Genevan Psalter

As the Geneva Psalter or Huguenot Psalter, a number of early Reformed hymnals with rhyming Psalm texts is called in French. The collection is complemented by the Ten Commandments and the canticle of Simeon (Nunc dimittis ). Earlier versions also contain the Creed ( Credo).

The Reformer Jean Calvin, who had become acquainted with the genre of the psalm song in Strasbourg was there in 1539 with a collection of Psalm songs by Clément Marot and with their own Psalm seals out. 1542, 1543 and 1551 each appeared Advanced editions. Calvin later withdrew his own poetry. He has left the lyrical implementing the poet Marot and - after his death in 1544 - Theodore de Beza.

To use the Psalms as a textual basis was the decision of Calvin - the words given by God are the only ones for liturgical use appropriate. However, since the medieval Latin psalmody for " Roman superstition " belongs, the transfer of the entire Psalter in the French and in the form of the strophic song was organized by Calvin. Here, the text could be even reduced (as opposed to the practice of Martin Luther ) taken only in poem form, but not extended or.

Guillaume Franc, Loys Bourgeois and Pierre Davantès have been identified by Pierre Pidoux as the composers of the melodies. 1562 actual and final Geneva Psalter was published, the first time a complete collection of all the Psalms into French and into a poem comprised, in which case probably Davantès had responsibility for the musical arrangement alone.

Calvin wanted to make a inflaming power of music to Use Although, on the other hand, however, he wrote the music to the danger, to arouse human passions. In this vein, he called gravity and majesty ( " poids et majesté ") in music. This is reflected in some typical characteristics of melodies: They are very simple and plain, both in the rhythm (usually only two different note values) as well as in the melody (usually only steps or small sound skips ). Ligatures were avoided as far as possible, the triple rhythm ( Tanzrhythmus! ) was prohibited, as is the stippling. The melodies come from different sources. Some have their origins in Gregorian chant, others in folk music, and some are - regardless of the theological tensions - taken over by Lutheran songs.

By simple four-part choral work by Claude Goudimel in which the tenor cantus firmus the part, took over the Geneva Psalter reached widespread in the Reformed churches. Also, by Claude Le Jeune come Chorsätze to the Psalter. However, these treatments did not correspond to Calvin's original idea, since he had the polyphonic singing in the church even banned.

Before the end of the century the Psalter into numerous languages ​​such as German, Dutch and English was translated. Ambrose Lobwasser gave 1573 a German translation of the Genevan Psalter out. It was the definitive songbook of the German Reformed congregations until it was displaced at the time of rationalism by the Psalm seals by Matthias Jorissen (1798 ).