[112]

Peter Michael Hamel, Oh, Erde…

Luigi Dallapiccola, Job

Dave Brubeck, The Commandments and The Gates of Justice

Lukas Foss, Lammdeni, Song of Songs, Song of Anguish

Edward Bairstow, The Lamentation

*Ernst Krenek, Lamentatio Jeremiæ Prophetæ, Op. 93

* Peter-Anthony Togni, Lamentatio Jeremiæ Prophetæ[113]

Pablo Casals, O vos omnes

Rene Clausen, O vos omnes

G. F. Händel, Belshazzar, HWV 61; Judas Maccabeus

*Jean Sibelius, Belshazzar’s Feast (Belsazars gastabud), Op. 5

*William Walton, Belshazzar’s Feast

Giuseppi Verdi, Nabucco[114]

John Knowles Paine, St. Peter op.20

Mendelssohn, Paulus

Dyson, St. Paul’s Voyage to Melita

Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Paul, Apostle of Christ

Naji Hakim, Saul de Tarse (Oratorio)

Sulo Salonen, 22 evankelimotettia; Ala pelkaa, Maria; Frukta icke, Maria

Jacobus Vaet, Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus

Joseph Samson, Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus

Paul Creston, Corinthians XIII

Vincent Persichetti, Love

Richard Rodney Bennett, These Three

Joni Mitchell, Love

Edward Elgar, The Apostles, The Kingdom

Andreas Raselius, Stephanus

Harvey Schmidt, Philemon

Kurt Weill, The Eternal Road

Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, Oratorium nach den Bildern der Bibel; Hiob

*Patrick Gowers, Viri Galilaei

Gabriel Jackson, In All His Works

Ecce Sacerdos Magnus (Anton Bruckner, Edward Elgar)[115]

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men – versions by *Edmund Rubbra,[116] Roberta Bitgood,[117] Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gerald Finzi

Franz Baur, Ex Sapientia

*Randall Thompson, Requiem

*Brahms, Ein Deutsches Requiem

Jacob Druckman, Vox Humana

Antonio Caldara, Motets

Sylvie Bodorová, Juda Maccabeus



Mendelssohn, Elijah

Malcolm Lipkin, Naboth’s Vineyard

Rihards Dubra (and Jacobus Handl), Duo Seraphim

Edward Elgar, The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me

Michael Horvit, “The Prophecy of Amos,” “God Is With Us,” “You Shall Love The Lord Your God”

Jonathan Dove, Seek Him that Maketh the Seven Stars

Marga Richter, Seek Him

John Stainer, I Saw The Lord

Matthew Martin, I Saw The Lord

Lori Laitman, And I Will Bring Them

Michael Scherperel, Et introibunt in speluncas petrarum

Johannes Sigl, Refugium II

Rudolf Tobias, Des Jona Sendung

Charles Villiers Stanford, “For lo, I raise up”

Hugo Cole, Jonah

Max Stern, Behold, the Days Come (Cantatas on Biblical Prophecies)

Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower

Miloslav Kabeláč, Symphony No. 8, Op.54 “Antiphons” (text from Daniel)


The End of the World[118]

Anthony Pitts, Seven Letters

Herbert Howells, Blessed are the Dead

James Whitbourn, “He carried me away in the spirit” and “Pure river of water of life”[119]

Rued Langgard, Antichrist/The End of Time

Franz Schmidt, Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln (The Book With Seven Seals)

Hilding Rosenberg, Symphony No.4 “Johannes uppenbarelse”

*Messiaen, Quatuor pour le fin de temps

Daniel Pinkham, Revelation Motets

Pierre Henry, L’apocalypse de Jean

Marcin Gumiela, Apocalypse

Knut Nystedt, Apocalypsis Joannis, Op. 155

Kjell-Mork Karlsen, Apenbarings-Meditasjoner (Meditations on Revelation), Op. 155[120]

Boris Arapov, Revelation of St. John the Theologian

Poul Ruders, Thus Saw Saint John

Edgar Bainton, “And I Saw a New Heaven”

