O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
Psalm 95:1-2 (Venite, exultemus) (KJV)
Welcome to The Psalter Project, a site dedicated to collecting and organizing links to audio and video of the singing and chanting of the Psalter, Biblical Canticles and other Scripture. This site organizes the Psalter (to the extent available recordings make possible) as appointed over the month in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, except for the case of the KJV Psalter, which is organized according to “The Psalter Distributed over Thirty-One Days” published in the Brotherhood Prayer Book .
The focus will be on three sources
- Myles Coverdale’s Psalter and Canticles (Coverdale) (which are part of the Great Bible, the first authorized edition of the Bible printed in English, authorized by King Henry VIII of England and first published in 1539 and which have been included in the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer for centuries) (Complete),
- The King James or Authorize Version (KJV) (authorized by King James VI of Scotland and I of England and first published in 1611) (In Process), and
- The Scottish Metrical Psalter of 1650, (Scottish Psalter) (A complete revision of earlier Scottish Psalters, dating back to 1535. Accuracy of translation was in the forefront with the preparation of the Scottish Psalter. This psalter continues in use until the present day in parts of the Highlands, and around the world in some of the smaller Presbyterian denominations.)(In Process)
These three sources have several advantages
- First, the text of each is in the public domain so that no copyright issues arise from publishing them here.
- Second, each has been used for more than three centuries by Christians around the English speaking world and are highly revered by those who have used them.
- Third, accuracy of translation was a very important consideration, even with the Scottish Psalter, in which the psalms are translated in paraphrase to be in meter for easier congregational singing.
- Forth, audio and/or video of chanting or singing from each of these sources is available online for a significant portion of each.
- In the case of the Coverdale Psalter, recordings are available for the entire psalter and New Testament canticles from a variety of sources. This site relies on copyright-protected recordings which are available to Spotify subscribers (see below).
- In the case of the KJV, Gregorian chants for the entire psalter and many canticles are available from one source, the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood, who produced The Brotherhood Prayer Book, a resource for praying the daily office based on the KJV.
- In the case the Scottish Psalter, at present no complete recordings are publicly available. However, significant portions are available and a project is currently underway to make recordings of the complete Scottish Psalter available in the near future. See Project Psalms.
- Fifth, each contains Scriptural canticles and other Scripture intended for singing.
Other sources may be included for some Psalms, Canticles and Scriptural Songs, but the author knows of no other sources for which the text is in the public domain, significant audio and/or video is available, and Scriptural Canticles and other songs based on Scripture are readily available.
For those who would prefer more modern translations, both the New King James Version (The Psalter and the Canticles of the New King James Version: Set to the Gregorian Psalm Tones in Modern Notation and Supplied with Appropriate Antiphons) and the English Standard Version (Reading the Psalms with Luther) have been pointed for chanting, with appropriate settings. To my knowledge, no audio recordings are available for either publication. For those who prefer metrical psalters, Crown and Covenant has several versions available, along with accompanying recordings.
Our family uses The Book of Psalms for Worship, published Crown and Covenant, as our primary psalter for family devotions. Crown and Covenant is in the process of recording every setting from The Book of Psalms for Worship and already has extensive selections recorded and available for purchase.