Day 3 The Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation changed church music along with everything else. Monasteries were dissolved and the professional musicians they nurtured were dispersed. Now everyone was encouraged to sing. Martin Luther wrote hymns, often using popular melodies, and composed for the organ. Calvin was more cautious about hymns, and insisted that only Biblical words could be sung. Psalms were put into metrical forms, so that they could be sung to simple, regular tunes. Since most people couldn’t read either music or words, parish clerks “lined out” the hymns, singing a line which the congregation then repeated.
On the Island of Lewis this is still practiced, as it is in some areas of the US. (Clips below)
|Old Hundredth, from the Sternhold and Hopkins Psalter 1628|
sing to the Lord with cheerful voice;
him serve with fear, his praise forth tell.
Come ye before him and rejoice.
Know that the Lord is God indeed;
without our aid he did us make;
we are his folk; he doth us feed,
and for his sheep he doth us take.
O enter then his gates with praise;
approach with joy his courts unto;
praise, laud, and bless his name always,
for it is seemly so to do.
For why? The Lord our God is good;
his mercy is forever sure;
his truth at all times firmly stood,
and shall from age to age endure.
How do you feel about learning new hymns? Do you prefer to stick to old favourites?
Lining out being used in the Isle of Lewis.