Julian Wachner, “Behold the Tabernacle of God”[121]

Patrick Hawes, Revelation[122]

Cristian Bence-Muk, Apocalipsa

Reginald Haber, “Holy, Holy, Holy”

Paulin Michael Mills, “Thou Art Worthy”

Adrian Howard and Pat Turner, “Salvation Belongs To Our God”

Iron Maiden, “The Number of the Beast”

Simon Khorolskiy, Знамение Сына (The Sign of the Son) combines a variety of apocalyptic texts especially from the Gospels and Revelation[123]




Multiple Texts

Anthony Milner, The Water and the Fire[124]

Margaret Allison Bonds, “Scripture Reading”

Einojuhani Rautavaara, Vigilia

James Lentini, Three Sacred Meditations

Johan Franco, Seven Biblical Sketches

Bruno Bjelinski, Drei biblische Legenden (for trumpet and piano, texts not clearly indicated)


Other resources (general)



Karen Tanaka, Water of Life

Bjorn Korsan Hoemsnes, Chili Celeste (Mighty Heavens) [unsure which biblical text – can anyone help?]


There is so much here, and so much has been written on the topic. I will however note two resources here that it would be easy to miss in that plethora. First, an open access book, Sacred Sound and Social Change: Liturgical Music in Jewish and Christian Experience, edited by Lawrence A. Hoffman and Janet R. Walton. See also the section on Bible and music in Claude Savart and Jean Noël Aletti (eds.), Le Monde contemporain et la Bible. Editions Beauchesne, 1985.



[1] Also relevant: Olivier Greif’s Cello Concerto, “Durch Adams Fall.”

[2] Also his Four Motets.

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2B4KOGyTTk

[4] Playlist on composer’s website along with settings of the Lord’s Prayer and Ave Maria http://vicenteby.webs.com/workswithaudioscore.htm

[5] Has also set Psalm 39.

[6] Also Psalm 42

[7] There are more settings of Psalms than can be mentioned, never mind included in the course. Other composers include Benedetto Marcello, Henry Purcell, Joseph Corfe, Edward John Hopkins, Matthew Camidge, William Child, George C. Martin, John Barnby, Henry Thomas Smart, James Turle, T. Rogers, John Goss, Frederick Alfred Harvey, Thomas Tomkins, George Bennett, Samuel Sebastian Wesley, G. B. Arnold, Edward C. Bairstow, Charles Harford Lloyd, Walter Galpin Alcock, O. H. Peasgood, Thomas Attwood Walmisley, Martin Neary, Percy Carter Buck, Emilis Melngailis, Percy Whitlock, Henry Walford Davies, Walter Parratt, Michael Joncas, Jenö Takács (in the People’s Mass Book), Bernard Rose, Ivor Atkins, Ruth Watson Henderson, Donald Waxman, and Zavel Zilberts, Michael Joncas. See also the psalms adapted to familiar hymn tunes by Timothy and Julie Tennent: http://psalms.seedbed.com/

[8] See also this video about the method for deducing pitch from markings in the Hebrew text: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUwo1xh7u8E

[9] In the Naxos database. http://butler.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/booklets/SHO/booklet-Sho-049.pdf

[10] Also Pater Noster, Jephtha’s Vow

[11] Also V’sham’ru (Exodus 31:16-17)

[12] “The Spirit Moves” by LeFanu also draws on the Psalms. http://www.nicolalefanu.com/resources/programmenotes/note-versesfrompsalm90.pdf

[13] This work is a setting of Psalm 92.

[14] Listen also to other settings of Biblical texts by the same composer.

[15] https://www.aaroncopland.com/works/four-motets/

[16] http://www.hovhaness.com/hovhaness-vocal-works.html

[17] https://blog.oup.com/2013/10/sofia-gubaidulina-light-darkness/

[18] Also “Christ Rising Again” and many others

[19] Too many works by this composer to list all of them!

