The contribution of the Reformed churches to music was in the area of using the Psalms for congregational singing in worship. In Protestant Geneva, most church music was banished by the austere reformer Calvin who strongly opposed all music "composed solely for the pleasure of the ear". If music were to be retained in any form in the church service, an entirely different repertoire of religious songs had to be created. In Loys Bourgeois, Calvin found a musician who was willing to help him in this undertaking. In 1547, Bourgeois published his 'Psalms of David', compositions in a simple four-part setting, to be sung by the congregation during the services.

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The Genevan Psalter
Origins, structure, diversity and modes of the Genevan Psalter.
History of Church Music
A short history of church music in ancient times, the Middle Ages, the Reformation and after the Reformation
The Metrical Psalm
A BBC outline for a class on metrical psalms, with a history of the Genevan Psalter and the Scottish Psalter. [PDF]
Metrical psalms: the words
An article compares the words in the various Psalters, showing how Psalm 68:1 and other verses appear in different Psalters.
Psalm Singing: A Reformed Heritage
Singing of the Psalms through history, particularly at the time of the Reformation.
The Psalms, the Organ, and Sweelinck
A historical article on music in the Reformation, especially in the use of the organ in worship and the influence of Jan Seelinck, a Dutch organist.
The Reformers on Psalms and Hymns in Public Worship
An article tracing the use of music in worship, studying Reformers such as Zwingli, Luther, Bucer and Calvin, ending with some Reformed principles for using music in worship. [PDF]
Last update:
January 5, 2016 at 20:15:03 UTC
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