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BOOK OF PSALMS,
Pointed for Chanting,
ADAPTED TO APPROPRIATE CHANTS.
BY AN ENGLISH PRIEST.
AND NEW BOND STREET.
138. d. 417.
The following method of pointing the Psalms is now published, after considerable experience of its practicability, in the hope that, being founded on the principles of rhetoric, it may enable Christian worshippers to give a more sensible and devout expression to the inspired language of the Psalmist, than is produced by the syllabic mode, which so often necessarily causes emphatic words or syllables to be sung to unaccented notes. To obviate this objection as much as possible, certain marks have been adopted, the use of which is best explained by an example:
Quicken me, O LORD, for Thy | Na me's sake :
7 and for Thy righteousness' sake | bring my soul
9 10 out-of trouble.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A chant is divided into two parts by the bar, which corresponds to the colon ( : ), or musical point of division, in each verse of the Psalms.
The notes numbered 1 and 5 are called reciting notes, because words, varying in number, are recited to them; and special care should be taken
l not to hurry over them irreverently, but to pronounce every syllable distinctly.
The upright lines show where these notes terminate. Here, there must be no pause, except when the sense requires it, as they frequently fall where there should be no disconnection, as in the middle of words, or between an adjective and its
The notes numbered 2, 6, and 8, are accented notes, to which are sung the words or syllables written in italics, as seen in the example. The amount of emphasis bestowed upon them must vary according to their position, and be left to the good sense and right feeling of the chanter.
The slur (m) shews where one word or syllable is sung to two notes; thus, the word "na me” is sung to numbers 2 and 3. This should be expressed quickly, yet smoothly.
The hyphen ( - ), placed between two or more words or syllables, indicates that these, so connected, are to be sung to one note ; thus, the words "out-of” are sung to number 9.
In many instances it will be found that, when two consecutive notes are the same, they are sung as one, if more convenient to do so. This rule greatly simplifies chanting.
The dot (:) determines where breath is to be taken, in order to prevent pauses at improper places. Due regard to this, and the readingstops, helps to sustain the voice.
The “0,” written in the margin of some of the Psalms, denotes that the second reciting note is to be omitted. This omission occurs only where it is necessary, in order to preserve the proper accent and force of the words. At first it will appear a difficulty, but a very little practice is sufficient to remove it; and the great advantage of such an abbreviation will be evident on reference to a few examples, as in Psalm xxi. 4 ; cxv. 2.
The figures at the head of each Psalm, or between the verses when the subject changes, refer to the chants which are published at the end of the book, in separate parts, each part-book being distinguished by a different coloured cover; and they are classified so as to make it easy to sing them successively either with or without an organ. For this purpose, chants in the same key, though varying in character, have generally
| These chants are also published in score, under the title of “ Classified Chants."