[20] Also set by Tomás Luis de Victoria (Psalm 33:1 and 118:132,145)

[21] Also Pater Noster, Magnificat, Magnificat anima mea Dominum

[22] Also Ave Maria Op.74, Magnificat, other works.

[23] Important in the history of the United States is the Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in the Americas.

[24] Includes a number of texts in addition to Psalms.

[25] Hakenberger was a Catholic employed by a Lutheran church in Gdansk.

[26] Psalms are also included in his Bible Songs op.113.

[27] Psalm 23 provides the headings. He has also composed Mary of Magdala F.31.

[28] Also A new heart, a new spirit; Every purpose under heaven; Marborough Canticles; Invictus: A Passion. http://works-files.s3.amazonaws.com/b59c5261-a741-45db-8916-9842e2bf7c3d

[29] Other compositions include “The Transfiguration” and ‘He Will Swallow up Death in Victory’  http://www.inaboyle.org/new-page/

[30] Also listen to his Ave Maria (No.3 in his 3 Latinska hymner).

[31] The works “There is Joy in the Morning,” “Ever With Me,” and “Prayer of Compassion” combine words with Psalms with other lyrics. Walker is a Quaker.

[32] Also note Lera Auerbach’s De Profundis Violin Concerto No. 3.

[33] Also Magnificat, Pater Noster. The foundation named for him lists Psalms 8, 24, 66, 70, 84, 127, 132, and 150 among his compositions. https://jozefswider.pl/en/katalog-utworow/page/4/

[34] Other relevant works include “Kom till mig (Come to Me)”; “En ny himmel och en ny jord”; “Sanger om karlek (Songs of Love)”; and his new setting of “Messiah.”

[35] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWrFWRfFkWM See also the composer’s notes in Leneman and Wallfish.

[36] http://www.musicbybrucebabcock.com/be-still.html

[37] Laudate Dominum-Oremus-Deo Gratias from Gloria Patri (24 Hymns for mixed choir)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YajzFaUS04

[38] Also listen to his “Wisdom and Folly.”

[39] Has also set Pater Noster, Ave Maria

[40] Also composed Pater noster, Nunc dimittis, Ave Maria, and Adventgebet.

[41] Most of the text is from Psalm 18, with Matthew 7:12 added at the end.

[42] https://soundcloud.com/deborah-pritchard/i-will-lift-up-mine-eyes-unto-the-hills-live-recording  Other works, such as Lord’s Prayer, Ave Maria, and The Angel Standing In The Sun may also be found on the composer’s Soundcloud page.

[43] Also The Song of Mary; Benedicite; and sketches of a work Simon the High Priest

[44] https://soundcloud.com/robert-vuichard-composer/psaume-huictiesme-de-clement

[45] https://musictheoryexamplesbywomen.com/examples/fugue-no-2-complete-elsa-barraine/

[46] http://www.societyarts.org/arts-journal/online-edition/136-online-edition-vol-27-no-1/336-ralph-vaughan-williams-spiritual-vagabond

[47] His Requiem includes both Psalm 130 and Psalm 23.

[48] There are many other works by Rutter that set Biblical texts, including “The Lord Bless You And Keep You,” “I am with you always,” and Visions (two of the four movements feature texts from Isaiah and Revelation).

[49] Others include David Haas, The Goodness of God, “Psalm 34”;

[50] See the artists’ website for discussion of some of their psalm settings. https://theworshipinitiative.com/wiu_courses/inside-psalms-two/wiu_lessons/psalm-46

[51] This should not be confused with the Solo Dei Gloria Psalms Project, and indeed it might be instructive to compare the two. http://sdgmusic.org/music/psalms-project

[52] Hear also his Sulamith, Der Thurm zu Babel, Die Maccabäer, Christus, and others.

[53] A dissertation on the piece can be found here: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15799coll17/id/211215#co_view_contents   See also his 8 Bible Vignettes.

[54] Also listen to his Psalms, Biblical Songs, and 4 Love Songs on the Song of Songs.

[55] Also note his treatments of the stories of Esther and David.

[56] “Music and Librettos as Midrash” http://www.sbl-site.org/publications/article.aspx?ArticleId=491

[57] https://www.thomaslloydmusic.com/beatitudes

[58]  See the compilation Das Hohelied der Liebe by Singer Pur for more settings from different centuries, by Dominique Phinot, Ivan Moody, Leonhard Lechner, Guillaume Dufay, Brian Elias, Jean Richafort, Heinrich Schutz, Joanne Metcalf, John Plummer, Ludwig Senfl, and Wilhelm Keller. See also the settings by Hieronymus Praetorius, Nicolas Gombert, Tomas Luis de Victoria, John Forest, Giulio Belli, Cornelius Canis, Heinrich Isaac, Clemens Morel, and Robert White. Salamone Rossi, The Songs of Solomon (Hashirim asher lishlomo), should not be mistaken for a setting of this.

[59] Also Vox in Rama, Magi Veniunt

[60] http://www.patrick-burgan.com/en/portfolio-items/cantique-cantiques-2014-4-female-voices/

[61] See also his Eytz Chaim (Tree of Life), a meditation on Proverbs 3:18, 13, 17; as well as Zohar (oratorio) and HaMelekh, both on Jewish mystical texts.

[62] A section of his Four Anthems also derives from Song of Songs

[63] See other setting as well as much more in Kenneth Jaffe, Solo Vocal Works on Jewish Themes: A Bibliography of Jewish Composers. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/butler/detail.action?docID=1032164

[64] Other tracks on the album are also of interest, such as “If You Had a Vineyard.”

[65] See also his Psalm CL “Praise Ye The Lord” and The Promised Land.

[66] Other individuals and texts have been treated instrumentally. See Kuhnau’s 6 Sonata, Dett’s 8 Bible Vignettes, and Jaromir Weinberger’s Bible Poems for Organ. More on the Enoch Seminar website here: http://www.4enoch.org/wiki4/index.php?title=Category:Salome_(subject)

[67] See also the Biblical Triptych by Jenő (Eugene) Zádor, the movements of which are “Joseph,” “David,” and “Paul.” James Lee III composed “Yoshiyahu – Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Orchestra “ as a musical exploration of the story of Josiah. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFnDqZhOjJM

[68] Also Bli hos oss (Stay with us), Op. 87, No. 3; Loven og profetene (The Law and the Prophets); Sennepskornet (The Mustard Seed), Op. 25, No. 10; How Long O Lord Op.58; Return My Soul Op.87 No.5; Missa verbi, Op. 78: Kom til meg (Come to Me); Jerusalem Op.25.

[69] Also composed a setting of Ave Maria.

[70] Also relevant are his Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, among other compositions

[71] His Hymn to Love is a setting of 1 Corinthians 13, and his Requiem for the Victims of Nazi Persecution includes Psalm 13. He has also set the Magnificat, and The Shepherds and the Angels.

[72] Not a setting of the biblical text, but fascinating because the libretto by Vali-Pekka Hänninen focuses on an imagined exchange between the two after Uriah is killed.

[73] https://explore.library.leeds.ac.uk/special-collections-explore/8641; https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/search/archives/5910ea67-75ce-34f3-9352-3fc6ef804081

[74] John Duffy’s “Heritage Suite for Orchestra” also includes two movements about David.

[75] For more settings see the longer list here: http://www3.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Nunc_dimittis  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Magnificat_composers. Frank Martin, Le Mystère de la Nativité, is not a setting of the biblical text.

[76] Also set Maria Magdalene

[77] Also set Pater Noster: http://stream.filharmonia.sk/video/?v=KS201502201900

[78] Also related is his Ioseph fili David, based on the angel’s reassurance to Joseph.

[79] Also the instrumental “A Draught of Fishes”

[80] Hear also his setting of excerpts from Psalms 39, 44, and 68.

[81] Also by Henderson: Cantate Domino; Psalm 100.

[82] Has also composed Love is Patient, Alleluia, and Miserere (the latter including text from Psalm 51 as well as poetry by Jesse Breite).  https://www.wabe.org/atlanta-composer-takes-southern-twist-magnificat-hymn/

[83] Note also his “St. Paul’s voyage to Melita.”

[84] See also his piece “Island Praise” with text from Isaiah.

[85] Other settings of scripture include Lilia Agricolae, “Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house” (Ps.26:8-12), The Lord’s Prayer, and “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5-7).

[86] The same composer has also set Psalms 23, 88, and 98, as well as a number of other biblical texts.

[87] See also his “Fear and Rejoice O People.”

[88] See also his “Verbum caro factum est”

[89] Listen on the composer’s website: http://adriennealbert.com/scores-magnificat.html http://adriennealbert.com/scores-nunc-dimittis.html

[90] The latter is also set by Tomás Luis de Victoria, Johann Michael Haydn, Jens Klimek, Mark Chapman, Mariano Garau

[91] Hear also his Marie-Magdeleine

[92] http://www.choirs.org.uk/prognotes/Finzi%20In%20Terra%20Pax.htm

[93] Online recordings of several versions as well as analysis thereof can be found on the Saturday Chorale blog: http://saturdaychorale.com/2013/03/11/music-of-the-pater-noster-the-lords-prayer-kenneth-leighton-1929-1988/ . This week will focus both on changing approaches to the Lord’s Prayer over the centuries, and on reception of the text in English vs. other languages. See also other settings by Jacob Arcadelt, John Sheppard, John Farmer, Orlando di Lasso, Obrecht, Paminger, Hassler, Homilius, Verdi, Reger, Stockmeier, and Sven-David Sandstrom.

[94] His “Psalm” is also beautiful!

[95] The focus here is on settings which stick at least primarily to the Biblical text. Other treatments, such as those by Ludwig van Beethoven (Christus am Ölberge), Lotti (Crucifixus), Glazunov (King of the Jews), Stainer (The Crucifixion), Caplet (Le miroir de Jesus), Emslie (Omega and Alpha), and Chilcott (St. John Passion) are thus not included, although they are worth consulting by way of comparison. See also Jacques Ibert’s music for the 1935 film Golgotha, and Maurice Dupré’s Symphonie-Passion, Op. 23. Sven-David Sandström recently premiered his St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion but no recordings are commercially available at present.

[96] http://www.patrick-burgan.com/en/portfolio-items/seven-last-words-of-christ-1996-revision-2008-orchestre-recitant-ad-libitum/

[97] Carr has also set Ave Maria and The Beatitudes of Jesus.

[98] Also “Jeremias´ Klagesanger,” “How long, O Lord,” and “My soul thirsts for God”  https://kmkarlsen.no/selected-work/

[99] Also Tu Es Petrus.

[100] Also 129 (De Profundis)

[101] See the composer’s website for more information: http://tandun.com/composition/water-passion/

[102] https://butler.nml3.naxosmusiclibrary.com/catalogue/8.559885-86

[103] https://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/2745919  (also set by John Taverner). See also his Mysteries.

[104] Also Magnificat, other works

[105] Has also set Psalm 126, “When David Heart that Absalom was Slain,” and other texts.

[106] http://www.patrick-burgan.com/en/portfolio-items/noli-me-tangere-2019-soprano-and-organ/

[107] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mccVNliqq_I

[108] Also note his Das Gebot des Herrn, 2 Latin Motets for Mixed Choir, 2 Latin Settings, Hagar und Ismael in der Wüste, Expulsion from Eden, Ave Maria, Jakobsgesänge, and Am Anfang.

[109] https://www.milkenarchive.org/music/volumes/view/symphonic-visions/work/jephta-rhapsodic-poem/

[110] Note also his Symphony No.3, “Symphonie Liturgique” the 2nd movement of which is based on Psalm 130, itself part of the Requiem Mass.

[111] See here for more about Jacobi as well as other compositions with biblical connections:  https://www.milkenarchive.org/news/news-items/view/rediscover-frederick-jacobi

[112] This oratorio is not strictly a setting of Job, but it incorporates Psalm 101. See also his Secundum Scripturas.

[113] He has also composed Ave Maria and a setting of Psalm 98.

[114] http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/digital/exhibitions/exhibits/show/the-bible-through-music/old-testament–prophecy/nabucco

[115] This antiphon is from Ecclesiasticus 44:16-27.

[116] Part of his Three Motets.

[117] She also composed “The Greatest of These Is Love”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLjBrn67R8w

[118] See also allusions in many other hymns and songs, e.g. “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “We Shall Overcome.”

[119] Also note his Alleluia jubilate, derived from Ps.66:1-2, and also his “There is no speech or language.”

[120] Also Kristusmeditasjoner (Meditations on Christ), Op. 120; Cello Sonata, Op. 152b, “Daughter of Jephthah” as well as the St. John and St. Luke Passions mentioned elsewhere in this document.

[121] Other settings of Biblical texts by the same composer are mentioned on his website: http://www.julianwachner.com/compositions

[122] https://www.patrickhawes.com/2017/01/04/worthy-is-the-lambhttps://open.spotify.com/album/03MGbBST2naENlmCqXJr3e

[123] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgRWoYIVDRk&feature=youtu.be

[124] Also Symphony No.2.

January 2, 2021

I will be testing out parts of a new open textbook I am writing on the Bible and music when I teach my class on that subject in a few weeks. I am rather worried, as well as hopeful, with respect to how the fact that not all students will be present physically on all occasions may impact things like listening and singing.

I mentioned the book project to my Sunday school class, and now I will also be exploring this topic with them over the coming weeks. I invited them to take the lead and suggest music/texts and immediately one that was mentioned was Cesar Franck’s setting of Psalm 150. Here is an audio recording on SoundCloud:

Here it is in video form, one with the score and the other in which you can see the performers:

Franck served as a church organist during his life, and composed this work as a commission by the Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles (National Institute of Blind Young People) when they dedicated a new organ. It is interesting, among all the settings of this Psalm, to think about this one as connected with music being part of the lives of those who could hear but not see. In addition to all the ways this Psalm is so fitting for musical exploration, with its brevity combined with a wide-ranging list of mentions of musical instruments, it is a striking choice for highlighting that which is ultimately unseen for us all.

Mark De Voto suggests that Franck’s sacred music is long overdue to be revisited and carefully studied, as well as performed more often. You can read more about Franck’s setting of Psalm 150 on the publisher’s website. The score is available at IMSLP and CPDL.

This blog post provides several other examples of Psalm 150 set to music in a variety of periods of the European and eventually also American tradition of sacred music and art music, before sharing some other Psalm and music-related things that have come to my attention since the last time I blogged about the Bible and music. Let me move next to Louis Lewandowski’s famous setting:

I first heard that in the very powerful a capella rendition by the Zemel Choir, whose vinyl LP I owned:

Here is Howard Hanson’s setting of Psalm 150:

My friend Del Case has also written a piece for flute based on Psalm 150:

That piece is just one of many contributions that is part of the PsalmSeason project sponsored by the Interfaith Youth Core. Indeed, there is a lot right at the top of the PsalmSeason website that is related to Psalm 150. Here are some others…

By Anton Bruckner (see the notes on Bruckner’s setting by Christopher Gibbs):

By John Rutter:

By Michael John Trotta:

By Charles Villiers Stanford:

See also in relation to “classical” or art music:

Joyful Sounds of Praise: Five Musical Settings of Psalm 150

Here are some very different styles of music with the words of Psalm 150:

Here is another Israeli rendition in Hebrew (albeit with cowboy hats):

It is interesting to reflect on which most closely conveys the mood we think the original Psalm in its ancient context was supposed to have for diverse listeners and singers today. What do you think?

Having asked that question, let me share this attempt by Suzanne Haik-Vantoura to interpret the cantillation marks in the Hebrew text from a millennium ago in this Psalm:

The cantillation marks will get some attention early in my book. They’re a fascinating topic and I’d love to have the time to really dig into that in a focused way.

What would you write about Psalm 150 in a textbook on the Bible and music? Given that there are 149 other Psalms, even if the course were just on the Psalms, in a class that met three times a week every week for a whole year (which mine obviously does not) it would just barely be possible to dedicate a day to every Psalm. Obviously even a whole day on this Psalm could not do justice to the music shared in this blog post thus far, and these are by no means the only settings. Yet this Psalm, in its role as conclusion to the book in its Masoretic Text form of the Hebrew Bible (the Septuagint adds Psalm 151) and with its listing of instruments, it seems a good one to spend some time on. Yet there are also so many things one inevitably cannot hope to do justice to. The reference to “everything that has breath/spirit” is particularly striking to me. What is the relationship between every breathing thing and every kind of instrument? The question when it comes to the book and the course it is for is less what to say and more what to leave out.

Also related to music and (at least in some tangential way) the Bible, here are some other things that have come to my attention:

Not first numerically but fitting for a new year, here is Bach’s Cantata 190 which features text from a Psalm

Psalm 1 (why the Book of Psalms doesn’t begin on the tonic)

Poetry and Metaphor in Psalm 1

Psalm 2: Is the Messiah the Son of God?

The Today of Psalm 2

Commentary on Psalm 38

Commentary on Psalm 39

Psalm 51

Psalm 100

The Discipline of Reading the Psalms

Here’s another Psalm:

This last symphony by Alfred Schnittke, completed by others, has added as a final farewell to the composer a movement with a vocal part with the words of the Nunc Dimmitis. That final part is by Alexander Raskatov:

Second Life of a Masterpiece (by Messiaen)

Articles on Ancient Near Eastern Music

Because Christmas is a musical time there were a lot of blog posts related to Christmas music:

A Time to Give Praise to God

The Carol of the Bells: A Theological Reading

The Story Behind “O Holy Night”

Serendipity for Singing, Not Sinning



October 24, 2020

Let me begin with two items of news from around blogs. One is the discovery of what might perhaps be an underground music room on the Temple Mount! Another is a piece by Malcolm Lipkin inspired by the story of Naboth’s Vineyard in the Bible.

Now, getting to the actual music I want to share in this post, some things that are either new to me or which I have enjoyed previously but not shared on my blog before. Let me start with Paul Mealor’s setting of the Beatitudes, since I also want to share something he wrote on Facebook about the arts.

Mealor wrote an important Facebook post recently in support of the arts, which I want to quote a substantial part of here:

If you are like me and the majority of your life is ringed by music – you think in it, you dream in it, you write it, you listen to it, you perform it and you feel through it – then it certainly seems like the music has stopped right now…It’s almost like a heart palpitation, a pause, a moment without structure, a silence between the heartbeats of life. And, there seems to be no end to the enforced silencing of live music-making. COVID-19 has closed-down our choirs, orchestras, bands, folk-groups and theatres, our artistic beating hearts, our souls and – for many of us – our very reason for existing. We are exiled from our lives.

For my colleagues and friends whose income, as freelance musicians and music teachers, has completely dried up, there appears absolutely no help from the government either. ‘These jobs are not viable’ our Chancellor tells us. ‘Sport, sport, sport’ the Prime Minister constantly tells us is what holds our communities together. Well, of course, I like many sports and agree that they are vital for health, mental health and fitness; but, so too are the arts. More people are involved in, employed by, and enjoy the creative industries in the UK than any other area. Our choirs, brass bands, theatres, theatre groups, dance groups and classes, painting, sculpture and other arts groups ARE the true lifeblood of our communities! They are how all of us express ourselves, join together for a common good, see each other, relate to each other and live better with each other…

“Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.”
Sarah Dessen

“Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the State always change with them.’
Plato (Attributed)

Here is Todd Wood’s setting of Psalm 23:

Next, a piece by Jonathan Dove that I mentioned here before in passing but which deserves to be highlighted in its own right:

Next, Roxanna Panufnik’s “Deus est Caritas”:

I have long loved the music of Arthur Honegger. Here is his setting of Psalm 130 which I don’t believe I was aware of until just recently:

Max Stern has a new cantata out on biblical prophecies, “Behold, The Days Come.”  Here is the piece that gives the larger work its title:

Moving from music to commentary on music, the Milken Archive continues to provide interesting content, including Tovah Feldshuh on the Genesis Suite as well as a new series “Cantors on Record.” Also, don’t miss their SoundCloud for both music and commentary!

Here are two of my Butler University colleagues talking about Haydn’s Creation:

Here’s a tribute to Romanian poet Traian Dorz that makes reference in the process to David’s songwriting. See also Bob Cornwall on Psalm 96, as well as this post by Eddie Arthur on a topic that is broader than biblical music but certainly overlaps with it:


See too:

Demons, DSS, and Jesus: Psalm 91 and the Need for Text Critical Pastors

October 11, 2020

Time for another round-up of things related to the Bible and music that I’ve come across, always having my eyes and ears peeled for points of intersection as I work on an open textbook on the topic.

Let me start with Jonathan Tweet’s helpful survey of antisemitic aspects of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. The main disagreement I have is with the idea that “Judas” denoted or signified “Jew.” The name in question is Judah, the Jewish name that was that of the ancestor and tribe that gave its name to what English renders as “the Jewish people.” It was a common and popular name among Jews, and despite what some commentators have said at times, there was nothing antisemitic when ancient Jewish authors depicted the betrayal of the Jewish man Jesus as having been carried out by someone with a common Jewish name who was no more and no less Jewish than any other apostle or disciple. The musical is only as antisemitic as its source material, I think. What do others think? Take a look at Jonathan’s treatment of the subject and let me (and him) know what your thoughts on this are.

Sungji Hong has composed a beautiful setting of the Lord’s Prayer as well as what must be the most striking setting of the Nunc Dimittis I’ve ever heard:

Others of her works, including several instrumental ones, also have titles that are drawn from biblical texts or at least echo biblical themes.

See also:

Performing Psalms of Lament (HT Ekaterini Tsalampouni)

Rediscovering the Psalms: A Revival of the Bible’s Prayer Book

The Psalms as Christian Praise

Psalms in the Discovering Biblical Texts series

The End of the Psalter

From Kate Keefe:

Psalm as folk song

Archangels, guardian angels, and their Psalms

Church as bride

Mood music: Setting the tone for Psalm 68-69

Writing a tune for God’s anger

From Bob MacDonald:

A whole host of documents from Suzanne Haik-Vantoura

New music based on the Haik-Vantoura key

Approaching music using translated lyrics

One example of puzzling over a particular case in a psalm

Translating Psalm 78

The feudal system of accents

The letters and the accents (not an introduction)

Unpointing the Hebrew text

Naming things

I was happy to discover Durrell Bowman’s blog, where he shares things like this:

Not Just for Praise or Proselytizing: Sociopolitical Critiques in Christian Hard Rock and New Wave, 1977-84

Inclusive Hymn Rewrite Challenge

Commonplace Book #182

Not biblical music, but still perhaps of interest, is this Sojourners piece about Sufjan Stevens’ latest album. Think Christian also has a post about it.

Even less directly related, back when I hoped to develop a study abroad experience to Transylvania, I was exploring ways to incorporate the music of the region into the course. Here are some things I came across then…

Gypsy musicians of Transylvania

The music of Zmei3

A history of Hungarian music that includes church music, another site about Hungarian folk music, a website in Geneva with an archive of historic Hungarian recordings (not always of Hungarian music).

Also somewhat related, courtesy of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir: “Sing with the Larks – a Primer for video recordings in virtual choirs”

Browse Our Archives